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Publication numberUS3633767 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 11, 1972
Filing dateAug 12, 1969
Priority dateAug 12, 1969
Also published asDE2040949A1
Publication numberUS 3633767 A, US 3633767A, US-A-3633767, US3633767 A, US3633767A
InventorsDyer Norman D, Mitchell Joseph A
Original AssigneeDresser Ind
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pipe-racking apparatus for oil well derricks or the like
US 3633767 A
Abstract
The pipe-racking apparatus disclosed in detail hereinafter is intended for use in a derrick during the drilling of oil and gas wells or the like. During trips into and out of the wellbore, drill pipe is removed or added in the form of stands made up of a plurality of short pipe sections. This pipe-racking apparatus includes a transfer arm that consists of a pantograph mechanism carrying a pipe engaging and supporting member. The transfer arm is movable on tracks whereby the stands of pipe can be moved in the vertical position between the pipe-racking area and the centerline of the wellbore.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventors Joseph A. Mitchell 2,730,246 [/1956 Stone 2 l4/2.5 Dallas County; 3,145,786 8/1964 O'Neill et al.... 2 14/25 X Norman D. Dyer, Jefferson, both of Tex. 3,262,593 7/1966 Hainer 214/1 CM X [21] P 849407 Primary Examiner-Albert J. Makay [22] F'led 1969 AsristanlExaminer-Frank E Werner d Jan. 11 1972 3g iatgme D d t I Attorneys-Robert W. Mayer, Daniel Rubin, Roy L. Van 1 ssgnee 'f Winkle,Wil1iam E. Johnson,.lr. and Roderick w.

a MacDonald [54] PIPE'RACKING APPARATUS FOR WELL ABSTRACT: The pipe-racking apparatus disclosed in detail DERRICKSORTHELIKE h f d df d kd h 70mins snmwin H s. ereina ter 15 mten e or use in a BI'IIIC urmgt e ri mg g g of oil and gas wells or the like. During trips into and out of the [52] US. Cl 2l4/2.5 wellbore, drill pipe is removed or added in the form of stands [5 l Int. Cl i E211) 19/14 made up ofa plurality of short pipe sections. This pipe-racking [50] Field of Search 175/85; apparatus includes a transfer arm that consists of a pantograph 2 l4/2.5, 1 CM, 514 mechanism carrying a pipe engaging and supporting member. The transfer arm is movable on tracks whereby the stands of [56] Reierences Cited pipe can be moved in the vertical position between the pipe- UNITED STATES PATENTS racking area and the centerline of the wellbore. 2,616,578 11/1952 Dunhane 214/514 UX PATENTED JAN] 1 I972 SHEET 1 0F 3 FIG.

/N VE N TORS JOSEPH A. MITCHELL NORMAN D. DYER ATTORNEY PATENIED JAN] 1 1972 3633.767

SHEET 2 OF 3 FIG. 2B

INVENTORS JOSEPH A. MITCHELL NORMAN D. DYER A TTORNE Y PATENTEB JAM 1 I972 SHEET 3 OF 3 FIG. 3

FIG. 5 JOSEPH A. MITCHELL NORMAN D. DYER 1L JAZZ ATTORNEY PIPE-RACKING APPARATUS FOR OIL WELL DERRICKS OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to pipe-handling or piperacking apparatus. More specifically, but not by way of example, this invention relates to pipe-racking apparatus for handling vertically disposed pipe sections in a derrick used for drilling oil and gas wells or the like.

Various types of pipe-handling or pipe-racking apparatus have been proposed heretofore for the purpose of moving the pipe sections between the centerline of the wellbore and a pipe-racking or setback platform in the derrick. Typical of the apparatus known in the past is the pipe-handling apparatus disclosed in US Pat. No. 2,730,246 issued to A. L. Stone on Jan. 10,1956. 7

The Stone patent discloses pipe-racking devices that include track mechanisms or lead screws for manipulating the pipe-engaging portion thereof in a rectilinear fashion so that the pipe stands can be racked in the derrick in the rather small area provided for that purpose. Since the apparatus is limited to rectilinear movements, the pipe racking must follow a prescribed method with each of the stands being necessarily positioned as a result of the limited movements of the pipehandling apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is one object of this invention to provide improved piperacking apparatus for use in a derrick for handling vertically disposed pipe sections that can be used to quickly and efficiently position the pipe sections as desired.

