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Publication numberUS3226728 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 28, 1965
Filing dateSep 26, 1963
Priority dateSep 26, 1963
Publication numberUS 3226728 A, US 3226728A, US-A-3226728, US3226728 A, US3226728A
InventorsJames G Walvoord
Original AssigneeExxon Production Research Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Offshore apparatus and method
US 3226728 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

vDec. 28, 1965 J. G. wALvooRD 3,226,728

OFFSHORE APPARATUS AND METHOD 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 JAMES G. WALVOORD Aiwa-TOR NE Y.

Dec. 28, 1965 J. G. wALvooRD OFFSHORE APPARATUS AND METHOD 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 26, 1965 F'lG- 3.

nl c FIG- 2. '7

INVENTOR. JAMES 6. WALVOORD,

ATTO

Dec. 2s, 1965 J. G. WALVOORD OFFSHORE APPARATUS AND METHOD Filed Sept. 26, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fl G. 4.

HORIZONTAL BRCE l5 FLOWLINE 2| U\DERA|L I I l5 4| FIG 5- l LU l INVENTOR.

v JAMES G.WALVOORD,

da. ATTO EY.

United States Patent O 3,226,728 OFFSHURE APPARATUS AND METHD .lames G. Walvoord, Grand Isle, La., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Esso Production Research Company, Houston, Tex., a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 26, 1963, Ser. No. 311,821 17 Claims. (Cl. 166-46) The present invention is directed to an offshore apparatus and method. More particularly, the invention is concerned with the placement of a curved ow line on an offshore structure. In its more specific aspects, the invention is concerned with the connection of an offshore well to a fiow line.

The present invention may be briey described as a method for placing a curved ow line or one extending in two different directions on a well supported by a structure extending from above water surface to water bottom. In the practice of the present invention, a first length of the flow line, which is relatively short and extends in one direction as compared to a second length which extends in .another direction, is arranged for longitudinal movement on the structure while the second length is supported at least at its free end. The free end of the first length is connected to a sumcient length of pipe to extend the length of the first length such that the extended length of flow line is sufficient to reach from above water surface to Water bottom. While the flow line is preferably curved, it may extend in two directions by a flexible connection such as a flexible section or by a coupling member or members which may pivot in several directions.

In the practice of the present invention, it is contemplated that the second length may be supported from water surface such as by a floating vehicle or by a support resting on bottom. It is also contemplated that the second length may be supported from the land or from the air by a iiying vehicle, such as a helicopter.

The present invention also includes offshore apparatus which comprises a structure adapted to be arranged vertically in a body of water to extend from water bottom to above water surface. A rail is arranged longitudinally on the structure to extend the major length of the structure. Means are movably arranged on the rail for receiving a pipe in vertical relationship to the structure for movement of the pipe on the rail from a first to a second position.

At the present time, offshore operations for production of hydrocarbons, such as oil and/ or gas, are being conducted .at water depths of 100 feet or more. In water depths of less than 100 feet, flow lines may be installed and secured to platforms erected in the water, employing divers; however, it is not feasible to install such fiow lines or tie-ins of lines at water depths exceeding 100 feet. In the practice of the present invention, the services of divers are dispensed with except for minor adjustments and inspections that may be required. The present invention is therefore important and useful in eliminating the need for diving personal and allowing the connection of offw shore wells to flow lines since all connections are made at or adjacent the water surface.

The present invention will be further illustrated by reference to the drawing in which FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing the practice of the present invention;

FIG. l-A is a modification of FIG. 1 illustrating the use of a fixed support;

FIG. l-B is a further modification of FIG. 1 illustrating the use of a support from the air;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of a support structure and the flow line of FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

3,225,2728 Patented Dec. 28, lg

ICC

FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view taken along the lines A-A of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.

Referring now to the drawing in which identical numerals will be designated to identify identical parts, and particularly to FIG. 1, numeral 11 designates a support str-ucture such as a platform arranged in a body of water 12 and extending above the surface 13. The structure 11 is provided with cross braces 14 and horizontal braces 15. The structure 11 has a platform 16 from which well drilling operations may be conducted and from which hydrocarbon production may be secured. The structure includes a second platform 17 designated as a production cellar. From the platform 16 a well has been drilled `and a casing string 1S extends from the production cellar 17 penetrating water bottom 19. It may be assumed that the casing extends from water bottom 19 to a hydrocarbon productive formation.

