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Publication numberUS3426842 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 11, 1969
Filing dateFeb 1, 1966
Priority dateFeb 1, 1966
Publication numberUS 3426842 A, US 3426842A, US-A-3426842, US3426842 A, US3426842A
InventorsBohlmann Willy F Jr, Corley Charles B Jr
Original AssigneeExxon Production Research Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Installation of control lines on underwater well
US 3426842 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

3 11, W69 c. B. CORLEY, JR. ET AL 3,426,842




A TQBELEY- c. B. CORLEY, JR, ET AL 3,426,842






United States Patent 3,426,842 INSTALLATION OF CONTROL LINES 0N UNDERWATER WELL Charles B. Corley, Jr., New Orleans, La., and Willy F. Bohlmann, Jr., Sydney, New South Wales, Australia,

assignors to Esso Production Research Company Filed Feb. 1, 1966, Ser. No. 524,182

US. Cl. 166-.5 3 Claims Int. Cl. E21b 43/0], 15/02 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A plurality of control lines and a flow line for introducing fluid into an underwater well and recovering hydrocarbons from said well are attached to a valved wellhead above water surface prior to lowering the wellhead to water bottom with a free end of the control lines being maintained at an accessible location above water bottom After the wellhead is attached to the wellhead on water bottom, the flow line is remotely attached to the free end of a pipe line on water bottom from the accessible location and fluid is flowed through the flow line by controlling the valved wellhead through the control lines.

The present invention is directed to a method for installing control lines on an underwater well. More particularly, the invention is concerned with installing control lines on an underwater well without requiring the use of divers. More specifically, the invention is concerned with installing control lines on an underwater well from an accessible location above water bottom.

The present invention may be briefly described as a method for installing control lines on an underwater Well drilled in a body of water in which control lines having a free end are attached to a wellhead at an accessible location above water bottom usually at, adjacent, or above water surface. Thereafter the wellhead is lowered from the accessible location to said well on water bottom while maintaining the free end of the control lines at the accessible location at, adjacent, or above water surface. The wellhead is then attached to the well on water bottom and thereafter the well is controlled from an accessible location which may be at water surface, on shore or at some remote point at or above water surface in the body of water.

It is quite important and useful to be able to attach control lines such as electric, pneumatic or hydraulic control lines and flow control lines to a wellhead on a submerged well without requiring divers or any remotely controlled equipment to make the direct attachment to the wellhead while it is submerged. Thus, in accordance with the present invention, the operations of attaching the control lines which supply energy to the valved wellhead by way of which fluid is flowed to or from the well are performed at an accessible location at, above or near water surface obviating the need for divers. Not only does this reduce operational and equipment expenses, but it provides for safety to personnel and equipment.

The present invention will be further illustrated by the description taken with the drawing in which FIGURE 1 illustrates the drilling of a submerged well from a floating vessel;

FIGURE 2 shows the lowering of the wellhead with attached control lines;

FIGURE 3 illustrates the wellhead connected to the well;

FIGURE 4 shows a hydraulic line and a flowline connected to the well;

3,426,842 Patented Feb. 11, 1969 FIGURE 5 illustrates a waterproof electric cable or line used for supplying electrical energy; and

FIGURE 6 is a modification of FIGURE 4 showing a means for purging a hydraulic line.

Referring now to the drawing which illustrates a preferred mode and embodiment, numeral 11 designates a body of water in which a well 12 has been drilled on water bottom 13 from a drilling vessel 14 floating on water surface 15. The drilling vessel 14 is provided with drilling and hoisting equipment generally indicated by the numeral '16 which includes all necessary equipment for drilling and completing a well. A drill string assembly 17 extends from the vessel 14 into the well 12 by way of which the well 12 is drilled. When the well .12 has been drilled, a guide rod such as 18 may be run through the drill string and the drill string raised over it leaving the guide rod in the well 12 to serve as a guide for lowering tools into the wells and completing the well. Thus, in FIGURE 2, wirelines 19 are lowered from vessel 14 with lowering yoke 20 attached thereto through which the guide rod 18 extends and having suspended therefrom a wellhead 21 attached to the yoke 20 by suspension means 22. The wellhead 2'1 is slid-ingly lowered from the drilling vessel 14 over the guide rod 18. The wellhead 21 has connected to it at the water surface 15 prior to the lowering operation suitable energy control lines 23 which may be hydraulic, pneumatic or electric energy lines and a flowline 24 by way of which hydrocarbons and other fluids may be flowed from or to the well as will be described. The control lines 23 are attached to the wellhead 21 to control the valves of the wellhead while the flow line 24 provides means for introducing completion fluids into the well or is used for recovery of hydrocarbons from the well. The free ends of these several lines 23 and 24 remain at or near the water surface and are attached by attaching means 25 to a buoy 26 floating on the water surface 15 which provides access to the free ends of these several lines 23 and 24. The wellhead 21 is lowered onto the upper end 27 of the well 12 and is attached thereto by suitable attaching means which forms a fluid-type connection. Such attaching means are available in the industry and make a seal by metal-to-metal contact or through metal-sealing means contact. In any event, such equipment is available in the industry.

After the wellhead 21 has been attached to the upper end 27 of the well 12, the drilling vessel 14 is free of the well 12 and may be moved to a new location. This is illustrated best in FIGURE 3 wherein a tug such as 28 is shown towing the vessel 14 by line 29, attaching the tub 28 to the vessel 14. The lines 23 and 24 then may be dropped to water bottom and led or connected to an onshore position or to a central location or platform in body of water 11 where a source of energy is available and where completion fluids or produced fluids may be stored. Completion fluids, such as emulsions, acids, cement slurries, fracturing liquids, sand consolidation chemicals, and like may be flowed through the line 24 and after the well is completed hydrocarbons such as oil and/or gas may be recovered through the line 24. The valves on the valved wellhead 21 may be operated through energy supplied by lines 23 to open and close the valves controlling fluid flow as may be desired.