A further object of this invention is to provide an improved pipe-racking apparatus that is extremely rugged, that can be readily installed on existing drilling rigs and that includes the versatility of being able to position the pipe sections in a very compact area of the drilling rig.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved pipe-racking apparatus that can be fully automated and thereby reduce the manual labor required in conventional pipe handling.

The foregoing objects are accomplished by improved piperacking apparatus for moving and supporting vertical sections of pipe in a derrick wherein the apparatus includes: mounting means for supporting the apparatus in the derrick; transfer arm means carried by the mounting means, the arm means including an outer member positioned substantially vertically and pivotally mounted on the mounting means, an inner member disposed in parallel relationship to the outer member, and connecting means extending between and operably joining the inner and outer members while maintaining the parallel relationship thereof; and, pipe-engaging means positioned on the inner member for engaging and supporting the vertical sections of the pipe in the derrick.

The foregoing and additional objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent as the following detailed description is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGS. 1A and 1B taken together comprise a side elevation view of a well-drilling rig including pipe-racking apparatus constructed in accordance with the invention with certain portions of the derricks being removed for clarity of illustration.

FIGS. 2A and 2B taken together comprise a front elevation view of the rig having the pipe-racking apparatus of the invention located therein.

FIG. 3 is a view taken transversely of the derrick above and showing the pipe-racking area.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, elevation view of the transfer arm of the pipe-racking apparatus.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating the path of movement of the pipe sections between the centerline of the wellbore and a position in the racking area of the derrick.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings and FIGS. 1A and 1B in particular, shown therein and generally designated by the reference character 10 is a drilling rig that includes a derrick l2 pivotally mounted at I4 on a base or platform 16. Struts 18. which have their lower ends connected with the base 16. are suitably attached to the derrick 12 to maintain the derrick 12 in the vertical or erect position as illustrated.

The base 16 will support a drawworks (not shown) and a rotary table 20 that is located on the centerline of the wellbore. Power slips 22 and power tongs 24 are provided for the purpose of supporting the drill string 26 in the wellbore and for assembling the drill string 26 from stands 28 of drill pipe or for breaking the drill string 26 down into stands 28.

A stand 28 consists of one or more joints of drill pipe. Each joint will be between 20 and 40 feet long. The drill string 26 is made up of a plurality of the stands 28 screwed together.

The drilling rig 10 also includes an area for racking the stands 28. The area, which will be referred to herein as the setback 30, is illustrated in FIG. 1A as being a portion of the base 16. The setback 30 will be offset from the centerline of the wellbore so that the stands 28 can be racked in the drilling rig 10 out of the way of operations being performed along the wellbore centerline.

Elongated tracks or guides 32 are attached to the derrick l2 and extend along a substantial portion of the derrick 12. The tracks 32 are provided to control the position of a travelling block 34 and an elevator 36 which is connected to the lower end of the travelling block 34.

The travelling block 34 is connected with the drawworks (not shown) through a cable system 38 that extends upwardly from the travelling block 34 over a crown block 40 mounted on the upper end of the derrick 12. The cable system 38 permits the travelling block 34 to be raised and lowered in the derrick 12 along the tracks 32.

The drilling rig 10 includes upper pipe-racking apparatus designated generally by the reference character 42 and a lower pipe-racking apparatus designated generally by the reference character 44. As shown in FIG. 1B, the upper piperacking apparatus includes a frame 46 supporting a pair of spaced track members 48 and 50. Movably mounted on the tracks 48 and 50 is an upper transfer arm assembly 52 that is shown in more detail in FIGS. 4 and 5.

Upper and lower carriers 54 and 56 movably connect the transfer arm 52 with the tracks 48 and 50. The carriers 54 and/or 56 may be provided with a motor or similar device for propelling the transfer arm 52 along the tracks 48 and 50. In addition, either the upper or lower carrier 54 or 56 will include a servomotor 58 for pivoting the transfer arm 52 relative to the tracks 48 and 50. If desired, the carriers 54 and 56 can be connected with the tracks 48 and 50 and the tracks moved relative to the frame 46.

