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Publication numberUS3631933 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 4, 1972
Filing dateJul 22, 1968
Priority dateJul 22, 1968
Publication numberUS 3631933 A, US 3631933A, US-A-3631933, US3631933 A, US3631933A
InventorsBryant John Dennis
Original AssigneeBryant John Dennis
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluid flow system for wells
US 3631933 A
Abstract
A fluid flow system for wells, including a conduit openable along its length and having a digging apparatus connected to one end of the conduit. Means are provided for progressively feeding the conduit into a well and for progressively closing the length of the conduit as it is moved into the well. The conduit is closed about a motive fluid supply duct which extends from the open portion of the conduit into the closed portion of the conduit at the ground level of the well, to supply motive fluid to the digging apparatus.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor John Dennis Bryant 3,132,416 5/1964 Hait 61/72.! X Route 3, l-lawkinsvllle Road, Macon, Ga. 3,144,104 8/1964 Weir 182/41 X 31206 3,285,485 11/1966 Slator.... 226/173 X [21] Appl. No. 746,471 3,306,357 2/1967 Cullen... 175/103 X [22] Filed July 22,19 3,330,459 7/ 1967 Cullen 226/173 [45] Patented Jan. 4, 1972 3,361,377 1/ 1968 Trexler 52/108 X 3,370,656 2/1968 Grolet 175/103 X 54 FLUID FLOW SYSTEM FOR WELLS 5' Byers= 13 Claims, 15 Drawing Figs. ameyqmes 9 [52] 11.8. C1 175/57,

61/72.2 ABSTRACT: A fluid flow system for wells, including a conduit [51] Int. Cl E21b 7/00 openable along its length and having a digging apparatus con- [50] Field of Search... 175/57, nected to one end of the conduit. Means are provided for 103; 52/ 108; 61/72.1, 72.2; 182/41 progressively feeding the conduit into a well and for progressively closing the length of the conduit as it is moved into the References Cited well. The conduit is closed about a motive fluid supply duct UNITED STATES PATENTS which extends from the open portion of the conduit into the 2,512,783 6/1950 Tucker 175/8 x eleeed Portion of the eenduit at the ground level of the to 2,548,616 4/1951 Priestman.... 175/103 supply motive fluid to the digging pp 3,085.729 4/1963 Lehnert 226/173 PATENIEUJAII 4572 3,531,933

SHEET 1 [)F 3 INVENTOR JOHN D BRYANT ATTORNEYS PATENTEDJAI 4m:

SHEEI 2 [IF 3 INVENTOR JOHN D. BRYANT ATTORNEYS PAIENTED-ml mi 3.631.933

' SHEET 3 [1F 3 I1 TI Q qqag ATTORNEYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION When digging a well, a drill or digging head is connected to a length of conduit and lowered into the ground to perform the digging function. As the digging head removes the material from the bottom portion of the well, additional conduit must be added to the welldigging apparatus in order to continue to lower the digging head into the ground. When adding additional conduits to the welldigging apparatus, the digging function must be terminated and the various connections to the conduits of the welldigging apparatus disconnected from the conduits of the welldigging apparatus, and reconnected to the new conduits. Of course, this connection and reconnection must be repeated as the well deepens, which necessitates frequent termination of the digging operation, substantial loss of time, and the attention of a number of skilled laborers at the digging site.

When underwater wells are being dug, the welldigging operation is more complicated since the heavy conduits required to dig the well are more cumbersome and dangerous to handle when the digging operation is controlled from the surface of the water.

When digging a well from the ground surface or from the surface of a body of water, the inconvenience of having to add additional conduit to the welldigging apparatus requires the control apparatus to be useable at various different heights with respect to the ground or water level, so that the control apparatus virtually follows the well conduit system toward the surface of the ground or water, whereupon it is removed and joined to the next added conduit. Thus, the control structure for digging wells must be versatile which adds to its expense. Furthermore, the supervisor of the welldigging operation BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a schematic elevational view, with parts broken away, of the fluid flow system.

