US 3039530 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 19, 1962 E. L. CONDRA COMBINATION SCRAPER AND TUBE REFORMING DEVICE AND METHOD OF USING SAME Filed Aug. 26, 1959 IN VEN TOR.
United States atent 3,039,530 COMBINATION SCRAPER AND TUBE REFORM- ING DEVICE AND METHOD OF USING SAME Elmo L. Condra, 1067 Orizaba Ave., Long Beach, Calif. Filed Aug. 26, 1959, Ser. No. 836,138 7 Claims. (Cl. 166-55) The present invention relates generally to the oil industry, and more particularly to an apparatus and method of using same in a single operation to remove foreign material adhering to the interior surface of a downwardly extending tubular member, and to reform any existing inwardly deformed portions thereof to their initial configuration.
In the production of oil from wells in many fields, it is common for the interior of tubular members in the well through which the oil flows to develop a coating of a heavy deposit of solid foreign material. Also, due to various causes, portions of these tubular members become deformed inwardly. Both the deposit of foreign material on the interior surfaces of such tubular members, as well as inward deformation of portions thereof impede the upward flow of fiuid therethrough, which of course, is detrimental to the efiicient operation of the well.
The primary purpose in devising the present invention is to provide an apparatus as well as a method whereby it can be used advantageously and permit the rapid and efiicient removal of foreign material from such tubular members while they remain in place in a well, and concurrently with such removal of foreign material, force any inwardly deformed portions of the tubular member outwardly to the extent that they assume their initial cylindrical configuration.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for removing such foreign material of the type described and reform the deformed portions of such tubular members that is extremely simple structurally, can be fabricated from standard commercially available materials, is strong and durable, requires a minimum of maintenance attention, and can be sold or leased at a sufficiently low cost as to encourage widespread use thereof.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred form thereof, and from the accompanying drawing illustrating same in which:
FIGURE 1 is a combined side elevational and longitudinal cross-sectional View of the invention as it is being lowered into a tubular member from which it is desired to remove foreign material deposited on the interior surface thereof as well as to reform inwardly deformed portions thereof to their initial cylindrical configuration;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged longitudinal cross-sectional view of the invention; and,
FIGURE 3 is a transverse cross-sectional view of'the invention taken on line 33 of FIGURE 1.
Referring now to the drawing for the general arrangement of the invention, which is generally referred to by the letter A, it will be seen that it depends from the lower end of a tubing string B, with the invention and tubing string being vertically movable within the confines of a tubular member C which may be tubing, casing, or the like. During use a coating of foreign material D forms on the interior surface of tubular member C, and in addition, portions C of member C oftentimes become deformed or indented inwardly as shown in FIGURE 1.
As may be seen in FIGURE 2, the invention A includes an elongate n'gid tubular body or barrel of substantially lesser transverse cross-sectional area than the interior cross section of tubular member C. The lower end 12 of body 10 tapers downwardly and inwardly to define a port 14 in the lower extremity thereof. A number of additional circumferentially spaced ports 16 are preferably formed in end 12, as shown in FIGURES l, 2 and 3. The upper end of body 10 is of reduced transverse cross section and preferably defined by a ring-shaped portion 18 from which a threaded nipple or boss 20 extends upwardly. Nipple 20 is threadedly engaged by a tapped collar 22, which collar in turn is threadedly engaged by the lower threaded end 24 of tubing string B.
Two or more circumferentially spaced ribs 26 project from the exterior surface of body 10. Ribs 26 (FIGURE 1) are of helical configuration, and preferably originate on the lower end 12 of the body, extending upwardly a substantial distance. Ribs 26 are of angular transverse cross section, preferably rectangular, in order that a cutting edge 26a will be defined along the length thereof. It will be apparent that ribs 26 can be either welded onto the exterior surface of body 10 or be formed as an integral part thereof.
Each of the ribs 26 has a pair of lugs 32 and 34 projecting in opposite directions from the upper end thereof, and partially encircling body 10. Lugs 32 and 34 terminate prior to reaching the ribs 26 adjoining the rib from which they originate. The pairs of lugs 32 and 34 are preferably staggered downwardly from one another on body 10 (FIGURE 1). Also in FIGURE 1 it will be seen that lugs 32 and 34 are sufficiently long that while staggered, they completely encircle body 10. The exterior longitudinal surfaces of ribs 26 and lugs 32 and 34 lie in the same plane, and are adapted to slidably contact the interior surface of tubular member C from which foreign material D is to be removed.
The method of removing foreign material from the interior surface of tubular member C and reforming inwardly deformed portions C thereof to their initial cylindrical configuration is extremely simple. The internal transverse cross section of the tubular member C from which foreign material D is to be removed is first deter-. mined, and an invention A is selected having a transverse cross section to just permit it to be slidably and rotatably movable in this tubular member. The invention A so selected is then mounted on the lower end of a tubing string B as shown in the drawing. By means (not shown) tubing string B is lowered at a desired rate into the tubular member C. Tubing string B, also by means not shown, is connected to a. source of liquid under pressure that is preferably water, although oil could be used, and the liquid is circulated downwardly through the tubing string and interior of body 10 to discharge through the ports 14 and 16.