Extending between the carriers 54 and 56 is an outer member 60. The outer member 60 is in the form of a hollow beam and is arranged to movably support the lower end of a pair of links or connecting members 62 and to pivotally support the upper end of a second connecting member 64. The connecting members 62 and 64 are pivotally joined by a pin 66.

The upper end of the members 62 are pivotally connected with the upper end of an inner member 68 that is disposed substantially parallel to the outer member 60. The inner member 68 is also a hollow beam and is arranged to movably support the lower end of the connecting member 64.

The transfer arm 52 is of a geometric construction sometimes referred to as a pantograph. That is, the construction is such that movement of the lower ends of the connecting members 62 and 64 causes the connecting members to pivot about the pin 66, moving the inner member 68 relatively toward and away from the outer member 60.

To cause the movement of the ends of the connecting members 62 and 64, a linear actuator 70, such as a hydraulic cylinder, is mounted in the outer member 60 with its lower end connected with the lower end of the connecting members 62. Actuation of the linear actuator 70 moves the lower ends of the connecting members 62 and 64 relatively toward the pivoted upper ends thereby moving the inner member 68 relative to the outer member 60.

Movably mounted on the inner member 68 is a pipe-engaging member 72. The pipe-engaging member 72 has a recess 74 in its outer end portion that is sized to receive the drill pipe. The recess 74 is arranged to fit over the pipe, but is sufficiently small so that the enlarged couplings joining the pipe sections to form the stands 28 will not pass therethrough. Thus, the pipe-engaging member 72 can be raised into engagement with the collars to exert an upward force on the pipe stands 28.

As can be seen in FIG. 28, a cable system 76 extends from the pipe-engaging members 72 to a pulley 78 hung in the derrick 12 and then down to a hoist (not shown). The arrangement is such that the cable system 76 can be used to raise and lower the pipe-engaging member 72 along the inner member 68 of the transfer arm 52 thereby raising and lowering the stand 28 engaged thereby.

The lower pipe-racking apparatus 44 includes a frame 80 that is connected with the derrick l2 and with the base 16 to support a pair of spaced tracks 82 and 84. A transfer arm device 86 is movably mounted on the tracks 82 and 84. The transfer arm 86 is identical in almost every respect to the transfer arm 52 previously described. The transfer arm 86 preferably includes a pipe-engaging member 88 that is fixed to the inner arm 68 instead of being movable therealong as previously described in connection with the transfer arm 52.

It can be appreciated from the foregoing, that appropriate power, such as electrical or hydraulic, can be provided to the various motors and actuators utilized in the pipe-racking apparatus 42 and 44. Also, it is preferred that the transfer arms 52 and 86 be controlled for synchronized movement by an operator located on the base 16. Such control apparatus is believed to be conventional and is therefore not described in detail herein.

FIG. 3 is a transverse view of the derrick [2 taken just above the frame 46 and looking downward. The track 50 will be located in the derrick l2 and is in approximately the same position as the monkey board of a conventional derrick. Spaced racking fingers 90 extend from the frame 46 toward the track 50 providing a plurality of racking slots 92. The fingers 90 are positioned directly over the setback 30.

OPERATION PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The pipe-racking apparatus 42 and 44 of this invention are utilized in the drilling rig during the removal of the drill pipe from the wellbore and replacement of the drill pipe therein. Since the pipe-handling procedure during the replacement of the drill pipe is substantially a reverse of the pipe-handling procedure during removal of the drill pipe, only the removal procedure will be described.

The drawworks is actuated causing the cable system 38 to lower the travelling block 34 and elevators 36 downwardly until the elevators 36 can be attached to the upper end of the drill string 26 extending from the wellbore. The cable system 38 is then actuated to raise the travelling block 34 and elevators 36 in the derrick l2 lifting the drill string 26 therewith When one stand 28 of the drill string 26 has been raised into the derrick 12, the power slips 22 are set holding the drill string 26 in the wellbore with the stand 28 extending therefrom.