As shown in FIG. 1, and more in detail in FIGS. 2 5, a guide rail 20 is arranged longitudinally on the structure to extend the major length of the structure from a point above the water surface to a point adjacent water bottom. A curved flow line 21, comprising a first length 22, is slidably arranged on the rail 20 and a second length 23 of the flow line 21 is supported on its free end from a barge or other floating vessel 24 by means of a clamp 25 attached to a exible line, such as a wire line -6 connected to a derrick 27. The second length 23 may be not less than 500 feet in length; whereas, the first length 22 may be about 40 feet in length, comprising about one joint of pipe.

As the second length 23 is supported from the barge 24, joints of pipe may be added to the free end 2S of the first length 22 and then the ow line 22 may be lowered from the first position designated by the numeral 1 to a second position designated by the numeral 2, meanwhile supporting the free end of the second length 23 from the barge 24. A third joint may then be added to the ex tended first length and thereafter the flow line is moved downwardly or to the position designated by the numeral 3. The addition of lengths of pipe to the first length 22 is continued with the lowering of the first length until position 4 has been reached and the liow line has been 'landed on the bottom 19.

Thereafter, sections or joints of pipe may be added to the free end 29 of the second length 23 until the second length has been extended a sufficient distance to reach a selected location which may be on land or may be a tank battery supported from a platform or which may lead to a vessel.

Referring now to FIG. l-A, the structure 11 shows the flow line 23 lowered to bottom 19 and extending to a fixed support which may be a structure 3) supporting a platform 31. The platform may support a tank battery or may provide a location for flowing the hydrocarbons into a vessel moored nearby.

Referring now to FIG. l-B, the structure 11 is shown in a body of water 12 with the ow line 21 landed on bottom 19. In this particular instance, however, the second length 23 of the flow line 21 is supported by means of a clamp, such as 25, connected to a flexible line 26 which, in turn, is attached to a helicopter, such as 32. As lengths of pipe are attached to the free end 29, the helicopter may pay out line 26 and lower the second length 23 to bottom 19.

Referring now to FIGS 2 and 3, the structure 11 is shown in more detail with the extended first length 22 of the fiow line 21 extended to water bottom. The first length 21 is connected by a connection 33 containing a valve 34 to a Christmas tree 35 on the production cellar movement in the guide rail 20 by means of slot 41.

`aaaeffas 17. Thus, production from the cased well may then proceed the ow line 21 to a selected point which may be on shore or a vessel. In these figures of the drawing, the clamps 36, which connect the pipe added to the first length 22, are shown more clearly. The clamps 36 are also shown more clearly in FIG. V3, along with the cross braces 14 .and the horizontal braces 15. It is to be noted that the curved flow line 21 has a bracing member 37 at the curved portion thereof.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, a horizontal brace is shown in cross section, which is connected by a lconnecting means 38 to the vertical rail 2t). The first length 22 of the flow line 21 is shown arranged in a clamp means 39, which is connected to a T-shapedmember or guide shoe 40, which is arranged in the rail 20, as illustrated more clearly in FIG. 5. The clamp 39 is comp-rised of a first member 41, which is affixed to the T-shaped member 40, and a second member 42, which is connected to the member 41 by threaded bolts 43.

Referring now to FIG. 5, it will be seen that the guide rail 2d is formed to receive the T-shaped member d() for The sectionalized clam-p 39 is strengthened by brackets 44.

It is to be noted that the guide rail 2G is provided with set screws d5 which are adapted to bea-r against the -head of T-shaped member it? such that the T-shaped member 4t) may be fixed within the guide rail 20.

Thus, in accordance with the present invention, the flow line 21 may be clamped, if desired, at any of the .positions shown in FIG. l or at intermediate positions, but preferably it will be lowered to water bottom or to some fixed point adjacent water bottom.

Although it may be preferred to support the free end of the second length while the flow line is lowered to water bottom on the structure supporting the well, it may be desirable, under some circumstances, to have the free end onbottom or extending to a xed support as shown in FIG. l-A or extending to land.

It will be cleai from the foregoing description taken with the drawing that the present invention is quite advantageous and useful in that placing the fiow line may be conducted substantially without the use of divers, excepting perhaps for adjusting the set screws 45 or tightening same, if desired, or for inspection of the job.

The nature and objects of the present invention, having been completely described and illustrated and the best mode and embodiment thereof contemplated set forth, what I wish to claim as new and useful and secure by Letters Patent is:

-1. A method for placing a fiow line on a well supported by a st-ructure extending from above water surface to water bottom, which comprises arranging a first length Yof said fiow line for longitudinal movement on said structure while supporting a second length of said flow line at least at its free end, connecting to the free end of said first length a sufficient length of pipe to extend the length of said first length such that the extended length is sufiicient to reach from above water surface to water bottom, lowering said extended first length to water bottom while continuing to support said second length, and then connecting the free end of the extended first length to said well.

