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Publication numberUS3001370 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 26, 1961
Filing dateSep 23, 1954
Priority dateSep 23, 1954
Publication numberUS 3001370 A, US 3001370A, US-A-3001370, US3001370 A, US3001370A
InventorsJohn B Templeton
Original AssigneeJohn B Templeton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Marine drilling methods and apparatus
US 3001370 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 26, 1961 J. B. TEMPLETON MARINE DRILLING METHODS AND APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 23, 1954 INVENTOR John 5. Temple for) ATTORNEY Sept. 26, 1961 J. B. TEMPLETON MARINE DRILLING METHODS AND APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 23, 1954 ZNVENTOR John B. Temp/e100 ATTORNEY Sept. 26, 1961 J. B. TEMPLETON 3,001,370

MARINE DRILLING METHODS AND APPARATUS Filed Sept. 23. 1954 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR John B. Temp/era ATTORNEY United States Patent C) 3,001,370 MARINE DRILLING METHODS AND APPARATUS John B. Templeton, 1000 Singleton Blvd., Dallas 1, Tex. Filed Sept. 23, 1954, Ser. No. 457,955 10 Claims. (Cl. 61-465) This invention relates to marine drilling methods and apparatus and more particularly to a method of erecting a marine drilling foundation and to a marine drilling foundation so erected.

One object of the invention is to provide a new and improved method for erecting a marine drilling foundation.

Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved method for erecting a marine drilling foundation, which permits easy Water transportation of the foundation to the chosen location and easy erection of such foundation at said chosen location.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved method for erecting a marine drilling foundation which permits floating the foundation to the chosen location in a compact condition wherein the foundation has a low center of gravity with resultant great stability, which facilitates towing thereof and pre-- vents capsizing of said foundation in the event of storms and during erection.

Yet another object is to provide a new and improved method of erecting a marine drilling foundation which permits easy erection of the foundation at the chosen location from its compact condition into its erected operative condition by simple water flow and pumping operations.

A further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved marine drilling foundation structure which may be floated to the chosen location in its compact condition having a low center of gravity and resultant great stability.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved marine drilling foundation structure of the type described, having a floating barge on which a float chamber and a floorwork structure are mounted for vertical movement to their operative positions by means of air and water flow and pumping apparatus to form a strong and well anchored drilling foundation; and still further, to provide such a drilling foundation structure which may be easily made transportable after use by simple air and water flow and pumping operations, whereby the structure may be re-used at other locations.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the reading of the following description of devices constructed in accordance with the invention and the method of practicing the same and reference to the accompanying drawings thereof, wherein:

FIGURES 1 through 5 are simplified schematic side views of a marine drilling foundation showing the successive steps of erecting the foundation at the chosen location;

FIGURE 6 is a side view of the marine drilling foundation in fully erected condition;

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of a form of securing means employed to attach certain structures to one another, and showing the elements in the position they assume in FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 8 is an end view of the marine drilling foundation shown in FIGURE 6; and

FIGURE 9 is another enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the securing means shown in FIGURE 7, and showing the positions they assume in FIGURE 4.

Referring now particularly to FIGURES 1 to 5 of the drawings, the marine drilling foundation includes a base barge 20 having a plurality of upright columns 21 rigidly ice secured thereto and extending upwardly a substantial distance thereabove, usually approximately twice the depth of the water in which the foundation is to be utilized and at least high enough to permit the working platform 29 to be above the water a suificient distance to be above damage by wave action.

The base barge 20 is of hollow construction and is shown as provided with suitable water expulsion check valves 23 through which water may be expelled, and inlet conduits 24 connected to the columns 21 through which either water may be introduced into the barge to cause it to sink and descend to the bottom or compressed air may be introduced to expel the water through the valves 23 and thus cause the barge to float up again, the columns 21 being tubular and having openings at the lower ends which communicate with the interior of the barge.

-A float chamber 25 is mounted on the base barge and is provided with sleeves 26, which telescope over and slide along the columns 21. The float chamber 25 is, of course, provided with suitable tubular apertures through which the columns extend into the tubular sleeves. The float chamber is provided with a conduit 27 through which either water or compressed air may be introduced into the float chamber, and is also provided with a water expulsion valve 28.

The working platform or deck 29 is preferably a truss framework but may also be of hollow construction so as to be capable of floating in water. The deck 29 is slidably mounted on the tubular sleeves 26, having tubular Wells or apertures 30, FIGURE 7, through which the sleeves extend, and a similar tubular well or aperture through which the conduit 27 slidably passes. K

The method of erection of the marine drilling foundation structure will now be described. The foundation is towed to a chosen location, with the float chamber 25 resting on the base barge 20, and the deck 29 resting on the float chamber in the manner shown in FIGURE 1. It will be apparent that the marine drilling foundation assembly has a low center of gravity and will not be capsized by high waves should a storm arise while the foundation is being towed.

