US 3282355 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
moss REFERENCE V SEARCH R00 Nov. 1. 1966 J. K. HENDERSON 3,282,355
METHOD FOR DIRECTIONAL DRILLING A RELIEF WELL To CONTROL AN ADJACENT WILD WELL Filed Oct. 23. 1965 INVENTOR. JOHN KELL ER HENDERSON ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,282,355 METHOD FOR DIRECTIONAL DRILLING A RELIEF WELL TO CONTROL AN ADJACENT WILD WELL John K. Henderson, 4012 E. 41st Place, Tulsa, Okla. Filed Oct. 23, 1965, Se!- No 503,633 8 Claims. (Cl. 175-61) This invention is a continuation-in-part of copending application Serial Number 362,100, filed April 23, 1964, and generally relates to the off-vertical drilling of wells. More particularly, this invention relates to a method and apparatus for controllably drilling an off-vertical relief well to intersect with an uncontrollable adjacent producing wild well and hence provide access for controlling the latter well,
It has long been known that the off-vertical directional drilling of relief wells affords a satisfactory means of controlling adjacent wells which have become wild, uncontrollable and in many instances afire at the surface thereof which prevents any access for direct control. The directional drilling of such a relief well is caused to intersect with the wild well to permit water, weighted drilling mud, or other means of controlling the flow of producing fluids therefrom to be injected into the wild well. However, to orient the drilling of the relief well for intersection with the wild well is a difficult maneuver, especially in those instances where the wild well is in itself off-vertical. Usually the exact orientation of the uncontrolled well is not easily discernable because of the conditions existing.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a method and apparatus for correctly orienting the drilling of an off-vertical relief well to intersect with the wild well or communicate with the formation from which uncontrollable fluids issue into the well and hence provide means of control over an uncontrollable wild producing well or its formation.
Another object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for detecting and receiving sonic vibrations caused by the issuance of producing fluids from a wild well formation and automatically orienting the course of a directionally drilled relief -well in accord ance with the detected and received sonic wave signals.
These and other objects of this invention will become more apparent upon further reading of the disclosure in the aforesaid copending application and the specification and claims herein when taken in conjunction with the illustration which is a diagrammatic sectional view depicting the purposes of this invention.
Referring now to the drawing, a wild well 10 is of that type wherein production fluids, such as high pressured gas, evolve from formation 12 into well 10 and outwardly therefrom. A crater 14 is formed in many instances from the burning or high pressure fluid release conditions existing. A drilling rig 16 is positioned 01T- set from the well 10 to drill relief well 18 which is to be directionally oriented such as by using well known whip stocks 20, or the like, and a relatively flexible drill pipe section 22, the end of which terminates in a drill bit 24 of the type specified in the aforementioned application or other well known types.
A sound wave receiver 26 is positioned adjacent the drill bit 24 either by a relatively permanent attachment thereto exteriorly or interiorly which is in communication with an appropriate detecting circuit at the surface of the relief well. In some instances an appropriate signal detecting device 26 is occasionally lowered into the drill pipe 22, by wire line or other retrievement means, for the purpose of orienting the directional drilling as hereinafter described.
In operation, once the general orientation of the wild well 10 is made with respect to the directional drilling of relief well 18, a more accurate orientation of the relief well is accomplished by detecting the intensity of sonic Wave vibrations caused by the high pressure fluid flow of the production fluids from formation 12 into the well. In most instances the high pressure release or flow within well creates suflicient sonic vibrations which can be detected by receiver 26 positioned contiguous to the directional drilling bit 24. By means of a control panel, not shown, located at the surface adjacent the relief well, the drilling rig 16 operators are capable of 'properly orienting the relief well bit to ultimately result in intersection with the wild well 10 or formation 12 from which the uncontrolled fluids issue into the wild well and hence provide means of effective control thereof as well known in the art.
