Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3155177 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 3, 1964
Filing dateDec 23, 1959
Priority dateDec 23, 1959
Publication numberUS 3155177 A, US 3155177A, US-A-3155177, US3155177 A, US3155177A
InventorsBilly Fly Anderson
Original AssigneeHydro Jet Services Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hydraulic jet well under-reaming process
US 3155177 A
Images(15)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY 3,155,177

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS Filed Dec. 23, 1959 15 Sheets-Sheet 1 N/l l// a i q INVENTOR.

= :l ANDERSON BILLY FL? I 3 I I?! ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY 3,

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS Filed Dec. 23, 1959 15 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIGJI Q INVENTOR.

1 a ANDERSON B/LLYFLY i 1 BY ATTOR N EY Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY 3,155, 7

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS Filed Dec. 23, 1959 15 Sheets-Sheet 3 i FIG.I|I

Q i 30 I I 2 I 3s- 5 26 i 3 2 GEAR 34 1 =1 TRA N v M 33 V 5&

; I INVENTOR. I l ANDERSON BILLY FL) ATTORNEY 15 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. I

INVENTOR. ANDERSON BILLY FLY A. B. FLY

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS Nov. 3, 1964 Filed Dec.

ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY 3,

I HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS Filed Dec. 25, 1959 15 Sheets-Sheet 6 2 q Q near ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 FLY HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS 15 Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed DeC. 23, 1959 INVENTOR. ANDERSON BILLY FLY ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY 55, 77

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDERREAMING PROCESS Filed Dec. 23, 1959 15 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTOR. ANDERSON BILLY FLY ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS 15 Sheets-Sheet 9 Filed Dec. 23, 1959 MINIMUM DESFEPfkQ'Di-EY INVENTOR. ANDERSON BILLY FL)" ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS 15 sn'eet sheet 1 0 Filed Dec. 23, 1959 INVENTOR. ANDERSON BILLY FLY ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 A. BLFLY HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS 15 Sheets-Sheet 11 Filed Dec.

JNVENTOR. ANDERSON BILLY FL) IL llllllllllulllllllllll ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 FLY HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS 15 Sheets-Sheet 12 Filed Dec. 23, 1959 INVENTOR. ANDERSON B/LL Y Fl. Y

% ATTORN EY Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS 15 Sheets-Sheet 14 Filed Dec.

INVENTOR. ANDERSON BILLY FLY ATTORNEY Nov. 3, 1964 A. B. FLY 3,155,177

HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER-REAMING PROCESS Filed Dec. 23, 1959 15 Sheets-Sheet 15 FIG. XI

s? 1. 3 1 v L. d u

INVENTOR. ANDERSON BILLY FLY ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,155,177 HYDRAULIC JET WELL UNDER'IREANMG PRGQESS Anderson Billy Fly, Amarillo, Tern, assignor to Iglydro- .l'et Services, Inc, Anrariiio, Tern, a corporation of Texas Filed Dec. 23, 195?, Ser. No. 861,557 8 Claims. (61. 175-67) This invention relates to under-reaming process and more particularly to a process for hydraulically underreaming the sidewalls of a well or bore.

Since the under-reaming of a well or bore is desirable to increase the fluid production of the well or bore, to controllably cut out and remove to the surface material in a desired formation and to construct stable cavities, voids, or tunnels of a desired size, shape, and depth in the sidewalls of a well or bore, it is necessary to construct a machine that can be conveniently lowered down the well or bore in order to cut, Wash, fracture, or otherwise controllably and reliably remove materials from and in the vicinity of the walls of the well or bore and return these materials to the surface.

It is, therefore, an object of my invention to provide a process for under-reaming a well.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a process for cutting, washing, fracturing, or otherwise removing materials from and in the vicinity of the sidewalls of a well or bore and to remove the cuttings and fluids from the well or bore as fast as they accumulate.

Further objects of the present invention are to provide a process to operate at any desired depth; to controllably cut at high rates into the sidewalls of the well or bore in a desired and controlled direction; to pump large quantities of fluids and cutt ngs to the surface without material damage to the pumping device; to conveniently drill the well or bore deeper and to agitate the cuttings that collect in the bottom of the well or bore to permit their removal to the surface by the pumping device.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a method capable of constructing subsurface tunnels. Subsurface tunnels are desirable to transport fluids through impervious formations, to collect fluids from great distances in pervious formations and to serve as subsurface roadways or conduits. The process is used to cut lateral tunnels into the sidewalls of a well or bore at the desired depth and direction to the maximum lateral range of the sidewall cutting device. Another well or bore is constructed at a distance twice the maximum lateral range and directly in line with the lateral tunnel previously constructed. By orienting the sidewall cutting device in depth and azimuth, the lateral tunnels cut into the sidewalls of the second well or bore are made to join the original tunnel. By use of successive wells or bores a continuous tunnel of desired length, direction and depth can be constructed.