When the foundation has been transported to the chosen location, the base barge 20 is allowed to fill with water which may be pumped in through the conduits 24 and columns 21, or which may enter the barge through a suitable valve or opening (not shown), the barge sinking to the bottom as it fills with water. The float chamber being hollow will not sink, so that the deck and float chamber assume the position shown in FIGURE 2 when the barge rests on the bottom. The columns 21 pass downwardly through the tubular sleeves 26 of the float chamber as the base barge moves downwardly with re spect to the float chamber and deck. The deck framework 29 is then connected to the upper ends of the column 21 by cables or any other suitable means, such as will be hereinafter more fully described, in such a manner that 'said deck framework is suspended or supported by the columns.

The float chamber is next filled with water through the conduit 27, or through a suitable valve or opening (not shown), and it also sinks until it rests on the base barge while the deck 29 remains suspended or supported by the columns 21, as shown in FIGURE 3. While in this position, the deck framework 29 is connected to or supported on the upper ends of the tubular sleeves 26 of the float chamber 25 in any suitable manner, one of which will be hereinafter described.

The Water in the float chamber is then expelled through the water expulsion check valve 28 by the introduction of compressed air through the conduit 27 so that the float chamber rises in the water, thus raising the deck frame- 3 work 29 to the position shown in FIGURE 4. The deck is then secured to the upper ends of the columns 21 and is detached from and no longer supported on the upper ends of the tubular sleeves 26 of the float chamber, which is thus freed to move downwardly leaving the deck secured to said columns.

The float chamber is then again filled with water and sinks to rest on the base barge, leaving the working platform or deck framework secured to the upper ends of the columns 21above the water and out of the reach of waves, as shown in FIGURE 5. The combined weight of the float chamber and the barge filled with water provides a heavy base which holds the drilling foundation firmly in place on the bottom. At the same time, the resistance offered to waves and water currents is minimized, because the deck is above Water surface and the float chamber is below the water surface and the surface action. Also, the portions of the columns 21 which are under water are reinforced by the sleeves 26 disposed therearound.

Furthermore, vertical movements of all elements of the drilling foundation are guided with respect to each other by means of the columns and the sleeves. The float chamber guides and controls the lowering of the base barge, and the sunk base barge then guides and controls movements of the float chamber and the deck as the various steps of the method are carried out.

When it is desired to move the marine drilling foundation to another location, the foregoing sequence of operations is performed in reverse order. The float chamber 25 is raised by expelling the water therefrom until it floats to the position shown in FIGURE 4. The deck is then secured to or supported on the upper ends of the tubular sleeves 26 and detached from the upper ends of the columns 21.

The float chamber is then sunk by filling it with water until it again rests on the base barge. The deck framework is then again suspended by cables or the like from the upper ends of the columns 21 and is disconnected from the sleeves 26, the assemblage being in substantially the positions shown in FIGURE 3. The float chamber is then again floated to the position shown in FIGURE 2 by expelling the water therefrom, wherein said deck framework is permitted to rest on said float chamber and the cables connecting the deck to the columns 21 may be removed.

The base barge is then raised by expelling the water therein through the water expulsion valves 23, air being introduced into the barge by means of the conduits 24 and the columns 21. The barge, when thus floated, supports the float chamber 25 and the deck framework 29 as shown in FIGURE 1, and the foundation structure may be towed to a new location.

It will be seen that a new and improved method of erecting drilling foundations has been set forth, which involves sinking a base barge at the desired location, supporting a deck framework on columns carried by said base barge, sinking a float chamber above the base barge, securing the deck framework to the upper ends of tubular sleeves projecting upwardly from said float chamber, raising the float chamber to raise the deck a desired distance above the surface of the water, securing the deck to the upright columns of the base barge which extend above the water, and then sinking the float chamber to rest on the base barge, leaving the deck secured to the columns above the water. It will also be seen that the foregoing method of erecting a marine drilling foundation involves merely the filling and emptying of the barge and float chamber with water to anchor the foundation on the bottom .and raise the deck to its desired position above the water.

Referring now particularly to FIGURES 6 to 9 of the drawing, the means for selectively securing the deck 29 -to the upper ends of the tubular sleeves 26 and to the upper ends of the co lumns 21 includes a pair of longitudinally aligned single lugs 31 on the upper surface of 4 the deck disposed on diametrically opposed sides of each tubular well 30 of the deck framework and a pair of opposed longitudinally aligned double lugs 32 on the upper surface of the deck disposed on diametrically opposed sides of each well and extending perpendicularly with respect to the single lugs 31.

