US 2960311 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 15, 1960 P. J. SCOTT WELL DRILLING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 25, 1957 INVENTOR. PAUL. J. SCOTT MQ M ATTORNEYS Nov. 15, 1960 P. J. SCOTT WELL DRILLING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 25, 1957 INVENTOR. PAUL J. SCOTT M/QM ATTORNEYS FIG. 3
Nov. 15, 1960 P. J. scoTT WELL DRILLINGAPPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 25, 1957 INVENTOR. PAUL J. SCOTT M i f ATTORNEYS.
Nov. 15, 1960 P. J. SCOTT 2,960,311
WELL DRILLING APPARATUS Filed March 25, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 IN VEN TOR. PAUL J. SCOTT zmqlm ATTORNEYS WELL DRILLING APPARATUS Paul J. Scott, 406 /2 E. 4th St., Clare, Mich.
Filed Mar. 25, 1957, Ser. No. 648,152
1 Claim. (Cl. 255-19) This invention relates to well drilling apparatus and more particularly to an improved rotary spudder construction.
Apparatus of the general kind to which the invention pertains customarily is adapted to be fixed to one end of a length of drill pipe having a bit at its other end and rotate the pipe so as to feed the bit into the ground to drill a well. When the first length of pipe is fully in the ground, the spudder is disconnected therefrom and connected to one end of another length of pipe, the other end of which may be connected to the upper end of the first pipe length to constitute an extension of the latter and permit further drilling to a depth greater than the length of the pipe sections. The handling of the pipe sections, that is, their erection, connection to the spudder and their connection to one another, is a laborious, expensive undertaking with apparatus known heretofore. Accordingly, a principal object of this invention is to provide well drilling apparatus which greatly facilitates the handling of pipe sections.
Known apparatus of the kind referred to includes drive means for effecting rotation of a drill pipe secured States Patent to the spudder, but the drive means usually is located at some point, such as on a truck or on the ground, which is remote from the spudder. This arrangement is not entirely satisfactory in all instances inasmuch as it frequently is inconvenient to locate the driving means for eflicient connection to the pipe 'or the spudder. object of this invention, therefore, is to provide drilling apparatus of the kind including a spudder and having its own driving means intimately associated with the spudder.
Another object of the invention is to provide rotary spudder type drilling apparatus and a rig for raising and lowering the spudder, the spudder and rig having cooperable means for guiding the spudder in its movements and counteracting drilling torque.
A further object of the invention is to' provide well Another drilling apparatus of the kind referred to which is simple in construction, easy to operate, and rugged and dependable in use.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out specifically or will become apparent from the following description when it is considered in conjunction with the appended claim and the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a fragmentary, side elevational view of a drilling rig equipped with apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention;
Figure 2 is an end elevational View of the structure shown in Figure 1, and showing the relation of the parts during a drilling operation;
Figure 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary view, partly in front elevation and partly in section of a drilling spudder constructed in accordance with the invention, certain parts being broken away for purposes of illustration;
Figure 4 is a top plan View, partly in section, of the PParatus shown in Figure 3;
Figure 5 is a sectional view taken on the lines 55 of Figure 4; and
Figure 6 is a sectional view taken on the lines 6-6 of Figure 4.
A portable well drilling rig adapted for use with apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention may include a mobile vehicle such as a truck T having a bed 1 on which is mounted a rear axle 2, the latter including journalling means for ground engaging wheels 3. At each side and adjacent to the rear end of the truck bed 1 is provided one or more brackets 4 to which corresponding ends of brace members 5 may be connected, the other ends of the brace members 5 being connected to brackets 6 secured at the upper end of a derrick or mast member 7 composed of a pair of parallel frame members 8 rigidly connected one to another and reinforced by cross elements 9. At suitable intervals, bracing rods 10 may be connected to the members 5 and 8 to assist in maintaining the mast 7 in its erected position as shown in Figures 1 and 2. In the disclosed drilling rig, the mast 7 is provided with a base member 11 at its lower end which is adapted to rest upon the ground, but it should be understood that the disclosed derrick apparatus as thus far described is illustrative only and that other and diiierent derrick apparatus may be used.