Other objects, purposes and characteristic features of the present invention will be in part obvious from the accompanying drawings and in part pointed out as the description of the invention progresses.

In describing the invention in detail, reference will be made to the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, in which:

FIGURE I is a side view-broken away in part-of the hydraulic fluid supply line swivel and the hydraulic jet pump discharge line swivel.

FIGURE II is a side view broken away in part to show a cross section of the kelly and drive bushing assembly.

FIGURE III is a side View broken away in part to show a cross section of the hydraulic sidewall cutting device and motor valve assembly.

3,155,177 Patented Nov. 3, 1964 ice FIGURE IV is a side view broken away in part to show a cross section of the venturi section of the hydraulic jet pumping device located immediately below the section shown in FIGURE III.

FIGURE V is a side view broken away in part to show a cross section of the lower portion of the hydraulic jet pumping device and the hydraulic drilling device motor-valve assembly.

FIGURE V1 is a side view broken away in part to show a cross section of the hydraulic drilling device employing drilling jets.

FIGURE VII is a diagrammatic illustration of the electrical system controlling the hydraulic sidewall cutting jet motor-valve and the hydraulic drilling jet motorvalve assemblies.

FIGURE VIII is a diagrammatical illustration of the cutting rate control system.

FIGURE IX is a diagrammatical illustration of the fluid level control system.

FIGURE X is a diagrammatical illustration of the jet pump cavitation control system.

FIGURE X1 is a diagrammatical illustration showing the flow of fluid in operation of the integrated machine and process of my invention.

FIGURE XIII is a diagrammatical illustration showing the flow of fluid in operation of the integrated machine employing petroleum gases as hydraulic fluid.

FIGURE XIII is a side view broken away in part of the hydraulic drilling device of this invention which employs a hydraulic motor to drive a conventional roller bit.

FIGURE XIV is a diagrammatical illustration of the continuous tunneling method.

FIGURE XV is a diagrammatic representation of factors involved in well production.

For the purpose of simplifying the illustrations and facilitating in the explanation, the various parts constituting the embodiments of the invention have been shown diagrammatically or in their more simple form, and in some cases conventional illustrations have been employed rather than showing all of the details of a structure which actually would be employed in practice, the drawings having been made more with the purpose in mind of making it easy to understand the purposes and modes of operation of the invention than with the idea of illustrating the specific structure and design of parts known to those skilled in the art in which the parts would be employed in practice.

Referring to FIGURES I, II, III, IV, V, and VI of the drawings, it will be noted that these figures are arranged in sequence as the parts of the assembled machine would be arranged extending from above the surface down into the well or bore.

Generally speaking, and Without limitations of the scope of the invention, one embodiment of the apparatus provides in an operative connection, a hydraulically powered cutting device, a hydraulically powered pumping device, and a hydraulically powered drilling device, all combined into one integrated machine. The hydraulically powered cutting device comprises a plurality of horizontally mounted sidewall cutting jets which are adapted to be moved up or down vertically, and be controllably rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise in azimuth while performing the cutting operation. Associated with this hydraulically powered cutting device is a hydraulic fluid supply line leading from a high pressure surface pump down the well or bore to the cutting device. The supply line, together with the cutting device, can be raised or lowered in the well or bore with surface hoisting equipment. The supply line is equipped with a swivel located above the surface to permit rotation of the cutting device. An electrically powered motor-valve assembly is used in com- 3 bination with this cutting device to provide surface control of the sidewall cutting operation. The electrical motor-valve assembly thereby can be operated from the surface to start or stop the cutting operation as desired.

Thehydraulic fluid supply line in this apparatus also powers a hydraulic jet pumping device located below the hydraulically powered cutting device and attached thereto. The hydraulic jet pumping device comprises essentially of the operative series connection, a hydraulic fluid supply line, a-pump jet, a high velocity venturi, jet pump suction line, jet pump housing, jet pump discharge line leading to the surface, and a jet pump discharge line swivel located above the surface of the ground. The hydraulic jet pumping device removes the fluids and cuttings from the well or bore as fast as these materials accumulate and is con trolled to maintain thefluid level in the well or bore below horizontally mounted sidewall cutting jets in order to permit optimum cutting rate and cutting distance into the material of walls of the well. or bore and in the vicinity thereof. The pumping rate or discharge rate of the hydraulic jet pumping. device is controlled by varying the pressure of the hydraulic fluid supplied to the pump jet. The pumping rate is maintained sufliciently high to keep the fluid level in the well or. bore below the hydraulic cutting device and, to maintain a suflicient fluid velocity assending through the jet pump discharge line to transport cuttings therein to the surface.

