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Publication numberUS3436957 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 8, 1969
Filing dateDec 29, 1966
Priority dateDec 29, 1966
Publication numberUS 3436957 A, US 3436957A, US-A-3436957, US3436957 A, US3436957A
InventorsPridy Whetstine B
Original AssigneePridy Whetstine B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Oil well tubing testing and cleaning apparatus
US 3436957 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Muss H'H'LHLNUL HD8011 XR zawamqs i N April 8, 1969 w. B. PRIDY 3,435,957

OIL WELL TUBING TESTING AND CLEANING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 29. 1966 Sheet of 4 ""FIGJS) INVENTOR. WHE TS TINE B. Pew) April 8, 1969 w. B. PRIDY 3,436,957

on. WELL TUBING TESTING AND CLEANING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 29. 1966 Sheet 2 of 4 H T FIG. 6 576' me R/DY BY AFMQ.W

Arraxavzr April 8, 1969 w. B. PRIDY 3,436,957

OIL WELL TUBING TESTING AND CLEANING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 29, 1966 FIGJO Sheet 3 of4 INVENTOR. WHETST/NE B. Remy April 8, 1969 w. B. PRIDY 3,436,957

011.: WELL TUBING TESTING AND CLEANING APPARATUS 4 Filed Dec. 29. 1966 Sheet 4 of 4 INVENTOR WHE rs 7'//V' 8. PA? a: r

FIG.|4 FIG.|5 ,fi gg Unite'd- -states Patent Office 3,436,957 Patented Apr. 8, 1969 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A portable hydraulic tubing testing unit in which the flow of low pressure fi uid to set two longitudinally spaced sealing members andhi-gh pressure fiuid to test the tubing is controlled by a single valve.

Although the hydraulic testing of oil well tubing at a well site as it is removed from or run into a well has.

been done for a number of years, the equipment available heretofore for performing this testing has certain operational disadvantages, the major one being that they include radially expa risfible slips which hold them at fixed positions in the tubing, but when such testing devices are used on plastic-coated tubing, the coating is frequently ruptured, and its pfotective value against corrosion destroyed. Further disadvantages of previously available testing units are that? they require heavy bulky trucks for use therewith which are expensive, and the units are not useable in the testing of tubing on the interior surface of which any appreciable deposit of wax is present. A major object ofthe present invention is to provide a tubing testing device and facility for supplying liquid under high pressure f6r use in the testing operation that can be transported i61 well site where the testing is to be performed on a single lightweight truck.

Another object of the present invention is to provide means whereby plastic lined oil well tubing can be rapidly and conveniently tested under any predetermined pressure without danger of defacing or breaking the plastic lining thereof;-

A still further object of the invention is to provide means for rapidly removing deposited wax from the interior surface of tubing prior to the hydraulic testing thereof.

Yet another object. of the invention is to provide a truck in which the controls for the testing device are so located in the cab thereof that the operator when sitting on the drivers seat has an unobstructed view of the testing operation, and without leaving this position can'raise or lower the testing tool relative to the tubing being tested, as well as apply and hold any desired hydraulic pressure on the tubing. I

A further object of the invention is to furnish means for concurrently hydraulically testing tubing and an oil well pump connected thereto.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a hydraulic tubing tester that can be easily and quickly assembled at the well site to test stands of tubing of any desired length.

Yet another object of the invention is to furnish a hydraulic tubing testing assembly that requires no ram or accumulator, and is accordingly much lighter, as well asmore compact than previously available assemblies used for this purpose.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description thereof, and from the accompanying drawings illustrating the same, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the tubing testing testing apparatus;

apparatus in a dismantled condition readyfor transportation to a well site on a truckwhich serves as a source of hydraulic fluid under pressure;

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view ofthe testing apparatus shown in FIGURE 1, with a portion' of the truck cab roof broken away ,to show the location of the controls for the testing unit located within the cab;

FIGURE 3 is adiagrammatic plan view of a portio of the truck, showing how the truck engine may be used to eitherpower the truck or drive a high-pressure hydraulic pump mounted thereon, as well as the priming pump for said pump;

, FIGURE 4 is a diagrammatic view of the source of hydraulic fluid under pressure and the piping system associated therewith;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the truck panel; showing the pressure gauge for hydraulic fluid, and the valve that controls the flow of the pressurized fluid, both of which are mounted on said panel;

FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view of a portable derrick at the wellf site for sequentially raising or lowering stands of tubing from or -vinto the well bore, with the testing unit being positioned adjacent the derrick to permit hydraulicaltesting of the tubingas it is drawn out of or lowered into the well;