FIG. 2 is a detail showing of the manner in which the conduit is formed with portions of the structure removed and must coordinate the welldigging operation with the supply of additional conduits and the timing of adding additional conduits to the digging apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly described, the present invention comprises a fluid flow system for wells, or the like, which allows the digging head of the well to continuously operate while additional length of conduit is added to the conduit system of the well. The conduit is openable along its length, and is normally stored in opened, flat configuration. As the conduit is fed toward its point of use, it is closed along its length about a fluid supply conduit in such a manner that the fluid supply conduit supplies fluid only to the closed portion of the openable conduit. Thus, the fluid flow system can be progressively and continuously extended or shortened without interrupting the supply of motive fluid from the fluid supply conduit, as may be desired.

Thus it is an object of this invention to provide a fluid flow system useable with welldigging apparatus that allows the digging function of the welldigging apparatus to be carried on continuously and without interruption as the digging head moves to a deeper depth within the ground.

Another object of this invention is to provide a fluid flow system which allows fluid to be delivered to a remote point that moves progressively away from the source of fluid, without interrupting the supply of fluid.

Another object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for digging wells and which allows the digging function of the digging head to continue without interruption, and which continuously and progressively adds additional conduit to the conduit of the welldigging apparatus.

Another object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for conveniently, expediently, and inexpensively digging a well from the ground surface, or from the surface of a body of water above the ground.

Other objects, features an advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

shown in cross section, for clarity.

FIG. 3 is a crosssectional view of the conduit and conveyor, taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a crosssectional view of the openable conduit, the fluid supply conduit, and the forming sleeve, taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a crosssectional view of the openable conduit and the fluid supply conduit, taken along lines 55 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a crosssectional view of the of the openable conduit, fluid supply conduit, and conduitclosing element, taken along lines 66 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 7 is a side crosssectional view of the motive fluid supply conduit and the openable conduit, showing the manner in which the motive fluid supply conduit is sealed to the openable conduit.

FIG. 8 is a detail showing of the seam of the openable conduit.

FIG. 9 is a detail showing of the seamclosing element, showing the manner in which the closing element guides the seam sections of the openable conduit into closed relationship with each other.

FIG. 10 is a side crosssectional view of the seamclosing element, taken along lines 10-10 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of the conduit support platform and one of its conduit gripping mechanisms.

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of the conduit supply platform and conduitgripping mechanisms.

FIG. 13 is a side elevational view of the gripping chain of the conduit gripping mechanism.

FIG. 14 is a front elevational view of the conduitgripping mechanism.

FIG. 15 is a perspective of one link of the gripping chain of the conduitgripping mechanism.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in more detail to the drawing, in which like numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows welldigging apparatus 20 which includes fluid flow system 21 conduit support apparatus 22, conduitconveying apparatus 24, conduit supply 25, and power source 26.

Conduit supply 25 includes a mobile platform 28 having a pair of conduit supply reels 29 and 30 supported in cantilever fashion by supports 31. Conduit 32 is wound about supply reels 29 and 30 in its flat configuration. The free end of conduit 32 is extended up over conduitconveying apparatus 24, while the innermost end of conduit 32 is connected to control panel 34 by means of connecting conduit 35. Power source 26 is connected to control panel 34 by means of connecting conduit 36. Power source 26 includes an internal combustion engine 38 and power supply means 39, which may include a pump and/or an electric generator, or any other motive power means.

As is shown in FIG. 3 conduit 32 includes body portion 40 having seam strips 41 extending along opposite edges, and support cables 44. Support cables 44 are bonded to and extend the entire length of body portion 40, and are disposed exteriorly along conduit 32 when closed. Power supply conduit 45 also extends along the length of body portion 40, and is positioned inside conduit 32 when closed. When conduit 32 is opened and extended to a flat configuration, it can be stored about conduit supply reels 29 and 30 in a minimum of space since the dead" space or space defined within a tubular conduit is not also stored.