The hydraulic fluid supply line also powers the hydraulic drilling device which is located below the hydraulic jet pumping device and is attached to the lower end of the jet pump housing. The hydraulic drilling device comprises in operative connection, the hydraulic fluid supply line, an electrically powered motor-valve assembly to control the drilling operation, two drilling jets arranged to discharge in a downward direction, and the drilling device housing. The drilling device housing is perioratcd-toallow entrance of fluids and cuttings to the jet pump suction line. The two drilling jets operate to drill the well orbore deeper asdesired, and to agitate the cuttings that collect in the bottom of the well or bore. The drilling device electrical motor-valve assembly is operated from the surface to start or stop the drilling operation as desired. The drilling operation and the sidewall cutting-operation both can be started and stopped independently. This arrangement permits four modes of operation; the-jet pump can be operated alone to measure the fluid yields ofa formation; the jet pump and drilling jets can be used incombination ;to drill and-pump simultaneously; the jet pump andsidewall jets can be used in combination. for under-reaming; the jet pump, drilling jets, and sidewall jets can be used for pumping, drilling, and underreaming simultaneously.

The hydraulic fluidsupply line passes through the vertical center line of the jet pump discharge line swivel and down the center of the jet pump discharge line to supply the various units heretofore mentioned. Since both of these lines are equipped with swivels that have a common vertical center line, the entire assembly can be rotated by applying torque to the uppermost section of the jet pump discharge line. This section of the jet pump discharge line is called the kelly and is equipped with four vertical tracks recessed into the walls of the pipe. A square drive bushing rides up or down on these four tracks. Torque applied to the drive bushing by a conventional rotary table provides rotational movement of the lower portion of the assembly. This arrangement provides that the sidewall cutting jets and the drilling jets may be conveniently raised or lowered the length of the vertical tracks and maybe rotated simultaneously.

The hydraulic fluid supply line tube is insulated elec-' trically from the jet pump discharge line swivel, from the jet pumpdischarge line tube, and from the sidewall cutting-jet assembly. That tube serves as one conductor for anelectrical system supplying the sidewall cutting jet motor-valve assembly and the drilling jet motor-valve assembly. This arrangement permits operation of these electrical motor-valve assemblies without the obvious disadvantage of handling an additional electrical conduit.

Selective operation of the motor-valve assemblies with a 5 two conductor electrical system is provided by reversing polarity of an ungrounded direct current power supply and placing rectifiers in series with the D.C. motor windmgs.

The rate of removal of material from and in the vicinity or" the walls of the well or bore is known as the cutting rate thereof. Cutting rates of the various formations by the abovementioned hydraulic cutting device will vary widely; removal of such formation by the action of the cutting device accordingly may exceed the solids capacity of the jet pumping device; thus it is-necessary to determine the cutting rate of such formation by the device above referred to and provide a control system to maintain the maximum cutting rate of such formation within allowable limits. The gross suspended weight of the machine when operating is the sum of the dry weight of the machine suspended, the weight of the fluid required to fill the hydraulic fluid supply line and the jet pump discharge line, the net downward reaction thrust of the pump jet stream, and the fluid weight of cuttings suspended in the jet pump discharge line at any given time, less the upward reaction thrust of the drilling jets if they are being operated. The upward thrust of the fluid moving upward in the discharge line towards the discharge swivel is, for practical purposes, negligible. Since the reaction thrust of the jets is essentially a function of their size and the hydraulic fluid pressure applied, the only unknown factor comprising the gross suspended weight is the fluid weight of the suspended cuttings in the jet pump discharge line. Thus, the cutting rate is determined by subtracting all known or calcuable factors from the gross weight. This information is used to control the operation of the sidewall cutting jets by moving the motor-valve of the motorvalve assembly towards the OFF or closed position when the cutting rate becomes excessive, and to return the motor-valve of the motor-valve assembly towards the ON or full open position when the Weight of the suspended solids in the jet pump discharge line drops back within the predetermined allowable limits.

The fluid level in the well or bore must be maintained below the sidewall cutting jets and above the jet pump suction openings for optimum operation. The fluid level in the well is measured by an electrical bridge network, one leg of which is located on the jet pump housing below the sidewall jets and above the jet pump suction openings. This measurement is used to control the throttle setting ofthe engine powering the high pressure hydraulic fluid supply pump; By thus controlling the discharge pressure of the hydraulic fluid supply pump, supplying fluid to the swivel, the pumping rate of the jet pumping device is also regulated to maintain the desired fluid-level in the well or bore.

Since the hydraulic jet pumping device is subject to cavitation at the extreme venturi velocities that are needed for-maximum pumping depths, it is necessary to measure the absolute pressure in the venturi throat and to provide a control'system to maintain this pressure within allowable operable limits. If the absolute pressure in the venturi throat drops below the vapor pressure of the hydraulic fluid being used, cavitation will occur. Thus,

it is necessary to consider the type and temperature of in this area otherwise drops, will increase the maximum allowable velocity through the venturi.