FIGURE 7,is a perspective view of a grab employed in removably engaging an upper portion of the hydraulic FIGURE 8 is a front elevational view of the grab shown in FIGURE 7 when supporting the upper portion of a wax-removing device;

FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of a hold-down device for use with the invention;

FIGURE 10 is a longitudinal cross-sectional viewjof the grab shown in FIGURE 8, taken on the line 10-10 thereof;

FIGURE 11 is a combined longitudinal cross-sectional and side elevational view of the hydraulic testing tool disposed in astand of tubing;

FIGURE 12 is a side elevational view of the ho1ddown when in use;

FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary sectional view of the testing tool, 13-13 of FIGURE 11;

FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary sectional view of the testing tool, 1414 of FIGURE 11; I

FIGURE 15 is a fragmentary sectional view of the testing 'tool, 15-15 of FIGURE 11;

FIGURE 16 is a fragmentary sectional view of the testing 1 tool, 16- 16 of FIGURE 11;

FIGURE 17 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the testing tool, taken on the line 17-17 of FIGURE 11;

FIGURE 18 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the testing tool, taken on the line 1818 of FIGURE 17;

FIGURE 19 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the tool illustrated in FIGURE 11, showing how the tool is filled with water prior to the first testing operlongitudinal crosstaken on the line longitudinal crosstaken on the line longitudinal crosstaken on the line longitudinal crosstaken on the line ation; and

from the cab 13 carries a high-pressure hydraulic pump G as well as a rack H which removably supports a plurality of heavy spacer tubes 1. Bed structure? includes two liquid reservoirs K that extend longitudinally along the sides thereof, and one or more compartments L in which accessories, portions of testing tools, and the like (not shown) may be stored, as illustrated in FIGURE 1.

The truck A (FIGURE 2) has a dashboard 20 within cab B on which a hydraulic pressure gauge M and a threeposition valve N for the control of hydraulic fluid from the pump G is located. Gauge M is clearly visible to the operator (not shown) when in the drivers seat 22 in cab B, and the valve Nis easily manipulated by the operator from this position.

Truck A also includes an engine 0, which by means of the conventional transmission assembly P shown in FIG- URE 3, can selectively drive either the truck, or by use of the shaft 24 also shown, the hydr'aulic pump G. A sheave 26 is mounted on shaft 24, andjis engaged by an endless belt 28 extending to a pulley 30 of a low-pressure pump 32 which supplies liquid from the reservoirs K to the suction of the high-pressure pump '6, as may be seen in FIGURE 4. The suction of pump 32 (FIGURE 4) is connected by a conduit 34 to a T 36, from which two laterals 38 extend to the reservoirs K. The discharge of pump 32 is connected by a conduit 40, to a check valve 42 from which a conduit 44 leads to the suction 46 of high-pressure pump G.

The discharge of pump G is connected by a conduit 48 to a port 50 of the three-position, four-port valve N. A second port 52 of valve N is connected by a conduit 54 to a T 56 which is in turn connected a conduit 58 to the pressure gauge M and by a conduit 60 to a high-pressure liquid outlet 61 that projects from, the forward portion of the truck A, as illustrated in FIGURE 1. Port 62 of valve N is connected to a conduit 64 that extends to a T 66. T 66 is connected by a conduit 68 that extends to a second T 70 from which two laterals72 lead to the reservoirs K. A valve 74 {is connected to each lateral 72 for controlling the flow of hydraulic liquid to either of the reservoirs K or both,- if desired. The T 66 is connected by a conduit 76 to the fourth port 78 of valve N.

Valve N also includes a rotatable valve member 80 in which a first passage 82 and second Passage 84 are formed. When valve member 80 is in a first position, first passage 82 is in communication with ports 50 and 78, and passage 84 extends between ports 52 and 62. Liquid under pressure in conduit 48 circulates through passage 82 and returns to reservoirs K through conduits 76 and 68 and lateral conduit 72.

When valve member 80 is disposed in a second position the passage 84 is in communication with'ports 50 and 52, and all high-pressure liquid discharged .by pump G fiows to the liquid outlet 61. When valve member 80 is disposed in the third position shown in FIGURE 4, it maintains pressure on the liquid to the right of valve N but allows the liquid discharged by pump G to circulate back to one of the reservoirs K.

A flexible high-pressure hose Q is connected to outlet 61 by conventional means, as can best be seen in URE 6. The free end of hose Q is connected to an elon-= gate rigid plug 88, as shown in FIGURES and 11, and a longitudinally extending bore 90 is formed in this plug that communicates with the interior of the hose. The bore 90 (FIGURE 10) is in communication with a transverse passage 92 formed in the plug '88. Two circumferentially extending recesses 94 are formed in plug 88 which are located on opposite sides of the passage 92. Resilient seal ing rings 96 are mounted in the recesses 94, as also shown in FIGURE 10.