As is shown in FIG. 8 seam strips 41 and 42 of conduit 32 are constructed so that they can be joined together, to close conduit 32 along its length. Seam strip 41 includes enlarged heel 46, base 48, locking strip 49, and toe 50. Insert 51 also includes base 52, locking strip 53 and toe 54 which conform with base 48, locking strip 49, and toe 50, and these elements together form socket 55 of seam strip 41. Seam strip 42 is faced in the opposite direction from seam strip 41 and includes oppositely facing heel 56, base 58, locking strip 59, toe 60, and insert 61, all of which function to form socket 65. Sockets 55 and 65 are sized and shaped to be placed in locked engagement with each other, as is shown in FIG. 8, with the toe and locking strip of each seam strip projecting into the socket of the opposite seam strip. In this manner seam 66 is formed, which maintains conduit 32 in a closed or annular configuration. In order that seam 66 be fluidtight, resilient strip 68 extends along the inside surface of heel 56 of seam strip 42. Resilient strip 68 is compressed when seam strips 41 and 42 are placed in locking engagement, and helps to form a fluid seal along the entire length of scam 66.

Support cables 44 are spaced across the width of body portion 40 of conduit 32, with one support cable 44 being positioned next adjacent seam strips 41 and 42. As is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, conduitconveying apparatus 24 includes a series of rollers 69 supported by U- shaped housing 70. Support cables 44 of conduit 32 contact rollers 69 and guide conduit 32 toward conveyor 71. Conveyor 71 is positively driven to aid the movement of conduit 32 along conveying apparatus 24.

As is shown in FIGS. 2 and 7, motive fluid conduit 72 is positioned adjacent and slightly below conduitconveying apparatus 24, and includes supply leg 74, sealing leg 75, and tool leg 76. Conduit fonning sleeve or collar 78 extends around tool leg 76 motive fluid conduit 72 and, as it shown in FIG. 4,

is connected to tool conduit 76 by support flange 79 which extends along the length of tool leg 76, and which is positioned on the side of tool leg 76 away from conduitconveying apparatus 24. Forming sleeve 78 is generally of annular configuration, and is of larger diameter at its upper edge than at its lower edge, so that it forms with tool leg 76 of motive fluid conduit 72 a C- shaped space 80 of converging crosssectional area. Conduit 32 is fed from conveying apparatus 24 into forming sleeve 78 and about motive fluid conduit 72, so that conduit 24 is urged toward its closed condition as it passes through the converging C- shaped space of forming sleeve 78. As conduit 24 passes through forming sleeve 78, its support cables 44 bear against the inside surface of forming sleeve 78, so that the major portion of the friction contact between conduit 32 and forming sleeve 78 is felt by support cables 44.

After conduit 24 passes through forming sleeve 78, its seam strips 41 and 42 pass on opposite sides of supply leg 74 of motive fluid conduit 72 (FIG. and then pass through closing collar 81. As is shown in FIGS. 2, 6, 9 and 10, closing collar 81 is generally concentric with sealing leg 75 of motive fluid conduit 72. Closing element 82 is positioned below supply leg 74 of motive fluid conduit 72, within closing collar 81. As is shown in FIGS. 9 and closing element 82 is generally S- shaped, including outer leg 84, intermediate leg 85, and inner leg 86. Intermediate leg 85 is shorter than either of outer leg 84 or inner leg 86, and legs 84, 85, and 86 define grooves 88 and 89 which receive seam strips 41 and 42 of seam 66 of conduit 32. Outer leg 84 converges toward inner leg 86 (FIG. 10), and intermediate leg 85 is tapered along its length and foreshortened, so that seam strips 41 and 42 are guided into locking connection with each other. Closing collar 81 functions to keep conduit 32 properly oriented about sealing legs 75 of motive fluid conduit 72, and support cables 44 continues to absorb primary frictional contact between conduit 32 and closing collar 81. Protrusions 90 and 91 extend on opposite sides of intermediate leg 85, and are positioned to project into the socket of each seam strip 41 and 42, to properly position seam strips 41 and 42 in closing element 82.

