US 2931309 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 5, 1960 E. R. BOWER 2,931,309
DOWN-HOLE PUMP Filed Aug. 22, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 27 FIGURE-3 A?!) FIGUREZ Edward R Bower \nvenfor United States Patent O DOWN-HOLE PUMP Edward R. Bower, Caracas, Venezuela, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Jersey Production Research Company Application August 22, 1956, Serial No. 605,657
2 Claims. (Cl. 103-148) The present invention is concerned with an improved pump adapted for use in well boreholes. The invention is particularly directed toward increased recovery of oil, utilizing a bladder type pump which can be activated from the surface and which will effectively raise the oil to the surface.
In the recovery of oil from subterranean formation, particularly, from those formations which do not contain a natural driving force, it is necessary to insert pumping means into the liquid in the borehole about the producing formation. Many types of pumps have been suggested and are currently being employed. However, these pumps in most instances are of a mechanical nature and are subject to breakage and failures due to stresses and also due to the corrosive elfect of the liquids on the metal parts.
The present invention is concerned with a new improved bladder type pump which is activated by changing or varying the gaseous pressure from the surface. The pump of the present invention acts very efiiciently and at the same time is not subject to corrosive action of the fluid. The bladder type pump of the present in vention may be fully understood by reference to the drawings illustrating one embodiment of the same. Figure 1 shows a plurality of bladder elements positioned in a borehole. Figure 2 illustrates details of the port and valve construction, while Figure 3 illustrates an exten'or serrated structure of the bladder. Referring specifically to Figure l, a casing element 1 is shown extending from the earths surface to an oil formation 3. The casing is suitably perforated to permit the flow of oil from the formation into it. The oil or fluid level in the borehole extends somewhat above the oil formation to a point 4. In accordance with the present invention, there is installed a packing element 5 above the oil formation. This packing or sealing element 5 contains valves 6 which open under an upward thrust and close under a downward thrust. A packing or sealing element 7 is disposed at a point up the borehole. This packing or sealing element 7 contains valve elements 8 which open under an upward thrust and close under a downward thrust. In accordance with the present invention, bladder elements 9 and 10 are shown disposed between packing elements 5 and 7. A tube extends through these bladder pump elements and extends upwardly to the surface. The interior of bladder elements 9 and 10 communicate with tube 11 by means of ports 12 and 13, respectively.
In operation, the fluid about the bladder elements will depress said elements when no pressure is applied through tube 11. However, when pressure is applied to the interiors of these bladder elements, they expand outwardly against the casing wall, causing valves 6 to close and valves 8 to open. Thus, the fluid is pumped upwardly to the surface through casing 1. When pressure is reduced in 11, valves 8 close, thereby preventing back flow of the fluid, while valves 6 open, causing the bladder elements to deflate. The cycle is then repeated to force additional quantities of fluid upwardly through the bore hole to the surface. I
The bladders may be made of any flexible and durable material. A durable strong rubber or other synthetic material or plastic may be used. A neoprene type plastic is also desirable. In general, the bladder should be large enough to extend the diameter of the borehole or casing, which is generally in the range of from about 6 to 8 /2". The length of the individual bladder is generally in the range of from about 10 to feet. A very desirable length is in the range from about 45 to 60 feet. The length, however, will depend upon the conditions under which the pumping operation is to be carried out. While two bladders have been shown with respect to the description of the drawing, it is to be understood that any number of bladders may be utilized. Furthermore, ports 13 and 12 contain valves 27 and 28 which are pressure loaded wherein the lower bladder is inflated first, while succeeding bladders up the hole are inflated in succession, thereby giving an upward thrust of greater magnitude to the liquid. This is accomplished by known means using valves which open sequentially up the hole under progressively increasing pressure applied through tube 11. On the other hand, the bladders may contain a wall structure or a serrated character (see Figure 3) which permits liquid to flow through channels between the bladder and borehole wall.
The entire operation can be synchronized by suitable equipment at the surface, such as pressure gauges 20 and 21, control valves 22 and 23, together with a control means 25. Thus, as oil flow decreases through line 26, means 25 through valve 22 may release or change the pressure in the respective bladders. Thus, a continuous pumping operation can readily be secured by the control and synchronization of flow of fluid and pressuring air or equivalent fluid.
What is claimed is:
1. improved apparatus adapted for lifting liquid from a subterranean location in a well borehole to the surface which consists essentially of a plurality of superimposed upper and lower flexible bladder type elements adapted to be positioned in the fluid in the well borehole, a single cylindrical conduit element which extends from the surface and communicates through ports in said conduit to within each of said bladder elements, valve means in said conduit for controlling flow through said ports, said valves being loaded in a manner that the valves in said lower bladder element will open prior to the opening of valves in said higher bladder element, packer means between said conduit and said well borehole positioned above said bladder elements, valve means positioned in said packer means which open under an upward thrust and close under a downward thrust, packer means between said conduit and said well borehole positioned below said bladder elements, valve means positioned in said last mentioned packer means which open under an upward thrust and close under a downward thrust, pres sure control means positioned at the surface designed to expand said bladder elements against the borehole wall by exerting pressure through said conduit to within said bladder elements, whereby said bladder elements will expand and whereby the valves positioned below said bladder elements will close and the valves positioned above said bladder elements will open, whereby fluid will flow upwardly, pressure control means at the surface adapted to release the pressure within said bladder elements, whereby said bladder elements will deflate and whereby valves positioned above said bladder elements will close and the valves positioned below said bladder elements will open, thereby permitting the flow of liquid into the area about the deflated bladders.
References Cited inthe of this patent -"2.1Apparatps 'astdefined by claim 1 wherein the said UNITED STATES-PATENTS bladde elements scentain ve t c l .s vn t sms 91. theo surface thereof, the peaks gf which engage the well borehole wall, thereby providing flow channels for the flow 2,196,993 Klddel' 16, 1940 nnjg being pumped 'abov eand below said bladder 5 2,435,179 McGovneY 27, 1948 2,699,729 Stevens Jan. 18, 1955 elements.