After the base barge 20 has been sunk and the deck framework 29 is supported on the floating float chamber 25, as shown in FIGURE 2, cables or link rods 41 may be secured at their lower ends to the single lugs 31 on the deck framework, and may be connected at their upper ends to a supporting bracket 42 fixed to the upper end of each of the columns 21 of the base barge, whereby the deck framework may be suspended from the upper ends of the columns while the float chamber is sunk to the position shown in FIGURE 3.

A sliding bracket 33 is slidably disposed on each column 21 above the tubular sleeve through which the column extends, and each bracket has a collar 34 which is adapted to abut and rest on the upper end of the tubular sleeve. A pair of arms 35 and 36 extend outwardly in opposite directions from the collar 34 and are provided with upward extensions 37, when the float chamber 25 has been sunk to the position shown in FIGURE 3, the arms 35 and. 36 are adapted to be disposed between the pairs of double lugs 32, as shown in FIGURES 7 and 9, and secured thereto by pins 38 which extend through registering apertures 39 in the lugs and the arms. The arms 35 and 36 of the bracket may thus be secured to the double lugs 32 on the deck framework, whereby the deck framework is supported on the upper ends of the tubular sleeves of the float chamber when the latter is in the sunk position shown in FIGURE 3 and is about to be floated to raise the deck to the position shown in FIGURE 4. With the lugs 32 so connected to the sliding bracket 33, the cables or link bars 41 may be disconnected and removed.

Should the water in a particular location be too shallow to permit the float chamber 25 to sink to a position such that the upper ends of the sleeves are substantially flush with the upper surface of the deck 20, short lengths of cable or rods may be used to secure the arms 35 and 36 to the double lugs 32 to provide for lifting the deck framework to substantially the position shown in FIG- URE 4. The deck framework may then be again suspended from the upper ends of the columns 21 and the float chamber again sunk until the bracket may be connected tothe deck framework, whereupon the float chamber may be raised to raise the deck framework to the fully raised position in the manner already described.

Supporting brackets 42 on the upper ends of the columns 21 have a pair of opposed lateral bifurcated arms 43 each of which has a slot 44 to receive the upward extension 37 of the arms of the sliding brackets 33. Each of the supporting brackets also has a pair of opposed lateral cable arms 45 to which the upper ends of the cables or link rods 41 are adapted to be secured when it is desired to suspend the deck from the upper ends of the columns. When the deck framework has been raised to the position shown in FIGURE 4, the upward extensions 37 of the brackets 33 are secured between the bifurcated arms 43 of the supporting brackets 42 by pins or bolts 47 which pass through registering apertures 48 and 49 in the arms 43 and the upward extensions 37, respectively, and the sliding sleeve brackets 33 are left secured to the lugs 32 of the deck, whereupon the deck framework is rigidly secured to and supported by the upper ends of the columns 21 of the base barge.

The conduits 24 extend to the upper ends of the columns 21 through suitable apertures in the brackets 42. Each of the columns 21 is provided with a conduit 24 since in some cases the barge is compartmentalized to provide for level sinking and raising of the barge. However, if desired, all the conduits may extend downwardly through a single column 21 and each communicate with a separate compartment, so that each compartment is served by a separate conduit. In this event, each compartment would have a valve 23 for controlling entrance and expulsion of water and air. Similarly, the float chamber may be compartmentalized if desired, for the same reason.

The base barge may also be provided with a plurality of suction breaking flexible hoses 50 which are connected at their ends to manifolds 51 on opposite sides of the base barge and extend transversely across the bottom of said base barge. Water or air is introduced into the flexible hoses through a conductor 52 communicating with one of the manifolds, and the flexing of the hoses assists in freeing the bottom of the base barge from the suction of the mud in which it has been settled, when it is desired to raise the base barge.

The deck and float chamber may be connected by reinforcing cables 55, which serve to strengthen and rigidify the structure. The cables, being flexible, may remain connected during all operations, if desired.

Also, if desired, the deck framework may be provided with a light skin or covering to permit the deck itself to float, which might be desirable for some operations. For example, with the deck framework floatable, the deck would float when the float chamber is sunk in the step shown in FIGURE 3, and it would not be necessary to connect said deck framework to the columns 21 of the base barge. This procedure would, in some instances, be suitable and desirable and possibly expedite erection of the foundation structures.