The tubing R to be tested is raised in stands from the well bore by a travelingblock (not shown) forming a part of a conventional portable derrick assembly (FIG- URE 6) that includes an elevated sheave 100. Cable E extends upwardly from drum D to sheave 100 and then downwardly to support the grab T shown in FIGURE 7. Grab T includes a horseshoe shaped plate 102 in which a slot 104 is defined. A lock bar106 is pivotally supported on plate 102, and is adapted to be rotated to a position where it extends transversely across the open end to engage a transverse groove 103 of slot 104. Two transversely aligned pins 108 project from the outer sides of plate 102 to pivot-ally support a bail 110 from which an elongate rod 112 projects outwardlyto terminate in an eye 114.

Whatever wax is found on the inner surfaces of the stands of tubing R as they are raised from the well bore (not shown), it may be removed therefrom by the grab device T, shown in FIGURE 10. Stands of tubing R are separated from the balance of the tubing in the well bore by unscrewing the lowermost length of the tubing stand from a collar 115, one of which collars is shown in FIG- URE l0, situated directly therebelow. The tubing R remaining in the well bore (not shown) is supported from the ground surface or floor W of the' derrick by slips (not shown).

To remove wax from a string of tubing, a plug 116 (FIGURE 10), is moved downwardly through the uppermost collar 115 thereon. Plug 116 includes a body 118 of hardrubber, that is defined by-an upper cylindrical surface 118a which slidably and sealingly engages the interior surface 120 of tubing R. Body 118 also has a frustoconical surface 11% formed ,thereon that extends downwardly from surface 118a to develop into a second cylindrical surface 118:: which is smaller in diameter than the'interior diameter of tubing R. A circular steel plate 122 is secured to body 118 by a bolt 124, and this plate abuts against the lower end surface of the body. The diameter of plate 122 is slightly larger than that of the cylindrical surface 118c. I

The upper interior threads 1260f collar 115 are engaged by threads 128 formed on the exterior of a head 130 that is provided with a tubular eye 132 on the upper portion thereof in which the plug may be removably and sealingly inserted. When plug 88 is so disposed, the passage 92 is in communication with'a bore 134'that extends downwardly through the head 130 to communicate with the interior of collar 115.

With the head 130 attached thereto, a stand of tubing R 18 then raised upwardly by use of the derrick assembly S to the extent that the lower end of the stand is situated above the floor surface W surrounding the well. Thereafter, plug 88 is inserted into-tubular eye 132 in the position shown in FIGURE 10, and the valve N moved to the second position to discharge hydraulic fluid under pressure through the hose Q, bore 90, passage 92 and bore 134 into the confines of the collar 115. The liquid under pressure forces the plug 116 downwardly through the stand of tubing R, and as the plugmoves downwardly therethrough the wax (not shown) in \the tubing is forced downwardly and deposited on the floor surface W.

The eye 114 of grab T is connected to the free end of cable E (FIGURE 6). In FIGURE}, grab T is shown removably engaging two oppositely-disposed, parallel slots 138 in head U to support the head and a stand of tubing R depending therefrom.

The testing tool V is shown in an assembled form in FIGURE 11, which may be used in hydraulically testing tubing R as it is sequentially raised injistands from a Well bore (not shown) or lowered therein. It will be apparent that when a stand of tubing R is tested by use of tool V, the collars 115 connecting lengths of tubing in a string are also tested.

Tool V includes an elongated rigid member 140 in the upper portion of which a transverse opening 142 is formed that can be removably and sealingly engaged by the .plug 88. A bore 144 extends downwardly in member 140 from opening-142. -Passage 92 of plug 88 communicates with bore 144 when the plugis disposed in opening 142. r

A circular rib 146 projects outwardly from member 140 as illustrated in FIGURE 13, against which a ring 148 abuts and supports a downwardly and outwardly extending resilient shield 150. Upon cessation of the testing operation, the shield 150 prevents release of high pressure liquid from spurting upwardly from the tubing R onto an operator (not shown). An interior circumferentially extending recess 152 is formed in ring 148 in which a resilient ring 154 is disposed th-at frictionally engages the exterior surface of member 140, and r'emovably holds the shield 150 in position thereon.

By means of threads (not shown) the lower end of member 140 engages the upper end of a rigid; member 156 in which a bore 157 extends longitudinally therethrough that is in communication with a tube 158 (FIG- URE 14). The tube 158 is affixed to, and extends downwardly from member 156, and the lower end of the tube terminates in a collar 160. An externally threaded tubular boss'162 depends from collar 160. The boss "162, collar 160, and tube 158 have a common bore 164-.extending longitudinally therethrough that is in communication with bore 157.