Fluid and cuttings being pumped from the well or bore from the jet pump discharge line by the jet pumping device are discharged into surface reservoirs where the cuttings are separated out from the fluid and the fluids are returned to and reused by the high pressure hydraulic fluid supply pump. If the well or bore is producing fluid, the excess fluid is discharged over the side of the surface reservoirs and is wasted or otherwise disposed of. This arrangement permits the use of the machine in underreaming both fluid producing and non-fluid producing formations.

Hydraulic fluids of various types may be used with the present invention. Water will be used in most instances on water producing or non-fluid producing formations. Warm water or warm diesel fuel is contemplated for use in under-reaming glacier ice or permafrost formations to prevent the cuttings from congealing during the pumping operation or in the surface reservoirs. Dilute acid or alkaline fluids will be used to aid the under-reaming operation in limestone or sticky shale formations. By pressurizing the surface reservoirs, the hydraulic fluid pressure pump liquor supply, jet pump discharge line, and the annular space between the jet pump discharge line and the well casing as below described in detail, liquified petroleum gases such as propane or butane may be used to aid in under-reaming tar sand formations.

In another form of the present invention, the same hydraulically powered sidewall cutting device and hydraulically powered jet pumping device are used as above described; but the hydraulically powered drilling device is modified to provide for attachment of a drilling device including a conventional roller bit to provide a machine to drill through the harder formations, to drill at large angular deviations from the vertical, and to provide independent rotation of the drilling device from a nonrotating support and position. In this aspect of my invention, the hydraulic drilling device comprises a hydraulic fluid supply line, the electrically powered motor-valve assembly to control the drilling operations, a hydraulic motor which applies rotational torque to a conventional roller bit, a roller bit hydraulic fluid supply line which conducts the waste fluid from the hydraulic motor to the discharge nozzles of the roller bit. Entrance of the cuttings from the well or bore to the jet pump suction is provided by permitting the cuttings to pass through an annular space provided between the roller bit hydraulic fluid supply line and the output shaft of the hydraulic motor. The gross suspended weight of the machine or any portion thereof can be applied to the roller bit to facilitate optimum drilling rates.

In drilling wells or bores at large angular deviations from the vertical, the drilling assembly housing and the jet pump housing serve as a pilot to support the vertical component of the gross weight of the machine. The hydraulic sidewall cutting device and the hydraulic jet pumping device are generally not rotated when drilling at large angular deviations. The reaction thrust of the pump et comprises a large percent of the gross weight of the machine and is always applied along the center line of the machine regardless of its alignment with the true vertical. Thus, considerable weight can be applied to the roller bit in drilling wells or bores at large angular deviations. The hydraulic sidewall cutting device can be used to under-ream the sidewalls of a well or bore that has been drilled at the desired angular deviation and these lateral cuts may be made in the horizontal plane or in a desired plane other than horizontal by orienting the hydraulic sidewall cutting device in azimuth.

Referring to FIGURE I of the drawings, the hydraulic fluid supply line swivel 1 connects to a conventional high pressure flexible hose, not shown, which allows the entire machine to be raised or lowered, and is equipped with a swivel bearing assembly 3 that permits rotation of the hydraulic fluid supply line 2 while the swivel may remain in a fixed position. High pressure seals as at 4 are provided to prevent leakage of the hydraulic fluids from the supply line swivel 1. The hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 is shown passing down the center of the jet pump discharge line swivel 5. The jet pump discharge line swivel 5 is supported, and raised or lowered by a conventional hoisting unit through a cable and hook attached to the conventional swivel bail It? (FIGURE VIII). The jet pump discharge line swivel 5 in turn supports the gross suspended weight of the entire machine and is equipped with a swivel bearing assembly 11 which permits rotation of the jet pump discharge line 13 relative thereto. High pressure seals 12 are provided to prevent leakage of cuttings and fluids into and through the swivel bearing assembly 11. The packing gland assembly 7 is equipped with a bearing assembly 6 to permit rotation of the hydraulic fluid supply line 2 in relation to the jet pump discharge line swivel 5. High pressure electrically insulating seals 9 are provided to prevent leakage of cuttings and fluids through the packing gland '7. The packing gland 7 is lined with a non-conducting plastic sleeve 8 in order to electrically insulate the hydraulic fluid supply line 2 from the jet pump discharge line swivel 5. The metallic hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2, made of conventional oil well tubing steel (4 inch inside diameter, 4 /2 inch outside diameter, API pipe grade I is the preferred embodiment below described in detail), serves as one conductor and the metallic jet pump discharge line tube 13 made of conventional tubing steel (mild steel, water well turbine pump column pipe, inside diameter 10 inches, outside diameter 10% inches is the preferred embodiment below described in detail) as the other conductor in the electrical system supplying the various control systems herein described.

Referring to FIGURE 11, it will be seen that a threaded coupling 14 is provided for attaching the kelly 15 to the section of the jet pump discharge line tube 13 extending downward from the jet pump discharge line swivel 5.