The travelling block 34 is then lowered as the threaded connection joining the stand 28 to the remainder of the drill string 26 is unthreaded. As the stand 28 is being unthreaded, the transfer arms 52 and 86 are moved inwardly toward the centerline of the wellbore until the pipe-engaging members 72 and 88 thereon have engaged the stand 28. As soon as the stand 28 has been unthreaded from the drill string 26, the cable system 76 is actuated, raising the pipe-engaging member 72 to lift the stand 28 free from the remainder of the drill string 26.

When the stand 28 is free, the actuator is energized, collapsing the transfer arms 52 and 86 moving the stand 28 outwardly away from the centerline of the wellbore and toward the pipe-racking area. The transfer arms 52 and 86 and the connected pipe stand 28 are then propelled along the tracks to the appropriate racking position above the setback 30. As shown in FIG. 6, the pipe-engaging member 72 and the stand 28 are then pivoted and the hydraulic actuator energized to move the inner member 68 away from the outer member 60 so that the stand 28 is disposed in the proper slot 92 between the racking fingers 90. The cable system 76 is then utilized to lower the stand 28 and pipe-engaging member 72 until the lower end of the stand 28 is resting on the setback 30. The transfer arms 52 and 86 are then collapsed, returned to the area of the centerline of the wellbore, and turned to a position in substantial alignment with the length of the tracks to pick up subsequent stands 28 of pipe as the drill string 26 is pulled from the wellbore.

Since the angular position of the transfer arms 52 and 86 is controlled by a servomotor, it is not necessary that the travelling block 34 be mounted on the guides 32. The ability to position the pipe-engaging member 72 in various angular positions permits an operator of the pipe-rackin g apparatus 42 and 44 to seek the stand 28 as it hangs in the derrick 12.

While FIG. 6 illustrates movement of the pipe-engaging member 72 only toward the right, it will also be apparent that the pipe-engaging member 72 can be pivoted to the left in order to utilize the racking area located to the left of the tracks 48 and 50. The use of the collapsible mechanism built into the transfer arms 52 and 86 permits the arms to be of rugged construction and mounted on heavy tracks that do not interfere with normal operations in the drilling rig 10 since they can be relatively short. Also, the collapsible structure of the transfer arms permits the transfer arms to be pivoted in a relatively small area thereby conserving space in the derrick 12.

The embodiment described in detail hereinbefore is presented by way of example only and it will be understood that many changes and modifications can be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the terms derrick and rig" as utilized herein shall include all of the various types of apparatus for running conduit into and out of wellbores, such as fixed derricks and collapsible masts.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. Pipe-racking apparatus for moving and supporting vertical sections of pipe in a derrick, said apparatus comprising:

mounting means for supporting said apparatus in the derrick;

transfer arm means carried by said mounting means, said arm means including an outer member positioned substantially vertically and pivotally mounted on said mounting means,

an inner member disposed in parallel relationship to said outer member, and

connecting means extending between and operably joining said inner and outer members for varying the distance between said inner and outer members while maintaining said parallel relationship;

pipe-engaging means positioned on said inner member for engaging and supporting the vertical sections of pipe in the derrick, wherein said connecting means includes:

a first connecting member having one end pivotally connected with said outer member and the other end movably connected with said inner member;

a second connecting member having one end pivotally connected with said inner member and the other end movably connected with said outer member; and,

said connecting members being pivotally connected between said ends.

2 The pipe-racking apparatus of claim 1 wherein said connecting means also includes power means for moving said other ends of said connecting members toward and away from said one ends of said connecting members whereby said inner and outer members are moved apart and together.

3. The pipe-racking apparatus of claim 1 and also including means for pivoting said transfer arm means relative to said mounting means.

4. The pipe-racking apparatus of claim 1 wherein:

said pipe-engaging means is movable along said inner member; and,

said apparatus also includes means for moving said pipe-engaging means for raising and lowering the pipe sections when engaged thereby.

5. The pipe-racking apparatus of claim 4 wherein said means for moving said pipe-engaging means includes hoisting apparatus operably connected with said pipe-engaging means and arranged to be mounted on said derrick.