At the junction of member 156 and tube 158a downwardly and inwardly tapering conical surface 166 is defined that is slidably engaged by the tapered; surfaces 168 of a number of rigid arcuate segments 170 the external surfaces of which are convex, as may be seen in FIGURES 17, 18 and 20. Segments 170 have fiat surfaces 172 that are in abutting contact with the upper surface of a cylindrical resilient body 174 mounted on tube 158, as illustrated in FIGURES l1 andl4. The lower end of body 174 is partially defined by a conical surface 176. To prevent inadvertent displacement of segments 170 from the testing tool, these segmentsl are supported 0n the free ends of a number of longitudinally extending circumferentially spaced resilient fingers 171 which are formed as an integral part of a ring 173 that slidably engages member 156.

A rigid force-exerting plug 178 is slidably mounted on tube 158, and this plug is provided with an uppertapered surface 180 that is in abutting contact with surface 176. An internal circular recess 182 (FIGURE 14) is formed in plug 178, and a resilienttring 184 is disposed in this recess to seal with the external surface of tube 158.

Threads 186 are formed on the lower end 'of plug 178 and engage threads provided on the upper interior surface of an elongate cylindrical side wall 188, the lower end 190 of which is closed, as best seen in FIG- URE 14. Side wall 188 and end 190 cooperatively, define a cup 192. A central bore 194 is formed in end..190 that slidably engages tube 158.

Tube 158 within the confines of cup 192, as shown in FIGURE 14, defines a body shoulder 196 against which a piston 1 98 abuts. Piston 198 is held in this abutting position by a. snap ring 200 that engages a circumferentially extending recess 202 provided in" tube 158. External and internal circumferentially extending recesses are formed in piston 198 in which resilient rings 204 and 206 are disposed to seal with the interior surface of side wall 188 and the external surface of tube 158, respectively.

The lower end of plug 178 and the upper surface of piston 198, together with the interior surface of side wall 188, cooperatively define a confined space 208 (FIGURE 14). A transverse passage 210 is formed in tube 158 which is in communication with bore 164. and confined space 208, for reasons to be explained hereinafter. A compressed helical spring 212 is disposed in cup 192, as shown in FIGURE 14, with one end of the spring being in contact with piston 198 and the opposite end thereof in abutting contact with end 190 of cup 192.

A tubular threaded connector 214 engages the threaded boss 162 and depends therefrom (FIGURES l4 and 16). A bore 216 extends longitudinally through connector 214. Connector 214 includes an externally threaded tubular nipple 218 (FIGURE 16) that engages the tapped upper portion of a longitudinally extending bore 220 in a valve housing-222. A longitudinally extending bore 224 is formed in housing 222 and communicates with counter: bore 220. Bore 224 extends throughout the length of an externally threaded nipple 226 depending from housing 222 as also shown in FIGURE 16.

A cylindrical cup-shaped valve body 228 is disposed, in counterbore 220 below the tapped portion thereof (FIGURE 16'). Upper and lower longitudinally spaced,

circumfere ntially extending recesses 230 and 232 respec-., tively, are t med on the exterior surface of valve body 228. A t circumferentially extending recess 234 is formed ihe exterior surface of body 228 above recess 230. R'e'c A 234 has a resilient ring 236 therein that seals .wi he bore 220 below the tapped portion thereof.

Upper recess 230 is in communication with a passage 238 bivalve body 228' and extends to the interior of the body, as well as a transverse passage 240 in valve housing 222, as illustrated in FIGURE 16. Valve body 228, below lower recess 232, is smaller in transverse cross section than counterbore 220 and cooperates 'with the counterbore to define a downwardly extending passage 242 that is at all times in communication with bore 224. Lower recessv 232 also communicates with a longitudinally extending U-shaped passage 244 in housing 222.

A tubular segment 246 is disposed in the upper end of the valve body 228, and is provided with a tapered seat 248 ori the lower end thereof that is sealingly engaged by,

a ball 250. A piston 252 is slidable in valve body 228, and is at all times urged upwardly by a compressed helical spring 254. Piston 252 supports ball 250 and maintains the latter in sealing contact with seat 248. The position of spring 254 in valve body 228 is shown in FIGURE 16. From the above description it will be seen that bores" 216 and 224 are at all times in communication and liquid can flow therebetween by following the path indicated by arrows in FIGURE 16.