As is shown. in FIG. 7, sealing leg 75 of motive conduits 72 terminates in annular seal 92. Annular seal 92 extends about the exterior edge of sealing legs 75, and flares into engagement with the inside surface of conduit 32. In this manner, conduit 32 is maintained in sealed relationship with motive fluid conduit 72, and when fluid pressure is built up within motive fluid conduit 72 and the closed portion of conduit 32, annular seal 92 will be urged into tighter more positive engagement with the inside surface of conduit 32. Of course, the seal created by annular seal 92 with conduit 32 is a sliding seal, which permits conduit 32 to move along the length of sealing leg 75.

As is shown in FIG. 1, conduit support apparatus 22 is positioned below motive fluid conduit 72 and includes support platform 95 and conduitgripping mechanisms 96. As is shown in FIGS. 11-15, support platform 95 is generally of annular configuration and defines central opening 96 through which conduit 32 passes. Support platform 95 is constructed in two pieces, and abutting flanges 98 are bolted together, so that the the halves of support platform 95 can be disconnected from each other and removed from about conduit 32.

Support shoes 99 are spaced about support platform 95 at intervals corresponding to the spacing of support cables 44 about conduit 32. Support shoes 99 each define a slot 100. Conduitgripping mechanisms 101 each include base 102 which is slidable into the slots of support shoes 99. Support walls 104 extend upwardly from base 102, and gripping chain 105 is supported between support walls 104. Sprockets 106 and 108 are supported in spaced relationship between walls 104 by means of axle 109 and drive shaft 110, respectively. Gripping chain 105 is extended around sprockets 106 and 108. As is shown in FIG. 15, each link 111 of gripping chain 105 supports a gripping unit 1 12 which is constructed to grasp a support cable 44. Each gripping unit 112 includes a support slide 114 connected to the vertical plates of chain link 111, and each support slide 114 defines slot 115 which extends laterally of each chain link 111. A pair of grippers 116 and 118 identical to each other and are placed in facing relationship about a support cable 44. Each gripper 116 includes an enlarged base 119 received in slot 115 of support slide 114, body portion 120 which projects through the opening of slot 115 away from base 119, gripper foot 121, and cam follower 122. Gripper foot 121 defines arcuate groove 124 in its face, to extend around the curvature of a support cable 44 of conduit 32.

As is shown in FIG. 14, each sidewall 104 of conduitgripping mechanism 101 includes an inwardly facing cam surface 125 which is spaced to engage the cam follower 122 of each gripper 116 as each link 111 of gripping chain 105 moves along its inside flight. Thus, each gripper foot 121 will be moved into engagement with a support cable 44.

As is shown in FIG. 12 the drive shaft 110 of each conduitgripping mechanism 101 is driven by power unit 126. Power unit 126 is directly connected to the drive shafts 110 of adjacent conduitgripping mechanisms 101a and 101b, and connecting links 128 and 129 are connected to the drive shafts 110 of conduit mechanisms 101a and 101b and function to transmit the rotary motion to conduitgripping mechanisms 101c and 101d. Of course, conventional universal joints are connected to the drive shafts 110.

As is shown in FIG. 1, a drilling head or unit 130 is connected to the lower end of conduit 32,. Pump 131 is powered from motor 132 and functions to draw fluid from reservoir 134 and charge motive conduit 72 with fluid. The fluid flows from supply leg 74 and downwardly through sealing leg 75, and into conduit 32. The fluid flowing through conduit 32 eventually reaches drilling head 130. Drilling head 130 can be the type which is operated by the fluid pressure in conduit 32, or operated by fluid pressure or electricity supplied from control panel 34. The power transmitted to drilling head 130 from control panel 34 is transmitted through connecting conduit 35 to the end of conduit 32, and through power supply conduit 45 (FIG. 3) along the length of conduit 32. The motor for conveyor (FIG. 2), and motors 126 and 132 for conduit support apparatus 22 and pump 131 are powered from control panel 34 by other conduits.