In a similar manner threaded couplings 16 (FIGURE I III) and additional sections of the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 are attached to extend the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2. Four vertical tracks, as 17, are recessed into the wall of the kelly, 15. A square drive bushing assembly 18 moves up or down along the vertical tracks 17 on sixteen drive bushing bearing assemblies, as 19a, 19b, and 190 which permit the drive bushing 18 to move up or down freely under operating loads. Two drive bushing bearing assemblies, as 1% and 1%, bear against each of the eight faces of the vertical tracks 17, and transmit the rotational torque applied to the drive bushing 18, by a conventional rotary table, which engages the lower drive bushing flange 20 in the conventional manner. Electrically insulating hydraulic fluid supply line spider assemblies are provided to hold the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 in the center of the jet pump discharge line tube 13, to support the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 when assembling and disassemblingthe machine, to allow the sections of the jet pump discharge line tube 13 to telescope sufficient distance in relation to the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 to facilitate assembly and disassembly of the supply line tube 2 and to insulate the supply line tube 2 from the discharge line tube 13. The supply line spider assembly consists of the outer support ring 24 joined to four outer support ring straps 22, in turn joined to four plastic blocks 21, and those in turn support the inner support ring 23. The four insulating plastic blocks 21 are provided to firmly connect to the outer ring straps 22 and to the inner support ring 23 which latter fits loosely and slidably around the supply line tube 2 and slides upward underneath the supply line couplings 16 during assembly and disassembly operations. The outer support ring 24 rests on top of the kelly 15 and loosely fitsinside the kelly coupling 14. Each succeeding section of the jet J pump discharge line tube 13 and the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 is equipped with a similar supply line spider assembly. As many additional sections of. discharge line 13 connected by couplings 14- and supply line tube 2 are used as are needed to place the hydraulic sidewall cutting device at the desired depth.

Referring to FlGURE 111, it can be seen that attached to the last section of the hydraulic fluid supply line tubing 2 above the sidewall cutting device is an insulating plastic nipple 25; this serves to insulate the metallic fluid supply line tube 2 from the other sections of the machine. Water tight conduits, as 63, are used to shield the electrical wires leading from the supply line coupling 16 above the plastic nipple 25, on down to the sealed sidewall jet valve motor housing 26 and the drilling jet valve motor housing 27 (FIGURE V). Two sidewall jets, 28a and 28b, extend from diametrically opposing sides of the sidewall jet valve assembly 29 and through the walls of the jet pump housing 30. Hydraulic fluid from the supply line tube 2 may pass straight through the sidewall jet valve assembly 29 to supply the pump jet 31 (FIGURE 1V) and the drilling jets 32a and 32b (FIGURE VI). The sidewall jet valve motor 33' and gear train 54 apply rotational torque through the valve sleeve torque rod 35 to rotate the valve sleeve 35 towards the On or Off position as desired. Where the valve sleeve torque rod 35 passes through the wall of the hydraulic fluid supply line 2, a valve sleeve torque rod seal assembly 33 is providing to prevent leakage. Two sidewall jets 28a and 23b of equal size are used, located 180 degrees apart in order to cancel the reaction thrust of the sidewall jets 28a and 23b and to allow the machine to hang vertically in the well or bore. Pressure seal rings, as 37, are provided where each sidewall jet as 28a passes through the jet pump housing 39 to prevent leakage. The sidewall jets 28 are inserted through the jet pump housing 30 and screw into the sidewall jet valve assembly 29. The sidewall jets as 28a and 28b support the weight of the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2, hydraulic fluid supply line swivel assembly 1 (FIGURE 1), and the high pressure flexible hose attachment to the swivel assembly 1, and cause the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 to rotate with the jet pump discharge line tube 13.

Referring to FIGURE 1V, it can be seen that the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 is bent over against the wall of the jet pump housing 30 and is flattened where it closely approaches, passes, and extends. shortly past the jet pump venturi, indicated generally, as,39, to decrease the amount of disturbance in the venturi flow pattern.

The venturi tube is formed of a plurality of replaceable central insert cylinder elements, as 39a, 39b, 390, each with a central cylindrical portion and having an annular flange at each end thereof and such elements firmly secured to each other in series as by compression through the flanges thereof; each such insert element is slidably yet firmly held in a guide support element (39d, 3%, and 3a,, respectively} each such guide support element having a central cylindrical portion with terminal flanges at each end thereof. The guide. element flanges serve to join such adjacent elements together as by bolts. The guide element flanges have a generally circular out line to provide a slidable lit in the tube 30, with cutaway portions to slidably contact the flattened portion of. tube 2 (i.'e., the portion facing. and closest to the axis or" tube 3t?) and to support such flattened portion of tube 2 when fluid flows therethrough under high pressure. Space is also provided in and through flanges of the guide support elements for conduits, as 4-1, and other conduits as herein described; the space betweenthe tube 3t) and the guide support element cylindrical wall provides a stable sup port for control means hereinbelow described. I he venturi comprises an expansion section composed of. two solid pieces, 39g and 39 and acontraction section 3% formed of one solid piece. These latter sections are firmly bolted to the peripheral guide support elements.