A number of spacer tubes I are threadedly connected in end-to-end relationship, :with the uppermost tube being connected to a downwardly extending, externally threaded;

tion of FIGURE 15 is threadedly connected to an elon-v;v gate r nember 258 through the length of which a bore 260'; extends, and is in communication with bore 224. Upper and lower transversely circular openings 262 and 264, re spectively, are formed in member 258 in which upper and lower cylindrical plugs 262a and 264a are movably sup= ported. Bores 262b and 264b are formed in plugs 262a and 264a, respectively, that extend transversely therethrough, and when the testing tool is in an operating condition, these bores are in alignment with bore 260. The plugs 262a and 264aare normally held in the positions shown in member 258 by resilient bands 268 that encircle member 258 and removably engage grooves 270 formed on the outer ends of plugs 262a and 264a.

An externally threaded nipple 269 (FIGURE 15) depends from member 258 which engages a tapped bore in a connector 214. Connector 214', collar 160', cup 192', plug 178 and resilient body 174', all of which are illustrated in FIGURE 11 as being located below member 258, are of the same structure as like numbered components previously described, whereby a detailed description thereof is not considered necessary. A tube158 extends downwardly through resilient body 174' and supports a cylindrical guide body 272 provided withan upwardly and inwardly tapering surface 166' against which segments abut. Circumferentially extending slots 276 are formed in the exterior surfaces of both the upper and lower set of segmehts170, in which resilient sealings'rings 274 are disposed as may best be seen in FIGURE 18.

The use and operation of the testing and eleg in d vice of the present invention isexplainedas follows. The

7 testing apparatus is preferably transported to a well site in a dismantled condition on the truck A, which is thereafter removed from the truck and assembled to provide the tool illustrated in FIGURE 11..

Cable E is then unwound from drum D and extended over the sheave 100 mounted on the derrick assembly S. The free end of cable E is rigidly connected by convenitional means to the eye 114 of the grab T, as shown in FIGURE 7. That portion of plate 102 on grab T adjacent slot 104 is then inserted in the slots 138 formed in the rigid member 140, and the bar 106 pivoted to a locking position, The drum D is power-rotated to Wind cable E thereon until the testing tool shown in FIGURE 11 is hanging in a vertical position above the floor W of the well from which tubing is to be removed and tested.

Thereafter plug 262:: (FIGURE 15) is removed from the transverse opening 262, and plug 264a is rotated to a position where bore 264b is out of communication with bore 260. The plug 88, shown in detail in FIGURE 10, is then inserted in opening 262, which places passage 92 of the plug in alignment with bore 260.

At this time the handle 278 of valve -N is moved to the second position whereby hydraulic fluid discharges to the tool (FIGURE 11) to fill the interior thereof with fluid above the opening 262. By filling the interior of the tool above opening 262 in the manner described, a minimum of air is entrained in the fluid within the tool, After the upper portion of the tool is filled with fluid, the handle 278 is moved to the first position.

Plug 88 is then withdrawn from opening 262, and as it is withdrawn, plug 262a is reinserted therein, with the bore 262b being disposed in a direction normal to bore 260. In this position plug 262a maintains a column of fluid in the tool above opening 262, and the plug 264a may then be removed from opening 264 and the above described operation repeated to fill the lower portion of the tool with fluid. Plugs 262a and 264a are now pivoted ninety degrees each, to bring bores 262b and 264b into alignment with bore 260. The bores 260, 262b, 264b are then longitudinally aligned to definean elongate confined space in the tool that is substantially full of liquid. The tool is filled in this manner to prevent formation of air bubbles in the column of liquid in the tool, which bubbles may form if the tool is filled with liquid throughthe upper portion thereof.

Thereafter the drum D is actuated to lower the testing tool into the first stand of tubing R to be hydraulically tested The upper end of tubing R under test is supported adjacent the floor W by slips (not shown) Handle 278 is now moved to the second position, whereupon hydraulic fluid under pressure flows to the testing tool illustrated in FIGURES ll, 14, 15 and 16 to augment the quantity of liquid already present in bores 260, 262b, and 26411 of the tool, If the engine is not already op erating, it is then actuated to drive the pumps 32 and G. The handle 278 of valve N is in a first position in which hydraulic fluid discharged by pump G circulates back to the reservoir K, As the pressure increases on the fluid in the testing tool, fluid flows into the spaces 208 and 208' indicated in dotted line in FIGURE 11., The structure defining space 208 is shown in detail in FIGURE 14, while the structure defining space 208' is identical to that of space 208.