In the illustrative embodiment of the invention, a pulley 12 is journalled on a shaft 13 fixed at the upper ends of the frame members 8, and trained around the pulley is a hoist cable 14 having one of its ends provided with a hook member 15 and its other :end made fast in any suitable manner to a hoist drum 16, the drum 16 being mounted fast on a shaft 17 which is journalled in bearing members 18 mounted on the truck bed 1 and adapted to be driven by means of a conventional motor 19 to raise and lower the hook member 15.
The apparatus described thus far is not new per se, but has been used previously in connection with well drilling apparatus to raise and lower drill pipe driving 'means. In such prior uses of the apparatus, the drill driving means connected to the hook member 15 had to be elevated an amount sufiicien-t to'permit workmen to stand a length of drill pipe upright and fit one end of the latter into the driving means. Thereafter, the driving means would be actuated to force the drill pipe vertically into the ground until only a portion of its length remained above ground, whereupon the driving means and the drill pipe had to be disconnected, the driving means reelevated and a new length of pipe connected thereto in the manner previously described. This mode of operation is expensive because it requires the services of a plurality of workmen inasmuch as one man cannot erect a length of drill pipe, fit it to its driving means, and condition it for readiness to drill. Apparatus formed in accordance with the present invention overcomes this disadvantage of known drilling rigs and, as is best shown in Figures 3-6, comprises a spudder device which includes a housing 21 formed of a pair of substantially parallel, spaced plate members 22, 2201, located in a substantially horizontal plane. The plate 22 is provided with a substantially central opening 23 surrounded by an annular boss 24, and the other wall 22a has an opening 25 in alignment with the opening 23 and which is surrounded by an annular boss 26, the opening 25 being of larger diameter than the opening 23.
Extending through the openings 23 and 25, and projecting beyond each of the plates 22, 22a is a hollow mandrel 28 which is bored longitudinally as at 29. The mandrel 28 is provided with a peripheral flange 31 (see Figure 5) which lies substantially in the plane of the plate 22a. An
annular cap member 32 is fixed to the boss 26 surrounding;
the opening 25 by means of bolts, two of which are shown at 33 in Figure 5, the cap 32 having a depending flange 34 located inwardly of the boss 26 and having fixed thereto an annular race 35 adapted to cooperate with a companion race 36 fixed to the mandrel 28 in mounting tapered roller bearings 37. The boss 24 surrounding the opening 23 is counterbored to receive a race 38 which cooperates with a companion race 39 fixed to mandrel 28 tomount tapered roller bearings 40 therebetween, the construction and arrangement of the parts thus far described being such that the mandrel 28 is rotatably mounted in the housing 21. Between the plates 22, 22a is fixed a cylindrical shell 41 by means of bolts 42, the shell surrounding the mandrel 28 and providing an oil chamber to which oil may be introduced through a suitable port (not shown). The chamber 43 is made fluid tight by means of sealing rings 44 and 45 mounted in engagement with the mandrel at the lower and upper ends, respectively, of the housing 21.
The housing 21 includes a bonnet 46 secured (to the plate 22a by means of screws 47a and having an opening in its upper part for the accommodation of a bored extension pipe 47. The major portion of the pipe 47 is received in a counter-bored portion 29a of the mandrel 28, the bore 48 of the pipe being in alignment and in communication with the bore 29 of the mandrel. Between the pipe 47 and the wall of the bore 29a is a packing gland and bearing assembly 49 composed of a plurality of oil sealing rings 50, a lubricant ring 51 and bearing rings 52. The packing assembly is held in assembled relation by an annular cap 53 fitted onto the threaded upper end of the mandrel 28.
A coupling member 54 of the so-called goose neck variety and having an attaching flange 55, is fixed to the bonnet 46 by means of bolts 56. The coupling member 54 has a bore 57 therethrough in alignment with the bore 48 of the pipe extension 47 for a purpose yet to be explained, and between the coupling member 54 and the extension 47 is a seal 58.
Referring now particularly to Figure 3, the end of the mandrel which is remote from the coupling member 54 is provided with an internal, tapered threaded section 59 into which a threaded end 60 of a drill pipe 61 may be removably screwed. The part 61 has been and will be referred to throughout this specification and the claim as a drill pipe, but it should be understood that this is only for purposes of convenience in describing the apparatus and that the part 61 may be not only a length of drill pipe, but also a length of casing, cutting tubing, and/or sucker rod, and the like.
Apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention includes driving means designated generally by the reference character 65 for rotating the mandrel 28 and the part 61 connected thereto. Referring particularly to Figure 6, the driving means includes a supporting member 63 rigidly connected in any suitable manner to the cylindrical shell member 41 between the plates 22 and 22a and in which is journalled, by means of suitable bearing assemblies 64, a drive transmitting shaft 65. One end of the shaft 65 projects through the shell 41 into the chamber 43 and has fixed thereto, by suitable means such as a set screw 66, a bevel pinion gear 67 which meshes with a bevel gear 68 rigidly secured to the flange 31 on the mandrel 28 by means of bolts 69. The other end of the shaft 65 has fixed thereon, by suitable means such as a set screw 70, a driven sprocket wheel 71 around which is trained a sprocket chain 72 (see Figure 3). The support 63 includes a mounting plate 73 on which is mounted a fluid motor 74 of known construction, the motor having a shaft 75 mounted there in to be driven in response to the passage of pressure fluid through the motor. The shaft 75 mounts a sprocket pinion 76 around which the chain 72 also'is trained. Fluid inlet and outlet conduits 77 and 78, respectively, are connected to the housing of the fluid motor 74 by .4 a suitable coupling elements 79, the other end of the hoses 77 and 78 being connected to a pressure fluid pump (not shown) of 'known kind. Preferably, the sprocket wheels and chain are covered by a suitable guard member 80 which may be secured to the mounting plate 73 by means of bolts 81. The construction and arrangement of the parts forming the drive mechanism 62 are such that the pumping of pressure fluid through the fluid motor 74 will drive or rotate shaft 75, and the rotation of the shaft 75 will be transmitted to the shaft 65 via the sprockets and chain. Rotation of the shaft 65 will eifect rotation of the mandrel 28 via the gears 67 and 68 and also will effect rotation of the drill pipe 61 connected to the mandrel. A particularly advantageous characteristic of the driving means 62 is that it is mounted on the housing 26 for movement with the latter instead of being located at some remote point such as on the vehicle T.
Means for supporting the spudder 20 and its associated parts for vertical movements comprises a generally U-shaped hanger member 82 having a pair of substantially parallel vertical arms 83 integrally joined to a cross-arm 84. At the free end of each arm 83 is an integra'l collar 85 (see Figures 3 and 5) which is rotatably mounted by means of roller bearing assemblies 86 on one end of a stub shaft 87. The other end of each stub shaft 87 is received in a sleeve 88, and both the shaft and the sleeve are rigidly fixed in a block 89 secured at corresponding ends of the plates 22, 22a by means of bolts 90. Seals 91 may be provided at the ends of the collars 85 to prevent leakage of lubricant from the bearings 86.
An important characteristic of the invention is the pivoted mounting of the hanger member to the housing 21. This permits the spudder to tilt relatively to the hanger about a substantially horizontal axis for a purpose yet to be described. Preferably, the pivotal connection of the hanger and the housing is substantially at the center of mass of the latter so as to enable the spudder to be rocked relatively to the hanger with ease. As is best shown in Figures 3 and 4, limit means comprising a stud 92 is carried by one of the arms 83 and located in the path of rocking movement of the adjacent -block 89 on the housing to prevent rocking of the spudder more than about from the position shown in Figure 3. Alternatively, the stop 92 could be mounted on the housing for engagement with a part of the hanger 82.
The cross bar 84 on the hanger 82 is formed with an eye 94 for reception of the hook 15 of the hoist cable 14. When the cable 14 is connected to the hanger 82, operation of the hoisting drum 16 will selectively effect raising and lowering of the spudder Ztl/betWeen the limits of its vertical movement. To guide the apparatus during its vertical movements and also to counteract torque, cooperable guide means indicated generally by the reference character 95 in Figures 3 and 4 is provided on the mast and the hanger member. The guide means includes a pair of parallel cables 96 each of which has a loop 97 at its upper end for reception of a post 98 anchored to one of the cross bars 9 on the mast 7. The lower end of each cable 96 is wrapped around a bar 99' which may be secured either to the mast 7 or to the vehicle T, the latter construction being shown in Figure 2. In any event, the cables 96 should be so connected at their lower ends that they may be stretched taut and lie in a substantially vertical plane.