Thereby the venturi tube elements may be removed from the tube 34 for assembly, inspection, replacement and adjustment as needed.

Venturi pressure seals 4% are provided to prevent leakage past the venturi (generally indicated as 39) in section 39 and 39/1 and to prevent accumulation of fine cuttings between the outer wall of the venturi (generally indicated as 39) and the jet pump housing 30. The venturi 39 is firmly positioned in correct relation to the pump jet 31 and then secured firmly as by a plurality of means, such as a bolt and strap 39k to the flattened portion of the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2. After passing through the venturi 39 the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 returns to the round configuration, makes a 180 degree return bend, utilizing the full diameter of the jet pump housing 36' to minimize hydraulic losses, and supplies the pump jet 31. The intake port 41 of the cavitation control system is located in the high pressure section of the venturi 39. A feedback line 42 supplies fluid to the cavitation control valve 43, which meters the fluid into the throat of the venturi 39 through exhaust ports as 44-. The pressure at 44 is usually lower than at 41 during operation of the device. Positioning of the cavitation control valve 43 is controlled by the output of a pressure transducer 45 which measures the absolute pressure in the throat of venturi 39. The electrical output of the pressure transducer 45 is used to operate the cavitation control valve motor 46 to increas feedback flow it the absolute pressure in the venturi 39 throat drops below the allowable limits. The exhaust ports 44 discharge the feedback fluid into the venturi 39 throat areas most susceptible to cavitation, and in an upward direction, thus aiding the jet pumping action.

Referring to FlGURE V and FIGURE VI, the fluid supply line tube 2 branches to supply hydraulic fluid to the drilling valve 47 which controls the operation of the drilling jets 32a and 32b. The drilling valve 47 is turned to On (open position) or Off (closed position) by properly energizing the drilling valve motor .8. Rotational torque is applied to the drilling valve 47 through the drilling-motor gear train 49 and the drilling valve torque rod 5%. The hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 leading from the drilling valve 47 branches (FIGURE VI) to supply two drilling jets 32a and 32b. Both drilling jets 32a and 32b extend through the wall of the drilling assembly housing 51. Each of a multiplicity of perforations, as 52, arranged in the walls of the drilling assembly housing 51 at a series of graduated vertical levels, as shown, permits entrance of fluids and cuttings to the suction side of the jet pump. Drag bit lugs as 53a and 53b and 530 are attached to the lower end of the drilling assembly housing 51 to aid in fracturing the harder formations during drilling operations. The drilling assembly housing 51 is equipped with a flange 54 to facilitate attachment to the lower end of the jet pump housing 39.

After removal of the drilling assembly housing 51 and the sidewall jets, as 28a. and 28b, the sidewall jet valve assembly 29, togetherwith the jet pump equipment can be removed from the jet pump housing 36 as an integral unit.

Referring to FIGURE VII, a diagrammatical illustration of the electrical system for manually controlling the hydraulic sidewall cutting jet motor-valve and the hydraulic drilling jet motor-valve assemblies, it can be seen that the hydraulic fluid supply line tube 2 serves as one-conductor and the jet pump discharge line tube 13 as the other conductor in the electrical system. A water tight conduit 63 houses the lead in wire from the supply line coupling 16 to the sidewall jet valve motor housing 26 located in housing 3t? near valve 29 and the drilling jet valve motor housing 27' located in housing 3t near valve d7. An ungrounded DC. power supply 55 at the A double pole or bore allows the operator to selectively operate either the sidewall jet valve motor 33 or the drilling jet valve motor 48. Visual indication of the motor operation is provided to the operator by the center hung ammeter 57 placed in one line on the surface. When the switch 56 is moved to the sidewall jets position a positive DC. potential is applied through the fluid supply line tube 2, through the rectifier '9, and through the closed contacts of the thermal switch 58 to the sidewall jet motor 33. The forward resistance of the rectifier '59 does not atiect the operation or" the sidewall jet motor 33. The back resistance of the rectifier 60 in series with the drilling jet valve motor 48 prevents the motor 43 and the thermal switch 58 from operating. When the sidewall jet valve motor 33 begins to run, the four lobed cam 61 carried on the shaft of the gear reduction train 34 turns from a high lobe position and allows the microswitch 62, sprung to normally close, to close. Twenty seconds after the motor 33 begins to run, the thermal switch 58 opens. When the motor 33 has turned the sidewall jet valve sleeve 36 through ninety degrees rotation, the next lobe on the cam 61 opens the micro-switch 62 and stops the motor 33. A decrease in current flow as indicated by the ammeter 57 tells the operator that the valve has been moved to the new position. When the operator returns the selector switch 56 to the Oil position the heater circuit of the thermal switch 58 is tie-energized and the switch 58 begins to cool off. Approximately thirty seconds later, the thermal switch 58 contact is returned to the closed position and the sidewall jet valve motor 33 control circuit is ready for the next operational cycle. The operation of the drilling jet valve motor 48 control circuit is the same as that described here for the sidewall jet valve motor 33 control circuit with the exception that the rectifier so is connected oppositely.