As fluid flows into the spaces 208 and 208', the cup 192 and plug 178 are moved upwardly to exert both longitudinal and radially directed forces on the resilient body 174. The upper end of body-174 abuts against the flat sur= faces 172 of segments 170, which segments have upwardly and outwardly tapering surfaces that are in slidable con= tact with the conical surface 166, As segments 170 tend to move upwardly due to the upward force exerted thereon by body 174, they are moved radially, with the rings 274 thereon being forced into sealing contact with the in= terior surface of the tubing R being tested. The segments 170 and rings 274- provide back-up means to prevent the cold flow of the resilient material de fining body 174.

When the pressure on the fluid in the tool shown in FIGURE 11 has reached a predetermined value at which the bodies 174 and 174' are in sealing contact with the interior surface of the tubing R being tested, the pressure on ball 250' is sufliciently great as to move it, togetherv with piston 252, downwardly against the force offered by spring Fluid then flows through passages 238 and 240 (FIGURE 16) into an annulus-shaped space 280 defined between the tool and interior surface of the tubing R being tested, which space may be seen in FIGURES 14, and 16. The upper and lower ends of the space 280 are obstructed by the radially expanded bodies 174 and 174'.

Pressure on the fluid may be increased to any desired degree. It should be particularly noted that as the pressure on the fluid in space 280 is'increased for testing purposes, the longitudinally and radially directed forces on bodies 178 and 178' likewise increase, whereby leakage of fluid from the confined space 280 is avoided. After a desired testing pressure has been exerted on the fluid in the tool and in space 280, handle 278 is moved to the third position. The pressure is so held for a predetermined length of time, with the operator during this period watching the gauge M. If the gauge M indicates that there is no pressure drop during this period, obviously no leak is present in the tubing string being tested, and handle 278 is returned to the second position. When valve N is in the second position a small portion of the high pressure fluid in the tool will flow through the valve to return to the reservoirs K.

Shortly after this return flow of high pressure fluid from the testing tool, the fluid pressure in the tool drops to the extent that spring 254 expands and moves piston 252 and ball 250 upwardly until the ball seats on the lower end of segment" 246. The springs 212 and 212 then expand longitudinally and move plugs 178 and 178 towards one another to decrease the volume of confined spaces 208 and 208'. At this point the resilient bodies 174 and 174' expand longitudinally and contract radially, and in so doing break the sealing contact with the surface of the tubing R being tested. The hydraulic fluid in space 280 is then free to flow downwardly by force of gravity into the oil well. In actual practice this loss of fluid is quite small, for the volume of space 280 is held at a minimum in order that as little time as possible will be required to fill it with fluid, and raise the pressure on the fluid to a predetermined level at which the tubing R is tested.

In the event the gauge M shows that the pressure has dropped the testing period, it is an indication of, the presence of a leak in the stand of tubing R undergoing test. The tubing R being tested is accordingly raised by the traveling block (not shown) on the derrick structure S to a position above the floor W, and pressure is reapplied to the string of tubing. A leak in the tubing or the collars joining the lengths of tubing comprising a stand will test visibly with the tubing in this position, making it possible to remove the defective length or lengths of tubing from the stand and discarded The testing operation just described is sequentially repeated as stands of tubing are intermittently raised from a well bore and tested. Although testing of the tubing R has been described as stands thereof are raised from the well in which they are normally disposed, the same operation can be performed as stands of tubing are made up and lowered into a well.

On occasion it will be found that the interior surfaces of a stand of tubing R to be tested is coated with paraflin, wax or other foreign material to such an extent that the tool shown in FIGURE 11 cannot be placed in the stand of tubing for testing, In such a situation, the plug 116 is placed in the upper end of the stand of tubing R and the head 130, best seenin FIGURE 10, is screwed into the uppermost collar on the stand of tubing.

Thereafter, the plug 88 is inserted in head and the stand of tubing R raised :by the traveling block to a position where the lower end of the tubing stand is disposedla' bove the floor W. The handle 278 is then moved from are first to the second position, with hydraulic fluid under pressure discharging through the bore 134 in head 130 tozforce the plug 116 downwardly through the stand of tubing R, whereby as the plug so moves it forces the foreign material (not shown) in the tubing stand downwardly to be ejected from the bottom of the stand. After plug 116- has traversed the length of the stand of tubing R, the handle 278 is moved from the second to the first position o n valve N. The stand of tubing R from which foreign; material has been removed is then ready for hydraulic testing.

A hol'el down device X shown in FIGURE 9, includes a heavy circular plate 282 through which a central bore 284 extends that permits the plate to be slid downwardly over the member 140 to abut against=-the rib 146. Two radiallydisposed slots 286 are formed in plate 282v (FIG- URE 9 A third slot 288v extends radially from the outer edge of-riplate 282 to the bore 284, and two grooves 290 extend ttierefrom in opposite directions, Two cables 292 are provided onfirst, end portions of which a number of longitudinally spaced stops 294 are disposed, and two stops 296 are mounted on the other two ends of these cables.