The cooperating guide means also includes a guide element 100 on each of the hanger arms 83. Preferably, each guide element 100 comprises a hinge leaf 101 rigidly secured to its associated hanger arm 83 and pivotally secured to a hinge leaf 102 by means of a pivot pin 103. The hinge leaves are so formed that they may be swung from open position to closed position, as shown in Figure 4, and form a cylindrical opening104, between the leaves for reception of a guide cable 96. The bowed hinge leaves may be maintained securely in closed position by means of a pin 105 extending through cooperating loops formed on the respective leaves.
In operation, the mast 7 will be arranged in the manner shown in Figures 1 and 2 so as to enable the spudder 20 to be raised and lowered directly over the place where it is desired to drill a shaft. With apparatus in use heretofore, the spudder had to be raised and a length of drill pipe erected and connected to the spudder before drilling operations could begin. Thereafter, the assembled drill pipe and spudder could be lowered to the point where the bit engaged the ground and boring begun. With apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention, however, the spudder apparatus 20 may be lowered to the chain line showing in Figure 1 and tilted relatively to the hanger member 82 about the axis of the parts 87, whereupon one end of a length of drill pipe lying on the ground may be raised slightly and threaded into the rotatable mandrel 28. This operation easily may be accomplished by one man. Thereafter, the hoist 16 may be operated to elevate the spudder 20, and elevation of the spudder will effect erection of the drill pipe 61. As the spudder is elevated, it will tilt relatively to the hanger member 82 due to the weight of the drill pipe, as is indicated by the full line showing in Figure 1. Thus, when the spudder is raised to a height sufiicient to enable the free end of the pipe 61 to clear the ground, the pipe will hang vertically in readiness for drilling, and drilling operations may be begun by pumping pressure fluid to the motor 74 via the inlet hose 77. The spudder will be guided by the guide means 95 which also counteracts torque.
As a length of drill pipe is rotated by the driving means 62 the bit (not shown) at the end of the first piece of drill pipe will tend to bore deeper into the ground, the hoist drum 61 being operated to gradually lower the spudder and feed the pipe into the earth. When the spudder is in the chain line position shown in Figure 1, that is, at the end of a boring stroke, it may be disconnected from the drill pipe section and connected to another drill pipe in the manner previously described. There preferably will be a short section of the previously fed pipe extending above the ground, as shown at 6112 in Figure 1, to facilitate connection of the next pipe section 61 to the preceding section and, after the connection is made, the drilling operation proceeds as before. In the disclosed embodiment of the invention, drill pipes may be threaded at both ends, both internally and externally to enable either end to be fitted to the mandrel and the other end to be fitted to another pipe length. Other means of connecting the pipes to the mandrel and to each other may be employed, however.
As drilling operations proceed, drilling mud or other fluid may be introduced to the coupling member 54 through a flexible conduit 106 and this fluid will pass through the pipe extension 47 to the mandrel 28 and thence through the lengths of drill pipe 61 to flush cuttings away from the drill bit. Since the flexible tubes 77, 78, and 106 must travel with the spudder, they conveniently may be anchored intermediate their ends at substantially the mid-point of the mast 7 as is indicated in Figure 1. This will permit minimum length hoses to be used and will enable the lower ends of the tubes to be guided downwardly by the mast 7 to the pumps without the possibility of interfering with movements of the spudder.
The disclosed embodiment is representative of a presently preferred form of the invention, but is intended to be illustrative rather than definitive thereof. The invention is defined in the claim.
In well drilling apparatus including a substantially vertical mast member, a support member on which the mast member is supported, hoist means supported by said mast member, and means for operating said hoist means, the combination of a housing; a rotatable mandrel supported in said housing and adapted for removable connection to a length of drill pipe; driving means connected to said mandrel for rotating the latter; a supporting hanger for said housing; means pivotally connecting said supporting hanger to said housing for rocking movement of the latter through substantially about a substantially horizontal axis; means on said supporting hanger for connection to said hoist means to enable the latter to raise and lower said supporting hanger and said housing over substantially the full length of said mast member; a pair of parallel, substantially vertical guide elements located beyond the confines of said mast member and extending substantially the full length of said mast member; means anchoring said guide elements adjacent the upper and lower ends of said mast member; and cooperable guide elements fixedly mounted on said supporting hanger and releasably engaging said guide elements for guiding said supporting hanger and said housing in their movements by said hoist means.
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