While the operation of filling the base barge and the float chamber with water has been described as pumping, it is believed obvious that the same result may be obtained by the simple expedient of providing openings at or immediately adjacent the bottoms of the barge and float chamber and using valves in the conduits 24 to control escape of air, so that when the valves are opened water may flow in through the openings without the necessity of pumping. Air pumped into the float chamber and barge would expel the water from within said float chamber and barge out through the openings and the air would be trapped in the float chamber and barge above the openings and would float the same.

It will now be apparent that a new and improved marine drilling foundation structure has been illustrated and described which includes a base barge 20 having upright columns 21, a float having upright sleeves slidable on the columns, a deck framework having tubular apertures through which the sleeves and columns extend and are slidable, and means for selectively connecting or supporting the deck either onto the upper ends of the sleeves or onto the upper ends of the columns. It will also be apparent that the float chamber and barge are provided with means for introducing air or water into their interior whereby they may be sunk and raised as desired.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory only, and changes in the details of the methods described and constructions illustrated may be made by those skilled in the art, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A marine drilling foundation comprising: a floatable and submergible base barge; a plurality of vertical columns carried by said base barge and extending upwardly thereabove; a deck framework disposed above the base barge and having a guide means slidably engageable with said vertical columns of said base barge, whereby said deck framework may move vertically with respect to the base barge between a position adjacent the base barge and a position spaced a substantial distance vertically thereabove; means on said deck framework and the upper ends of said vertical columns for releasably securing said deck framework to said columns adjacent the upper ends thereof; a submergible float chamber disposed between said deck framework and said barge and having vertically upwardly extending sleeves slidably engaging said vertical columns of said barge, said float chamber being movable vertically with respect to said barge between a position adjacent said barge and a position spaced from said barge; means on said deck framework engageable with the upper ends of said sleeves for limiting upward movement of said sleeves relative to said deck framework when said float is in said position adjacent said barge when said barge is submerged; means for selectively admitting water and air into said float chamber; and means for selectively admitting water and air into said base barge whereby said base barge may be lowered to a submerged position in a body of water independently of said float chamber, and said float chamber may be permitted to float on the surface of the water and support the deck framework, said float chamber being submergible and floatable independently of said base barge whereby said float chamber may be first sunk then floated to elevate said deck framework to a position adjacent the upper ends of said ertical columns of said base barge, said connecting means on said columns and said deck framework then being connectible to secure said deck framework in said elevated position adjacent the upper ends of said columns.

2. A marine drilling foundation of the character set forth in claim 1 including: flexible connecting means between said deck framework and said float chamber, said flexible means providing sway braces for said columns and said elevated deck framework when said deck framework is connected in elevated position adjacent the upper ends of said columns and said float chamber is in a submerged position resting on the upper surface of said base barge.

3. A marine drilling foundation comprising: a floatable submergible base barge; a plurality of vertical columns carried by said base barge; a float chamber mounted above and disposed to be supported on said barge for vertical movement with respect to said barge; a plurality of elongated upwardly extending sleeves, means on said float chamber telescoping over said barge columns for guiding vertical movement of said float chamber with respect to said barge; means for admitting water and air selectivity into said barge for selectively submerging and floating the same; a deck framework disposed above and movable vertically with respect to said base barge and said float chamber; said deck framework having means engageable with said vertical columns of said barge and said sleeve means on said float chamber for guiding vertical movement of said deck member with respect to said base barge and said float chamber; said float chamber being disposed above and initially supported on said barge and said deck framework being initially supported on said float chamber; means for selectively securing said deck to said sleeve means of said float chamber when said barge is submerged and said fioat chamber is adjacent said barge and to said columns above said float chamber; and means for selectively admitting airand water into said float chamber for selectively floating and submerging said float chamber after said base barge has been submerged, whereby said float chamber may be used to raise and lower said deck framework when said deck frame work is connected to said sleeve means on said float chamber.

4. A method of erecting drilling foundations having a sinkable barge having upright support columns, a sinkable float chamber mounted on said barge for limited vertical movement thereabove and having upright support 'members, and a deck structure mounted for vertical movement with respect to said float chamber comprising: floating the foundation to a chosen location; sinking the barge at the location; securing the deck to the support columns of the barge; sinking the float chamber by admitting water thereto; securing the deck to the upright support members of the float chamber; releasing said deck structure from the support columns of the base barge; raising the deck above the surface of the water 7 by raising the float chamber by expelling water from the float chamber; securing the deck to upper ends of the support columns of the sunken barge above the surface of the water; and sinking the float chamber onto the sunken barge.