The fixture Y (FIGURE 12) includes a heavy plate 298 from-twhich a collar 300 extends upwardly, and two arms 302 project outwardly in opposite directions from this collar. A bore 304 runs longitudinally through the fixture Y whereby the fixture may "be disposed on the upper end portion of the stand of tubing R to be tested. A collar 115 is screwed on the upperr'riost end of the tubing R, and the fixture Y abuts againstthe lower end of this collar to prevent upward movement of the fixture relative to the stand of tubing R being t'eisted.

The testing tool V (FIGURE 11) may then be lowered into the 'tubing R as illustrated in FIGURE 12, and re movably held in place therein by means of the hold-down device XqThe hold-down device X is employed in this mannerwhen the stand of tubing R being tested includes lengths oftubing R which vary in internal diameter, with the tubin'gof larger diameter being'disposed above that of smallertdiameter. .If the holddown X is not used in this manner during such a testing operation, the hydraulic pressure onthe lower end of the tubing of larger diam-= eter, it will force the string of tubing R upwardly relative to the testing tool V.

Although the present invention is fully capable of achieving the objects and providing the,advantages hereinbefore mentioned, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiment thereof and I do not mean to be limited to details of construction herein shown and described,' other than as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In combination with an automotive truck provided with a cab and a drivers seat therein that-can be driven to an oil well site and so positioned tha't the forward end of said truck is located most adjacent to said well, apparatus for hydraulically testing stands of oil well tubing as they are sequentially raised from or lowered into said well, which apparatus includes:

(a) a high-pressure hydraulic pump mounted on said truck;

(b) power means on said truck for driving said pump;

(c) a power-driven reel mounted on the forward end of said truck;

(d) at least one hydraulic fluid reservoir mounted on said truck and connected to the suction side of said (e) means for controlling said reel from said cab;

(f) a cable that can be wound onto or unwound from said reel during rotation of said reel;

ing the pressure on fluid in said hose and allowing said fluid from the discharge of said pump to circulate toi said reservoir;

(j) a pressure gauge in said cab which communicates with said=fluid in said hose;

(k) two --lo ngitudinally spaced, tubular resilient bodies smaller in transverse cross section than that of the tubingto be tested and disposed therein;

(1) a valve housing in which a transverse passage and t a longitiidinally extending passage are formed; (m) a spring-loaded valve assembly insaid housing that obstructs communication between said longitudinal and transverse passages until said assembly is subjected to a predetermined first pressure;

(It) tubular means for supporting said valve housing in an intermediate position between said bodies;

(0) upper-and lower cups slidably mounted on said tubular means on opposite sides of said housing; (p) upperland lower plugs mounted in the open ends of said cups, which plugs abut against first end portions of said bodies;

(q) two pistons mounted in fixed positions on said tubular means and that slidably engage the interior surfaces of said cups, which pistons and plugs togather w Said P p ratively define confined"*' paces which are in communication with transverse passagesj'l.,in said tubular means that extend into the interior'thereof;

' (r) two back-up means provided on said tubular means that prevent longitudinal movement of said bodies thereoni.

(s) means for supporting the upper end of said tubular means from said cables to permit lowering and raising of said apparatus from consecutive stands of said tubing as the same is raised from or lowered into saidwell bore; and

(t) mean-on said hose for discharging said fluid under pressure into said tubular means when saidvalve is in said {second position to increase the volume of said confined spaces and move said cups and plugs longitudinally towards said bodies to radially expand the sameainto fluid sealing contact with the interior surfacef o'f the tubing being tested, which fluid when said first predetermined pressure is reached, forces said valve assembly to open and discharge said fluid-1 into an annulus-shaped space defined by said tubing,

the adjacent ends of said bodies and the exterior surface of said housing, cups and plugs, with the force exerted by said plugs on said bodies to seal the latter with the interior surface of said tubing increasing concurrently with an increase in pressure on said fluid in said annulus-shaped space until a desired maximum ,pressure is obtained as shown on said gauge whereupon said valve is placed in said third position, which valve" is placed-in said first position after a predetermined length of time if no pressure drop is registered by said gauge, and when said valve is in said first position it allows a portion ofsaid fiuid to discharge back into said reservoir and permits said resilient bodies to return to their initial position.