In some instances vibration sensitive instruments may be located not only in the relief well but at other locations to permit a triangulation effect in location of the source of vibrations. Such locations as at the surface, or at other elevations in the relief well, or within other wells, are possible. Appropriate signal interpretation instruments may be utilized as in the geophysical surveying arts as means of properly orienting the directional drilling of the relief well.
The signal receiving device 26 can be operated continuously or intermittently as desired. The signal is carried by appropriate electrical conductor means attached to drill pipe 22 to the surface and control and interpretation panel. The receiver 26 can be directionally sensitive or can be of the type that measures variations of intensity in the sonic wave vibrations. Hence as the receiving device approaches the sonic source, intensity in creases as noted on the control panel, with any decrease giving cause to reorient the directional drilling. Other methods of interpretation include either phase comparison and/or means to identify the character in the sonic vibrations.
As used herein and in the claims, the term sonic is meant to cover vibrations or other detectable signals without distinction as to audible or inaudible frequencies.
The invention has been described with reference to specific and preferred embodiments. It will be apparent, however, that other modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, this invention should be construed not to be limited to the embodiments herein described but should be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed:
1. A method of directionally drilling a relief well into communication with an adjacent wild well which is uncontrollably producing fluids and sonic vibration-s therefrom comprising the steps of positioning a sonic vibration receiving means within said relief well,
detecting the direction of emanation of said sonic vibrations. and
orienting the course of said directional drilling of said relief well towards intersection with said adjacent wild well as indicated by the character of the detected vibrations.
2. A method of directionally drilling a relief well into communication with an adjacent wild well which is uncontrollably producing fluids and sonic vibrations therefrom com-prising the steps of (a) interrupting said directional drilling,
(b) positioning a sonic vibration receiving means within said directionally drilled relief well,
(c) detecting the direction of emanation of said sonic vibrations, and
(d) orienting the course of said directional drilling towards intersection with said adjacent wild well as indicated by the detected direction of the detected vibrations.
3. A method of directionally drilling a relief well in accordance with claim 2 wherein the steps are repeated at intervals of said drilling.
4. A method of directionally drilling a relief well into communication with an adjacent wild well which is uncontrollably producing fluids and sonic vibrations therefrom comprising the steps of (a) interrupting said directional drilling,
(b) positioning a plurality of sonic vibration receiving means at spaced points relative to said source of sonic vibrations,
(c) detecting said sonic vibrations from each of said receiving means to determine the azimuth position of said source relative to said directional drilling well, and
(d) orienting the course of said directional drilling towards intersection with said adjacent well as indicated by the character of the detected vibrations.
5. A method of directionally drilling a relief well in accordance with claim 4 wherein one of said receiving means is positioned adjacent the bottom of said relief well.
6. Apparatus for controlling the directional drilling of a relief well into communication with an adjacent wild well which is uncontrollably producing fluids and sonic vibrations therefrom comprising a directionally controllable hole drilling device posi tioned to drill said relief well,
means for advancing said drilling device,
a sonic vibration receiving means positionable adjacent the bottom hole end of said drilling device,
an indicator for the signal received from said receiving means, and
means for changing the direction of drilling of said drilling device towards intersection with said adjacent well as indicated by the character of the detected vibrations. 7. A method of directionally drilling a relief well into communication with an adjacent wild well which is uncontrollably producing fluids therefrom comprising the steps of:
detecting the direction of emanation of sonic waves caused by the said uncontrollable producing fluids with a sonic vibration receiving means; and
orienting the course of directional drilling of said relief Well towards intersection With said adjacent wild well in response to said detected direction of said sonic waves.
8. A method of determining the direction of the source 5 of uncontrollable fluid floW from a well comprising:
detecting the direction of emanation of sonic vibrations caused by said uncontrollable fluid flow with a vibration receiving means at at least one location remote from said well; and
JACOB L. NACKENOFF, Primary Examiner. CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Examiner. R. E. FAVREAU, Assistant Examiner.