2. A method in accordance with claim 1 in which the second length is supported from the water surface.

3. A method in accordance with claim 2 in which the second length is supported by a fioating vehicle.

4. A method in acordance with claim 2 in which the second length is supported by a support resting on water bottom.

5. A method in accordance with claim 1 in which the second length is supported by land.

6. A method in accordance with claim 1 in which the second length is supported by a fiying vehicle.

7. A method for connecting a well having a wellhead supported by a structure extending from above water surface to water bottom to a curved flow line, a first length of said flow line being relatively short as compared to a second length of said fiow line, which comprises arranging the first length of said fiow line for longitudinal movement on said structure while supporting the second length of said fiow line at least at its free end, connecting to the free end of said first length a sufiicient length of pipe to extend the length of said first length such that the extended length is sufiicient to reach from above water surface to water bottom, lowering said extended first length to Water bottom while continuing to support said second length, and then connecting the free end of said extended first length to said wellhead.

8. A method for connecting a well having a wellhead supported by a structure extending from above water surface to water bottom to a curved fiow line, a first length of said flow line being relatively short as compared to a second length of said fiow line, which comprises arranging the first length of said fiow line for longitudinal move- .ment on said structure while supporting the second length of .said flow line at least at its free end from the water surface, connecting to the free end of said first length a sufficient length of pipe to extend the length of said first length such that the extended length is sufficient to reach from above water surface to water bottom, lowering said extended first length to water bottom while continuing to support said second length, and then connecting the free end of said extended first length to said wellhead.

9. A method for connecting a well having a wellhead supported by a structure extending from above water surface to water bottom to a curved flow line, a first length of said fiow line being relatively short as compared to a second length of said fiow line, which comprises arranging the first length of said flow line for 'longitudinal move- -ment on said structure while .supporting the second length of said flow line at least at its free end, connecting to the -free end of said first length a sufiicient number of lengths of pipe to extend the length of said first length such that the extended length is sufficient to reach from above water surface to water bottom, lowering said extended first length as each length of pipe is added until water bottom is reached while continuing to support said second length, and then connecting the free end of said extended first length to said wellhead.

1t). A method for connecting a well having a wellhead supported by a structure extending from above water surface to water bottom to a curved flow line, a first length of said flow line being relatively short as compared to a second length of said fiow line, which comprises arranging the first length of said fiow line for longitudinal movement on said structure while supporting the second length of said fiow line at least at its free end from the Water surface, `connecting to the free end of said first length a suicient number of lengths of pipe to extend the length of said first length such that the extended length is sufricient to reach from above Water surface to water bottom, lowering said extended first length as each length of pipe is added until water bottom is reached while continuing to support said second length, and then connecting the free end of said extended first length to said wellhead.

11. A method for placing a curved ow line on a well having a wellhead supported by a structure extending from above water surface to water bottom, a first length of said flow line being relatively short as compared to a second length of said flow line, which comprises arranging the first length of said flow line for longitudinal movement on said structure while supporting the second length of said flow line at least at its free end, connecting to the free end of said first length a sufficient length of pipe to extend the length of said first length such that the extended length is sufiicient to reach from above water surface to water bottom, lowering said extended first length to water bottom while continuing to support said second length, connecting to the free end of the second length a sufiicient length of pipe to extend the length or" the second length to a seiected point, and connecting the ire-e end of said extended first length to said wellhead.

12. A method in accordance with claim 11 in which the selected point is on shore.

13. A method for connecting a Well having a weilhead supported by a structure extending from above water surface to Water bottom to a curved llow line, a lirst length of said now line being relatively short as compared to a second length of said tlow line, which comprises arranging the first length of said flow line for longitudinal movement on said structure while supporting the second length of said iovv line at least at its free end, connecting to the free end of said rst length a suicient length of pipe to extend the length of said first length such that the extended length is sufficient to reach from above Water surface to Water bottom, lowering said extended first length to water bottom While continuing to support said second length, connecting the free end of said extended irst length to said Wellhead, and connecting the free end of said second length with a suicient length of pipe sufficient to extend the length of the second length to a selected point.