6. The pipe-racking apparatus of claim 1 wherein said mounting means includes spaced upper and lower track members;

said transfer arm means includes an upper carriage movable along said upper track member and pivotally supporting an upper end of said outer member, a lower carriage movable along said lower track member and pivotally supporting a lower end of said outer member; and,

at least one of said carriages including means for propelling said transfer arm means along said track members.

7. Pipe-racking apparatus for moving and supporting vertical sections of pipe in a derrick, said apparatus comprising:

mounting means for supporting said apparatus in the derrick,

said mounting means including spaced upper and lower track members;

transfer arm means carried by said mounting means. said arm means including an outer member positioned substantially vertically and pivotally mounted on said mounting means.

an inner member disposed in parallel relationship to said outer member,

connecting means extending between and operably joining said inner and outer member for varying the distance between the inner and outer members while maintaining said parallel relationship, said connecting means including a first connecting member having one end pivotally connected with said outer member and having the other end movably connected with said inner member, a second connecting member having one end pivotally connected with said inner member and having the other end movably connected with said outer member, and said connecting members being pivotally connected between said ends,

power means for moving said other ends of said connecting members toward and away from said one end of said connecting members whereby said inner and outer members are moved apart and together,

an upper carriage movable along said upper track member and pivotally supporting an upper end of said outer member,

a lower carriage movable along said lower track member and pivotally supporting a lower end of said outer member, and

at least one of said carriages including means for propelling said transfer arm means along said track members;

pipe-engaging means movably positioned on said inner member for engaging and supporting the vertical sections of pipe in the derrick;

means for moving said pipe-engaging means for raising or lowering the pipe sections when engaged thereby; and,

means for pivoting said transfer arm means relative to said mounting means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2616578 *May 12, 1949Nov 4, 1952Clark Equipment CoIndustrial truck
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US3145786 *Jul 11, 1960Aug 25, 1964Leyman CorpPortable drill rig
US3262593 *Jul 10, 1963Jul 26, 1966Gen Mills IncWall-mounted support structure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3921823 *Jan 30, 1974Nov 25, 1975Activite Atom AvanceMovement compensating apparatus for floating drilling
US4117941 *Mar 25, 1977Oct 3, 1978Golar-Nor Offshore A/SDevice for handling and racking riser pipes and drill pipes
US4453884 *Aug 20, 1982Jun 12, 1984Zena Equipment, Inc.Hook rotating mechanism
US4582133 *May 25, 1984Apr 15, 1986Maritime Hydraulics A.S.Pipe handling assembly
US4696207 *Apr 21, 1986Sep 29, 1987Varco International, Inc.Well pipe handling machine
US4709766 *Apr 26, 1985Dec 1, 1987Varco International, Inc.Well pipe handling machine
US4725179 *Nov 3, 1986Feb 16, 1988Lee C. Moore CorporationAutomated pipe racking apparatus
US4738321 *Jul 15, 1986Apr 19, 1988Brissonneau Et Lotz MarineProcess and apparatus for vertical racking of drilling shafts on a drilling tower
US7794192 *Apr 18, 2007Sep 14, 2010Iron Derrickman Ltd.Apparatus for handling and racking pipes
US8550761 *Dec 13, 2010Oct 8, 2013National Oilwell Varco, L.P.Drill pipe handling and moving system
US9181764Oct 17, 2013Nov 10, 2015Honghua America, LlcPipe handling apparatus
US9574403 *Oct 3, 2013Feb 21, 2017Drillmec SpaMobile drilling rig
US20070193750 *Apr 18, 2007Aug 23, 2007Iron Derrickman Ltd.Apparatus for handling and racking pipes
US20110079434 *Dec 13, 2010Apr 7, 2011National Oilwell Varco, L.P.Drill pipe handling and moving system
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EP0142477A2 *May 28, 1984May 22, 1985Maritime Hydraulics A.S.Pipe handling assembly
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Classifications
U.S. Classification414/22.68
International ClassificationE21B19/14, E21B19/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/14
European ClassificationE21B19/14
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 4, 1987AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: DRESSER INDUSTRIES, INC.
Effective date: 19850731
Owner name: IRI INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, PAMPA, TEXAS, A COR
May 4, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: IRI INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, PAMPA, TEXAS, A COR
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:DRESSER INDUSTRIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004711/0917
Effective date: 19850731