OPERATION When well-digging apparatus is to be placed in operation, digging head 130 is placed over the area of the ground where the well is to be dug, and conduit 32 extended from conduit supply over conveying apparatus 24, through conduitfonning sleeve 78, through closing collar 81, and cables 44 of conduit 32 are run through and gripped by conduitgripping mechanism 101 of conduit support apparatus 22. Conduit 32 is then connected to drilling head 130, and the assembly is complete and ready for operation.

The operator of the drilling apparatus stands at control panel 34 to operate the various components. The motors for driving pump 131, conveyor 71, and conduitgripping mechanism 101 are controlled at control panel 34 so that the drilling head 130 is controlled and coordinated with the various other elements of the apparatus.

As drilling head 130 increases the depth of the well being dug, additional length of conduit 32 is progressively and continuously fed from conduit supply 25, over conduitconveying 20 apparatus 24, and through conduitforming sleeve 78. Conduit 32 is stored in a flat configuration on conduit supply 25 and passes up over conveying apparatus 24 in a substantially flat configuration (FIG. 3), and when conduit 32 approaches conduitforming sleeve 78, begins to assume a concave or crescent configuration (FIG. 4). Seam strips 41 and 42 of seam 66 pass on opposite sides of supply leg 74 of motive fluid conduit 72 (FIG. 5), and as conduit 32 continues in a downward direction, it passes through closing collar 81, where closing element 82 urges seams strips 41 and 42 together and into closed relationship with each other (F168. 8, 9 & 10). As conduit 32 continues to move into a downward direction, its inside surface engages annular seal 92 (FIG. 7), where sealing leg 75 of motive conduit 72 is sealed to the inside surface of conduit 32. Thus, the fluid flowing from pump 131 into motive fluid conduit 72 will pass in a downward direction through conduit 32 toward drilling head 130.

Conduit support apparatus 22 is located adjacent the lower portion of sealing leg 75 of motive fluid conduit 72, so that support cables 44 of conduit 32 are grasped and supported by conduitgripping mechanism 101 as conduit 32 passes about annular seal 92. The placement of conduit support apparatus 26 in this position assures positive positioning of conduit 32 in the area of annular seal 92, so that a positive seal is always maintained during the feeding of conduit 32 into the well. Also, when conduit 32 is being withdrawn from the well, conduitgripping mechanism 101 will function to positively left conduit 32 back over annular seal 92. Under normal conditions, conduit 32 will be charged with fluid pressure from pump 131 when conduit 32 is being moved in a downward direction during the drilling operation; however, when conduit 32 is being lifted out of the well, there will usually be no need to positively charge conduit 32 with motive fluid for drilling head 130. Thus, seal 92 will be urged by fluid pressure into positive sealing relationship with conduit 32 when conduit 32 is being moved in a downward direction about the periphery of the seal, and the pressure will generally be relieved from motive fluid conduit 72 and seal 92 when conduit 32 is being lifted back about seal 92. Thus, closing collar 81 and closing element 82 function to progressively close or open conduit 32, while seal 92 functions to maintain a sliding sea with the inside surface of conduit 32. in the meantime, uninterrupted communication is maintained between pump 131 and drilling head 130, and between drilling head 130 and control panel 34.

Tool leg 76 of motive fluid conduits 72 is provided in order that tools varying in nature can be inserted downwardly through sealing leg 75 of motive fluid conduit 72 and through the closed portion of conduit 32, toward the bottom of the well. In this manner a core sample can be retrieved from the well, or various other testing or adjusting functions can be carried on. Of course, in most instances tool leg 76 will be merely plugged so that the fluidtight integrity of motive fluid conduit 72 will be maintained; however, it will be possible to utilize a tool with conduit 32 without interrupting the flow of liquid from pump 131, if the tool so used does not require breaking the seal of tool leg 76. In this manner, the continuous operation of drilling head 130 will not be interrupted.

Conduitgripping mechanisms 101 are structured so that conduit 32 can be moved under positive control in a downward or an upward direction. Since each conduitgripping mechanism 101 is individually supported by conduit support platform by means of support shoes 99, if one of conduitgripping mechanisms 101 malfunctions, it can be removed from conduit support platform 95, and the remaining ones of conduit-gripping mechanisms 101 can continue in their operation. Furthermore, while conduitgripping mechanisms 101 have been positioned about the upper surface of conduit support platform 95, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that similar support shoes 99 can be connected to the bottom surface of conduit support platform 95, and duplicate conduitgripping mechanisms 10] positioned within these support shoes, to double the number of gripping mechanisms, and the amount of support provided conduit 32.