14. A method for placing a fiow line on a Well supported by a structure extending from above Water surface to water bottom, which comprises arranging a irst length of said ow line for longitudinal movement on said strncture, connecting to the free end of said rst length a sufficient length of pipe to extend the length of said lirst length such that the extended length is suliicient to reach from above Water surface to Water bottom, lowering said extended lirst length to water bottom, and then connecting the free end of the extended lirst length to said well.

15, A method in accordance with claim 14 in which the ow line is curved.

16. A method for connecting a pipe line to a Well extending to a submarine formation from an offshore structure in a body of Water which comprises arranging a conduit on said structure having an end connected to said pipe line and a free end, moving said conduit from a first position to a second position on said structure while extending the length of said free end until said conduit extends from a point at least adjacent water bottom to a point at least adjacent water surface, and `then connecting said free end to said Well.

17. A method in accordance with claim 14 in which the first length of said flow line is relatively short and extends in one direction as compared to a second length of said flow line which extends in another direction.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 486,086 11/1892 Schinke 6 l-72.3 X 1,220,189 3/1917 Chapman 6l-72.3 2,731,800 l/1956 Collins 6l72.4 2,777,294 l/1957 Rosa et al 6172.1 2,830,548 4/1958 McElvany 6l--72.l 3,076,562 2/1963 Pitts 214-1 3,098,570 7/ 1963 Lindemann 214--1 CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US486986 *Jul 27, 1892Nov 29, 1892 Submerged pipe
US1220189 *Jul 13, 1916Mar 27, 1917William L ChapmanPipe-laying apparatus.
US2731800 *Jul 13, 1950Jan 24, 1956 collins
US2777294 *May 11, 1954Jan 15, 1957Pasquale TodiscoMethod of laying pipe
US2830548 *Mar 8, 1954Apr 15, 1958Mcelvany James LeonPipe-laying method
US3076562 *Dec 7, 1959Feb 5, 1963Pitts William AApparatus for handling elongated articles
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3336975 *Mar 9, 1965Aug 22, 1967Armco Steel CorpMethod and apparatus for installing flow lines and the like in underwater well installations
US3373570 *Feb 7, 1966Mar 19, 1968Exxon Production Research CoMethod and apparatus for installing underwater pipeline
US3376708 *Feb 7, 1966Apr 9, 1968Exxon Production Research CoPipeline riser installation
US3411303 *Dec 28, 1966Nov 19, 1968Shell Oil CoOffshore platform with internal flowline
US3430695 *Nov 8, 1967Mar 4, 1969Mobil Oil CorpMethod and apparatus for installing underwater wellhead support
US3434296 *Oct 24, 1966Mar 25, 1969Shell Oil CoMethod and apparatus for connecting an underwater pipeline to an offshore installation
US3455395 *Nov 28, 1966Jul 15, 1969Pomeroy Clyde DMethod of positioning relative to a borehole of a string of tubular members for use therein
US3466882 *May 29, 1967Sep 16, 1969Shell Oil CoOffshore installation and method of installing a pipe riser
US3902554 *Mar 12, 1974Sep 2, 1975Global Marine IncBlowout preventer guide assembly for off-shore drilling vessel
US3934647 *Jun 21, 1974Jan 27, 1976Dolphin International, Inc.Pipe laying system
US4023371 *May 27, 1976May 17, 1977Gulf Research & Development CompanyRiser for an offshore platform
US4100753 *Feb 10, 1977Jul 18, 1978Texaco Inc.Marine structure with riser conductor and pipeline connection
US4264235 *Apr 16, 1979Apr 28, 1981Exxon Production Research CompanyMethod and apparatus for securing and releasing a flexible line in a pre-existing channel
US4523877 *Aug 21, 1980Jun 18, 1985Exxon Production Research Co.J-tube method and apparatus
US5051036 *Apr 2, 1990Sep 24, 1991Gomez De Rosas Ricardo RMethod of installing lean-to well protector
US5480264 *Sep 7, 1994Jan 2, 1996Imodco, Inc.Offshore pipeline system
US6257801Jul 20, 1999Jul 10, 2001Fmc CorporationRiser arrangement for offshore vessel and method for installation
USRE35912 *Dec 22, 1995Sep 29, 1998Gomez De Rosas; Ricardo R.Method of installing lean-to well protector
EP2374992A1 *Mar 30, 2011Oct 12, 2011Aker Jacket Technology ASA support device
WO1982000697A1 *Aug 21, 1980Mar 4, 1982Brady MJ-tube method and apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/351, 405/168.1, 405/169
International ClassificationE21B43/01
Cooperative ClassificationE02B2017/0095, E21B43/0107
European ClassificationE21B43/01F