5. A method of erecting drilling foundations having a sinkable base barge provided with upright columns, a float chamber disposed above the barge and having tubular sleeves slidable on said columns, and a deck structure disposed above and movable vertically with respect to said float, said method including: floating the foundation to a chosen location, sinking the barge by admitting Water thereto; said float chamber remaining afloat and supporting said deck during the sinking of the barge; securing the deck to the columns of the base barge; sinking the float chamber by admitting Water thereinto, said deck being supported by the columns of the base barge during the sinking of the float chamber; securing the deck to the upper ends of said sleeves; releasing said deck from the columns of the base barge; raising the float chamber by expelling the water therefrom to raise the deck above the water; securing the deck to the upper ends of said columns above the water; detaching the deck from said sleeves; and sinking the float chamber onto said barge by admitting water thereinto.

6. A method of erecting drilling foundations having a sinkable base barge provided with upright columns, a float chamber disposed above the barge and having tubu lar sleeves slidable on said columns, and a floatable deck structure disposed above and mounted for vertical movement with respect to said float, said method including: floating the foundation to a chosen location, sinking the barge by admitting Water thereto; said float chamber remaining afloat and supporting said deck during the sinking of the barge; sinking the float chamber by admitting water thereinto, said deck remaining afloat during the sinking of the float chamber; securing the floating deck to the upper ends of said sleeves; raising the float chamber by expelling the water therefrom to raise the deck above the water; securing the deck to said columns above the water; detaching the deck from said sleeves; and sinking the float chamber onto said barge by admitting- Water thereinto.

7. A marine drilling foundation of the character set forth in claim 3, wherein flexible means is provided on the bottom of the barge adapted to be flexed to aid in freeing the barge bottom from mud and the like, said flexible means comprising a plurality of spaced substanstantially parallel flexible members extending transversely of the bottom of the barge and communicating at their opposite ends with a fluid flow directing manifold; and means for introducing a fluid into said manifold and from said manifold into said flexible members to cause the same to flex.

8. A method of erecting drilling foundations having a sinkable base barge provided with upright columns, a float chamber disposed above the barge and having tubular sleeves slidable on said columns, and a floatable deck structure disposed above and mounted for vertical movement with respect to said float, said method including: floating the foundation to a chosen location, sinking the barge by admitting water thereto; said float chamber remaining afloat and supporting said deck during the sink-. ing of the barge; sinking the float chamber by admitting Water thereinto; maintaining said deck positioned substantially at the level of the surface of the water; during the sinking of the float chamber; securing the deck to the upper ends of said sleeves; raising the float chamber by expelling the water therefrom to raise the deck above the water; securing the deck to said columns above the water; detaching the deck from said sleeves; and sinking the float chamber onto said barge by admitting water thereinto.

9. The method of erecting over a body of water, a marine platform assembly having at least one buoyant support member provided with columns adjustably seured to and supporting a work platform, and at least one buoyant float member having columnar supports capable of being adjustably secured to said platform, said method comprising floating the assembly to a desired site, releasing said support member columns from their securement to the platform, sinking said support member to the bottom of the Water while maintaining the float and platform on the surface of the water, securing said support member columns to the platform and releasing said float columnar supports from their securement to the platform, sinking said float a desired amount by admitting water thereto, securing the platform to the float columnar supports, releasing the support member colums from the platform and raising the float member by expelling the water therefrom, thereby also raising the platform.

10. The method of erecting over a body of Water, a marine platform assembly having at least one support member provided with columns adjustably secured to and supporting a work platform, and at least one buoyant float member having columnar supports capable of being adjustably secured to said platform, said method com prising, floating the assembly to a desired site, releasing said support member columns from their securement to the platform, sinking said support member to the bottom of the water while maintaining the float and platform at the surface of the water, releasing said float columnar supports from their securement to the platform, sinking said float a desired amount by admitting water thereto, securing the platform to the float columnar supports, and raising the float member by expelling the water therefrom, thereby also raising the platform.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,217,879 Willey Oct. 15, 1940 2,237,387 Crites et al. Apr. 8, 1941 2,248,051 Armstrong July 8, 1941 2,430,014 Hansen Nov. 4, 1947 2,603,068 Wilson July 15, 1952 2,608,829 Knapp Sept. 2, 1952 2,657,540 Templeton Nov. 3, 1953 2,692,169 Phillips Oct. 19, 1954 2,771,747 Rechtin Nov. 27, 1956

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Classifications
U.S. Classification405/200, 114/265
International ClassificationE02B17/02
Cooperative ClassificationE02B17/08, E02B2017/0056, E02B17/021, E02B2017/0047, E02B2017/0086
European ClassificationE02B17/02B, E02B17/08