When conduit 32 has been depleted from conduit supply 25, mobile platform 28 can be replaced with another mobile platform with a full supply of conduit 32, and the free end of the new supply of conduit can be connected with the preceding length of conduit. Thus, additional length of conduit 32 can be provided, as desired. Of course, it is anticipated that each mobile platform 28 will contain a large amount of conduit 32, so that frequent addition of conduit 32 will not be required. A

At this point it should be apparent that the invention disclosed provides the function of continuously supplying fluid through a conduit to the delivery end of the conduit while additional lengths of the conduit are continuously and progressively added. The advantages of this arrangement are readily apparent when the fluid flow system is utilized with welldigging apparatus. The digging function can be carried on without interruption, and the conduit can be extended virtually without limitation. The supply of additional conduit is compact since the conduit is stored in a flat configuration so that the space normally defined by a circular conduit is not also occupying storage space. The conduit can be wound on a single drum, over a pair of conduit supply reels as shown in the drawing, or wound in a random fashion without the benefit of reels or drums. The position of support cables 44 on the outer surface of the conduit is such that the support cables will bear primarily all of the sliding friction of the conduit as it is moved through the welldigging apparatus, and the construction of conduit support apparatus 22 is such that various components of this apparatus can fail without detriment to the remaining components. The structure of the tube is such that it can be withdrawn at a rapid rate from the well and wound in a flat configuration into a supply reel, thus eliminating the necessity of stacking and handling rigid conduits.

While a single embodiment of the invention has been disclosed, it should be understood that other obvious variations and modifications of the invention may be made without exceeding the disclosed concepts. For instance, while only single tube is disclosed, concentric tubes or several laterally spaced tubes may be utilized. The tube may be formed with more than a single seam along its length, and the electric or hydraulic power line can be placed externally of the tube.

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that many other variations may be made in the embodiment chosen for the purpose of illustrating the present invention without departing from the scope thereof as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A fluid flow apparatus comprising a partially closed conduit openable and closeable along its length, digging apparatus or the like at a closed end of said conduit, movable gripping means operatively related to said conduit for moving said conduit along it length, means adjacent and operatively related to said movable gripping means for progressively opening said conduit along its length when moved in a first direction along its length and for progressively closing said conduit along its length when moved in the opposite direction along its length, and fluid flow means operatively related to said opening and closing means, and extending into the closed portion of said conduit from the opened portion thereof constructed and arranged to flow fluid through the closed portion of said conduit as said conduit is moved along its length.

2. The invention of claim 1 and wherein said fluid flow means includes toolinsertion means for inserting a tool or the like into the closed portion of said conduit.

3. The invention of claim 1 wherein said conduit comprises seam strips along its length, and said means for progressively closing and opening said conduit comprises means for progressively urging said seam strips into closed relationship with each other to form said conduit or progressively separating said seam strips to open said conduit.

4. The invention of claim I wherein said fluid flow means comprises a fluid duct projecting lengthwise into the closed portion of said conduit from the opened portion of said conduit, and a sealing member coextensive with said fluid duct and engaging the inside surface of the closed portion of said conduit.

5. The invention of claim 1 wherein said conduit includes at least one cable member connected to and extending along its length, and wherein said means for moving said conduit along its length comprises means for gripping said cable member to raise and lower said conduit.

6. The invention of claim 1 and further including supply means operatively related to said opening and closing means for storing and supplying the opened portion of said conduit in an approximately flat configuration, conveying means positioned between said supply means and said opening and closing means for progressively orienting and feeding the opened conduit in a direction toward said opening and closing means, and forming means operatively related to said conduit opening and closing means for curving the conduit into a concave substantially closed configuration prior to closing the conduit.