After a column of liquid is built up inside tubular member C to the elevation at which the lower end 12 of the invention is disposed therein, the direction of liquid as it discharges from ports 14 and 16 is reversed whereby the liquid then flows upwardly through the fluid passages 30. After discharging from passages 30 the liquid flows upwardly in the annulus-shaped space 36 defined by the interior surface of tubular member C and external surface of tubing string B to the ground surface. I
During such liquid discharge, tubing string B and body 10 are concurrently lowered inside tubular member C, and as a result thereof the edges 26a of ribs 26 are brought into engagement with the foreign material D to cut, shear or otherwise dislodge it from the interior surface of the tubular member. As the foreign material is removed from the interior surface of tubular member C it is caught by the stream of liquid and carried upwardly to the ground surface thereby as it moves through the passages 30. When the liquid carrying the severed foreign material D reaches the ground surface it may be either disposed of as waste material, or the liquid and material separated by means not shown, with the separated liquid then being recycled down through the tubing string B.
A particularly important feature of the present inven- 3 tion is that it does not need to be rotated as it is lowered into tubular member C to remove foreign material therefrom. As a result, present-day conventional tubing raising and lowering equipment may be used in conjunction with the present invention without alteration thereto. If it were necessary that such raising and lowering equipment rotate the tubing string B, it would have to be altered, which would not only be expensive, but would limit the lowering of tubing string B to equipment which was so altered.
Due to non-rotation of the invention, foreign material D may be severed in strips from the interior surface of tubular member C and move upwardly relative to the invention in this form.
It will be particularly noted that each two adjoining ribs 26 cooperate with the interior surface of the tubular member C to define a first upwardly extending passage 27 through which liquid discharged from ports 14 and 16 can flow upwardly, together with foreign material scraped from the walls of the tubular member.
Each of the lugs 32 cooperates with one of the lugs 34 and the interior surface of tubular member C to define a second passage 33 that is in communication with one of the passages 27. Each second passage 33 permits liquid and scraped foreign material from one of the first passages 27 to continue moving upwardly relative to the body 10, and ultimately reach a position adjacent the upper end of tubing string B.
The lugs 32 and 34 also serve to break up such strips of foreign material into chunks as the strips are forced into pressure contact therewith. These broken chunks are then carried to the ground surface by the upwardly moving stream of liquid after they move from one of the second passages 33,
Inasmuch as lugs 32 and 34 are normally disposed relative to the longitudinal axis of body 10, they come into pressure contact with the inwardly deformed portions C to exert both outwardly and downwardly directed forces thereon sufficient to reform these deformed portions to their initial cylindrical configuration. Staggering of the pairs of lugs 32 and 34 has been found to be particularly desirable as it permits a gradually increasing force to reform the portions C. After the invention A has traversed the length of tubular member C as above described, the direction of movement of the invention and the tubing string B is reversed to draw same upwardly to the ground surface through the scraped and reformed tubular member. The term .tubular member B when used herein shall be construed to include either a single length thereof, or a number of lengths coupled together end-to-end as is common practice in working present-day oil or water wells.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore the in vention is not limited by that which is shown in the drawing and described in the specification, but only as defined in the appended claims.
1. A device capable of being mounted on the lower end of a tubing string and when so mounted is adapted to be used'in removing foreign material adhering to the interior surface of a tubular member, portions of which member may have been deformed inwardly, and sequentially forming the interior surface of said tubular member to conform to the initial configuration thereof without rotation of said device or tubing string, comprising: a rigid cylindrical body having a downwardly and inwardly tapering lower end, with at least one port formed in said lower end; first means on the upper end of said body for supporting said body from the lower end of said tubing string, said means also serving to efiect communication between the interior of said body and said string; second means rigidly affixed to the outside of said body for scraping said foreign material from the interior surface of said tubular member as said body and tubing string are lowered therein, said second means together with the interior surface of said tubular member also serving to cooperatively define at least one upwardly extending first passage through which a liquid discharged downwardly through said string, body and port can flow upwardly therethrough to carry said foreign material therewith; and third means rigidly afiixed to the outside of said body and extending circumferentially thereabout for pressure contacting said deformed interior surface portions of said tubular member as said body and tubing string are lowered therethrough to force same outwardly until the interior surface thereof conforms to its initial configuration, with said third means cooperating with said interior surface of said tubular member to define a second passage in communication with said first passage through which said liquid and scraped material can flow upwardly to the upper end of said tubing string.
2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said third means are so positioned relative to said second means that said deformed portions are forced outwardly after said foreign material has been removed therefrom.
3. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said second means are a plurality of helical outwardly projecting circumferentially spaced ribs, with at least two of said ribs cooperating with the exterior surface portion of said body situated therebetween and the interior surface of said tubular body to define said upwardly extending passage which is of curved configuration.
4. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said third means are a plurality of curved lugs, with each of said lugs partially encircling said body and at least a first one of said lugs is longitudinally spaced from a second one thereof.
5. A device as defined in claim 3 wherein at least a portion of said ribs extend upwardly on the exterior surface of said body from the lower end thereof.
6. A device as defined in claim 4 wherein each of said lugs has one of the ends thereof in abutting contact with one of said ribs.
7. A deviceas defined in claim 6 wherein said lugs are situated adjacent the upper ends of said ribs.
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