Referring to FIGURE VTII, a diagrammatical illus tration of the cutting rate control system, it can be seen that an increase in gross weight will cause the jet pump discharge line steel swivel bail 10, which has some elasticity, to spring inward, thus displacing the weight sensing potentiometer 64 and decreasing the resistance across points 64a, 64b, and 64-0. Conversely a decrease in gross weight will allow the swivel ball 1% to spring outward, resulting in an increase in the resistance of the weight sensing potentiometer 64 through points 64a, 64b, and 640. Changes in the resistance of the potentiometer 64- will cause reversals of phase relation in the output of the control bridge 65, at the surface of the well or bore, in relation to the reference voltage 66. The phase relations of the control bridge 65' output in relation to the A.C. reference voltage as are chosen to indicate an increase in weight suspended by bail it? for an out of phase output and a decrease in such weight for an in phase output. The magnitude of the output signal of the control bridge 65 is directly proportional to the magnitude of the change in gross suspended weight. The control bridge 65 is balanced at the desired operating gross weight by adjusting the resistance of the balancing potentiometer 67. The output signal of the control bridge 65 is amplified by the RC coupled amplifier 68 and applied to the control grids of the discriminator circuit 69. Negative bias is also applied to the control grids of the discriminator circuit 59 by adjusting the dead band potentiometer '79 to the desired output level for desired sensitivity to gross weight. An in phase signal from the control bridge 65 will cause the discriminator circuit 6? to energize the On relay 71 when it is of sufficient magnitude to overcome the negative bias output of the dead band potentiometer 7t and will turn the sidewall jets On in response to a decrease in gross weight command. When the On relay 71 is closed, energizing voltage from the DC. power supply 55 is applied, through the closed contacts of the selector switch 56 in the sidewall jets position, through the closed contacts of the On relay 71, through the closed contacts of the thermal switch 53, to the sidewall jet valve motor 33.

Operation of the sidewall jet valve motor 33 is exactly the same as previously described. When the sidewall jet valve sleeve 36 has been moved to the On or open position, shown in FIGURE III, the micro-switch 62 contacts and the thermal switch 58 contacts will be in the open position, preventing further operation of the motor 33. The contacts of the thermal switch 58 are held in the open position by current flow through the thermal switch 58 heater circuit until the gross weight of the machine is increased sufiiciently to de-energize the On relay 71. A further increase in gross weight of the machine will cause an out of phase signal from the control bridge 65 to energize the OE relay 72 and move the sidewall jet valve sleeve 36 to the closed position in a manner similar to the On circuit operation previously described. The sidewall jet valve sleeve 36 will remain in the closed position until the gross weight of the machine is decreased sutficiently to cause an in phase signal from the control bridge 65 to energize the On relay 71 and repeat the cycle. Magnitude of changes in gross weight necessary to operate the circuits are determined by the settings of the dead band potentiometer 70. In initially setting up the cutting rate control circuits for operation, it is necessary to move the selector switch 56 to the sidewall jet position, and operate the manual control switch 73 to move the sidewall jet valve sleeve 36 to the Oil or closed position. The manual control switch 73 is then returned to the open position. With the machine operating on the pumping mode alone (as above described) and the dead band potentiometer 7% et to the desired range of sensitivity, the resistance of the balancing potentiometer 67 is decreased until an in phase signal from the control bridge 65 energizes the On relay 71 and starts the cycle of opeartion.

Referring to FIGURE IX, a diagrammatical illustration of the fluid level control system, it can be seen that the throttle valve 74 is used to control a diesel engine '75 which powers a high pressure centrifugal pump '76 deiivering high pressure hydraulic fluid through a flexible hose to the hydraulic fluid supply line swivel 1 of the under-reaming machine and process.

it might be well to understand here that the diesel engine '75 and the high pressure centrifugal pump 76 are of conventional construction. Advancing or retarding the throttle valve 74 will result in an increase or decrease in the pressure of the hydraulic fluid being supplied to the pump jet 31, which will result in an increase or decrease in the pumping rate of the jet pump. Since the fluid accumulation rate in a well or bore is fairly constant, increasing or decreasing the pumping rate of the jet pump will result in respectively the lowering or raising of the fluid level in the well. If the fluid level in the well rises above the sidewall cutting jets 28a and 28]), the lateral cutting range and rate are reduced to a small fraction of the maximum possible. Lowering the fluid level in the well or bore below the jet pump suction inlet, as at 52, will result in pumping large quantities of air, thus lowering the pumping elliciency of the machine. The fluid level potentiometer assembly 77 measures the fluid level in the well or bore between the sidewall jets 2% and 28b and the jet pump suction and is physically mounted to the outside wall of the jet pump housing 30. The fluid level potentiometer assembly 77 is made up of a series of resistors 73, each of which is paralleled with an astatic gap 79, between closely spaced needle point shaped selfcleaning electrodes, the resistance of which gap is reduced from infinity in the air to almost Zero when submerged in fluid in the well or bore. A decrease in resistance of the fluid level potentiometer 77 due to the fluid level rising in the well or bore will result in an in phase signal output from the fluid level control bridge 80 at the surface of the well or bore. This output signal is amplified by the RC coupled amplifier 81 also at the surface and applied to the grids of the discriminator 82 at the surface. When the magnitude of the in phase signal exceeds the negative