Referring now to FIGURE 4, the valved wellhead 21 is provided wih a flowline 24 and a hydraulic line 23 which is supported at the water surface 15' by buoy 26. In this embodiment, a flowline 24 has been connected to a pipeline 30 by a connector 31. This connection may be accomplished at the water surface 15 or on bottom through a remotely controlled connector from the water surface. Ordinarily it may be preferred to make the connection at the water surface rather than on bottom through a remotely controlled operation.

In. FIGURE 5, the control line 23 is shown in the form of an electrical cable which may be led as desired to a source of electrical energy to operate the valves on the valved wellhead 21.

In FIGURE 6, the hydraulic line 23 of FIGURE 4 is provided with a release line mechanism 32 which is connected to the buoy 26 at the water surface after the hydraulic line 23 has been connected to a source of hydraulic energy and the flowline 30 has been extended to remote accessible storage. In instances of this nature, the line 32 provides a means for purging the line 23 of any air and/ or other foreign material which may be present in the line 23. In this instance, the air and/or foreign material would be released at the Water surface through an opening in the buoy 26 connecting thereto by way of line 32. Thereafter the line 32 would be closed by suitable manipulation from the surface 15 and the line 32 removed as may be desired. It may be desirable, however, to leave the line 32 with the buoy 26 connected thereto to show the location of the well 12.

' Wherever used herein hydraulic and pneumatic are intended to encompass the use of fluid as a source of energy for the valved wellhead 21.

In the practice of the present invention when the drilling vessel such as 14 is moved off of the drilling location, subsequent operations may be performed from other smaller vessels as required without incurring the great expense of tying up a drilling vessel.

While the present invention has been described and illustrated with reference to drilling and conducting operations from a floating vessel or from the water surface, it is to be understood that such operations may be conducted from bottom-supported platforms extending to above the water surface or the invention may be conducted from a platform supported by piling penetrating water bottom or from a platform supported by a submerged vessel on water bottom. Many such vessels are known which may be towed to a location and then sunk such that the platform arranged thereon is still above water surface.

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

1. A method for installing control lines and a flow line on an underwater well drilled in a body of water which comprises:

attaching a plurality of control lines and a flow line each having a free end to a valved wellhead at an accessible location above water bottom;

attaching a floating marker to one of said control lines at said accessible location;

lowering said wellhead with said attached control lines and said flow line from said location to said well on water bottom while maintaining the free end of said control lines at said accessible location;

attaching said wellhead to said well on water bottom and dropping said control lines and flow lines to water bottom;

remotely attaching the free end of said flow line to the free end of a pipe line on water bottom from said accessible location; and

flowing fluid through said flow line and pipe line by controlling said valved wellhead through said control lines;

the location of said underwater well and said control and flow lines being determined after said control lines and flow lines are dropped to water bottom by said floating marker.

2. A method in accordance with claim 1 in which said attached control lines are purged of any extraneous material contained therein prior to flowing fluids through said flow line and pipe line by releasing said extraneous materials to water surface.

3. A method in accordance with claim 2 in which the extraneous material is released to water surface by a separate line controlled from the water surface.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,064,735 11/1962 Bauer et al. 166.6 3,086,590 4/1963 Jackson et al. 166.6 3,163,222 12/1964 Foster et al. 166-.6 3,219,118 11/1965 Lewis 166.6 3,291,210 12/1966 Johnstone et a1. 166-.6 3,315,742 4/1967 Nicholson 166.6 3,090,437 5/1963 Geer 166-.6 X 3,256,937 6/1966 Haeber et a1. 166.6

JAMES A. LEPPINK, Primary Examiner.

RICHARD E. FAVREAU, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R. -7

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3064735 *Aug 17, 1959Nov 20, 1962Shell Oil CoWellhead assembly lock-down apparatus
US3086590 *Jun 23, 1958Apr 23, 1963Mcevoy CompanyApparatus for drilling and completion of inaccessible wells
US3090437 *Nov 9, 1961May 21, 1963Shell Oil CoUnderwater wellhead flow line connector
US3163222 *Apr 24, 1961Dec 29, 1964Shell Oil CoWellhead apparatus
US3219118 *Jan 12, 1962Nov 23, 1965Hydril CoSubmarine well head tool servicing apparatus
US3256937 *Jul 30, 1959Jun 21, 1966Shell Oil CoUnderwater well completion method
US3291210 *Oct 20, 1965Dec 13, 1966Richfield Oil CorpDrilling and production method
US3315742 *Apr 20, 1966Apr 25, 1967Chevron ResOffshore deep drilling method from a floating platform
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4091836 *May 5, 1976May 30, 1978Ultra Centrifuge Nederland N.V.System comprising at least one reactor
US4266886 *Sep 8, 1978May 12, 1981Institut Francais Du PetroleMethod and device for connecting a floating installation to an underwater installation through at least one flexible line
US4400110 *Nov 5, 1981Aug 23, 1983Standard Oil Company (Indiana)Flexible riser underwater buoy
US4558972 *May 27, 1983Dec 17, 1985Shell Oil CompanySubsea pipeline connection
US4735267 *Mar 11, 1985Apr 5, 1988Shell Oil CompanyFlexible production riser assembly and installation method
WO1999060246A1 *May 18, 1998Nov 25, 1999Cbv Ind MecanicaA method of connecting a delivery line to a submerged manifold, and a vertical connection module
U.S. Classification166/344, 166/359, 175/7
International ClassificationE21B43/013, E21B43/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/013
European ClassificationE21B43/013