7. Welldigging apparatus comprising a conduit openable along its length, movable gripping means for moving said conduit along its length in an approximate vertical direction, means adjacent and operatively related to said movable gripping means for progressively opening and closing said conduit as said conduit is moved along its length, means operatively related to said opening and closing means for continuously flowing fluid through the closed portion of said conduit as said conduit is moved along its length, and digging apparatus or the like connected to the closed end of said conduit.

8. The invention of claim 7 wherein said means for continuously feeding fluid to the closed portion of the conduit comprises a pipe member extending from outside the openable conduit axially into the closed portion of the openable conduit.

9. The invention of claim 7 wherein said conduit comprises at least one cable member attached to the exterior surface of and extending along the length of said conduit, and said means for moving said conduit along its length in an approximate vertical direction includes gripping means for gripping said cable member and for moving said cable member and said conduit in a vertical direction.

10. The invention of claim 9 wherein said gripping means comprises a continuous chain, movable clamping members connected to said chain, and cam means for moving said clamping members into gripping relationship with said cable member.

11. A method of digging a well comprising continuously flowing motive fluid through the closed portion of a conduit openable along its length into the ground to a drilling head, continuously lowering the conduit and drilling head into the ground as the well deepens without interrupting the flow of fluid through the conduit or the operation of the drilling head,

and continuously forming additional le n th of conduit at the surface of the well as the conduit and dnl ing head are lowered into the well.

12. The invention of claim 11 wherein the step of continuously forming additional length of conduit comprises retrieving a conduit opened along its length from a storage area, extending the conduit in a downward direction over the well, and progressively closing the conduit along its length as the conduit is lowered into the well.

13. Apparatus for supplying fluid to a movable consumption area comprising a conduit closeable along its length, conveying means operatively related to said conduit for extending the conduit in its opened configuration generally toward the movable consumption area, movable gripping means operatively related to said conduit for moving said conduit toward and away from the consumption area, means operatively related to said movable gripping means for closing and opening the conduit along its length as the conduit passes a predetermined point, and means operatively related to said opening and closing means for continuously supplying fluid to the closed portion of the conduit from the opened portion thereof as the conduit is moved toward or away from the movable consumption area.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3823565 *Jun 29, 1973Jul 16, 1974Takata Kojyo CoMethod and apparatus for laying thermoplastic pipe
US4154310 *Sep 27, 1976May 15, 1979Konstantinovsky Miron SMethod and equipment for drilling wells
US4668125 *Jul 26, 1985May 26, 1987Long Technologies, Inc.Self-contained, transportable apparatus for inserting a liner into a pipe
US5040926 *Feb 3, 1988Aug 20, 1991Bo AndreassonPiling method
US5044826 *Nov 26, 1986Sep 3, 1991Shell Offshore Inc.Method and apparatus for umbilical hydraulic control lines in floating production systems
US5279364 *Apr 15, 1991Jan 18, 1994Canadian Fracmaster Ltd.Guide arch for tubing
US5292108 *Nov 8, 1991Mar 8, 1994California Production Service, Inc.Auxiliary vehicle for electrically powering a well pipe extractor
US6315051Oct 14, 1997Nov 13, 2001Coupler Developments LimitedContinuous circulation drilling method
US6491476 *Apr 21, 1999Dec 10, 2002Tracto-Technik Paul Schmidt SpezialmaschinenMethod and apparatus for the trenchless laying of pipework underground
US6688394Oct 31, 2000Feb 10, 2004Coupler Developments LimitedDrilling methods and apparatus
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US20040159465 *Feb 19, 2004Aug 19, 2004Ayling Laurence JohnDrilling method
US20140352806 *Dec 6, 2012Dec 4, 2014Via MarinaAssembly For Transporting Liquid Via Pipes and Associated Floating Structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification175/57, 175/65, 405/156
International ClassificationE21B19/22, E21B21/00, E21B19/00, E21B7/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/22, E21B7/00, E21B21/00, E21B19/00
European ClassificationE21B21/00, E21B19/22, E21B19/00, E21B7/00