2. In an apparatus for hydraulically testing at least a portion of the length of a tubular member for leaks, which apparatus is of the type..that includes an elongate body of smaller diameter than the inside diameter of said tubular member, upper and lower radially expandible sealing means longitudinally spaced on said body, upper and lower hydraulically operated, longitudinally movable means that radially expand said upper and-lower means into sealing engagement with the interior surface of said tubular member when said upper and lowerl hydraulically operated means are subjected to hydraulic fluid at a first pressure, upper and lower longitudinally extending bores formed in said body which are in communication with said first and second hydraulically operated means, first means for introducing hydraulic fluid under varying pressures into said first bore, the improvement for operating said apparatus that is a single valve structure which comprises:

(a) an elongate cup having an upper portion that sealingly engages the upper part of a counterbore in said body, which counterbore is disposed between said upper and lower bores and in communication therewith, with a lower portion of said cup cooperating with said counterbore to define a first; passage that isin communication with said lower bore, a by-pass passage formed in said body that is in communication with said upper bore and said first passage, and with a first transverse passage formed in said body that is in communication with a second transverse passage formed in said upper portion of said cup;

( b) valve seat defining means in the upper portion of said cu-p;

(c) a ball in said cup below said valve seat defining means;

((1) a piston slidably mounted in said cup below said ball;

(e) resilient means in said cup below said piston that at all times urges said ball upwardly towards said valve seat defining means with a first predetermined force, which ball remains in sealing: contact with said valve seat defining means to prevent flow of said hydraulic fluid through said first and second passages until such time as said hydraulic fluid has passed through said upper and lower bores and said lay-pass passage to said first and second hydraulically operated means and is subjected to said first pressure, which hydraulic fluid after said first pressure is exerted thereon moves said ball downwardly relative to said valve seat defining means to permit passage of said fluid through said first and second transverse passages to an annulus-shaped space defined between said first and second sealing means on the exterior of said body to pressure contact the interior surface of said tubular member adjacent thereto, which hydraulic fluid actuating said upper and lower hydraulically operated means with said fluid in said annulusshaped space being at substantially the same pressure after said first pressure is exceeded and said annulus-shaped space is filled with said fluid.

3. An apparatris Ias defined in claim 2 wherein said valve seat defining means comprises a tubular segment sealingly mounted in the upper interior portion of said cup, with said segment defining a valve seat on the lower end thereof.

4. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein said resilient meanscomprises a compressed helical spring disposed longitudinally within said cup, the upper end of which spring is in contact with said piston, with the lower end of said spring being held in a fixed position relative to the lower end of said cup.

5. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 which further includes:

(f) upper and lower radially expandible back-up means disposed above and below said upper and lower sealing means, which upper and lower back-up means expand radially when subjected to upwardly and downwardly directed forces, with said upper and lower back=up means being subjected to said upw-ardly and downwardly directed forces by said upper and lower sealing means as the latter are radially expanded by longitudinal movement of said upper and lower hydraulically operated means.

6. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 which further includes:

(f) means in said body intermediate said upper and lower sealing means for filling said upper and lower bores, said by-pass passage, and said counterbore below that portion of the same occupied by said upper portion of said cup with hydraulic prior to use of said apparatus without trapping air bubbles in said fluid so introduced into said apparatus.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,541,986 6/1925 Martin 294+-91 2,876,842 3/1959 McSpadden I6,,i 43 3,048,998 8/1962 Gilreath 7340.5 3,165,918 1/1965 Loomis 7340.5 3,165,919 1/1965 Loomis 7340.5

LOUIS R. PRINCE, Primary Examiner. J. NOLTON, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1541986 *Feb 16, 1924Jun 16, 1925Martin John BElevator for sucker rods
US2876842 *Sep 27, 1954Mar 10, 1959Pan American Petroleum CorpMethod and apparatus for cleaning wells
US3048998 *Apr 14, 1958Aug 14, 1962B M CraigMethod and apparatus for testing casing
US3165918 *Feb 2, 1962Jan 19, 1965Loomis Glenn LTesting tool for well pipe or the like
US3165919 *Feb 8, 1962Jan 19, 1965Loomis Glenn LMethod and apparatus for testing well pipe such as casing or flow tubing
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3810383 *Mar 17, 1972May 14, 1974C MatherneCompact tubing testing unit
US4417465 *Nov 30, 1981Nov 29, 1983Noe Renato RPortable test unit, for high pressure testing of tubes
US5038033 *Feb 16, 1990Aug 6, 1991Schlumberger Technology CorporationMethod and apparatus for detecting and quantifying radioactive material on tubing in a borehole
U.S. Classification73/40.50R, 137/115.16, 294/91
International ClassificationG01M3/28
Cooperative ClassificationG01M3/2853
European ClassificationG01M3/28D