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2127265 *Jun 23, 1937Aug 16, 1938Martin William HRotative slide valve
US2210582 *Sep 12, 1938Aug 6, 1940Petroleum Ag DeutscheMethod for the extraction of petroleum by mining operations
US2412765 *Jul 25, 1941Dec 17, 1946Phillips Petroleum CoRecovery of hydrocarbons
US2518591 *Sep 19, 1945Aug 15, 1950Charles WildiApparatus for jet mining and excavating
US2678203 *Mar 24, 1950May 11, 1954Universal Oil Prod CoHydraulic jet cutting and pumping apparatus for mining hydrocarbonaceous solids
GB696524A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3730592 *Jun 1, 1971May 1, 1973Fmc CorpMethod of subterranean drilling and mining
US4035023 *Jul 15, 1975Jul 12, 1977Freeport Minerals CompanyApparatus and process for hydraulic mining
US4059166 *Jul 12, 1976Nov 22, 1977Fmc CorporationSubterranean drilling and slurry mining
US4067617 *Apr 4, 1977Jan 10, 1978Fmc CorporationSubterranean drilling and slurry mining
US4074779 *May 9, 1977Feb 21, 1978The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The InteriorBackwashing system for slurry pick-up used in hydraulic borehole mining devices
US4077481 *Jul 12, 1976Mar 7, 1978Fmc CorporationSubterranean mining apparatus
US4077671 *Apr 6, 1977Mar 7, 1978Fmc CorporationSubterranean drilling and slurry mining method
US4226475 *Apr 19, 1978Oct 7, 1980Frosch Robert AUnderground mineral extraction
US4275926 *Jun 28, 1979Jun 30, 1981Hodges Everett LDown hole pump with bottom receptor
US4302052 *Oct 7, 1980Nov 24, 1981Chem-Struct CorporationModular hydraulic mining tool with slurry inlet metering
US4344491 *Jul 13, 1981Aug 17, 1982Slurry Mining Engineering Inc.Apparatus for actuating downhole flow control valves
US4415206 *Feb 9, 1981Nov 15, 1983Hodges Everett LDrill section and method of hydraulically mining mineral formations
US4420187 *Apr 13, 1981Dec 13, 1983Hodges Everett LStationary drill string rotary hydraulic mining tool and method of hydraulic mining
US4440450 *Aug 18, 1982Apr 3, 1984Slurry Mining Engineering Inc.For actuating downhole flow control valves of a borehole mining tool
US4508389 *Sep 12, 1983Apr 2, 1985Hodges Everett LApparatus and method for hydraulically mining unconsolidated subterranean mineral formations
US4536035 *Jun 15, 1984Aug 20, 1985The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of EnergyHydraulic mining method
US4583784 *Jan 16, 1984Apr 22, 1986Mobil Oil CorporationMining of minerals
US5246273 *May 13, 1991Sep 21, 1993Rosar Edward CMethod and apparatus for solution mining
US5366030 *Nov 2, 1992Nov 22, 1994Pool Ii F WHydraulic device for forming a cavity in a borehole
US5857530 *Oct 26, 1995Jan 12, 1999University Technologies International Inc.Vertical positioning system for drilling boreholes
US5879057 *Nov 12, 1996Mar 9, 1999Amvest CorporationHorizontal remote mining system, and method
US6164727 *Dec 31, 1998Dec 26, 2000Kelly; Melvin E.Method of mining a soluble mineral
US6364418Nov 13, 1998Apr 2, 2002Amvest Systems, Inc.Cutting heads for horizontal remote mining system
US7114572 *Jan 15, 2004Oct 3, 2006Schlumberger Technology CorporationSystem and method for offshore production with well control
US8231298 *Jun 19, 2009Jul 31, 2012Neumayer Tekfor Holding GmbhConnecting arrangement
US20090317182 *Jun 19, 2009Dec 24, 2009Neumayer Tekfor Holding GmbhConnecting Arrangement
Classifications
U.S. Classification175/67, 175/213, 175/38, 175/215, 299/17, 175/25
International ClassificationE21B7/18
Cooperative ClassificationE21B7/18
European ClassificationE21B7/18