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Publication numberUS3735815 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 29, 1973
Filing dateJul 19, 1971
Priority dateJul 19, 1971
Publication numberUS 3735815 A, US 3735815A, US-A-3735815, US3735815 A, US3735815A
InventorsMyers N F Oklahoma City
Original AssigneeDresser Ind
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for producing multiple zone oil and gas wells
US 3735815 A
Abstract
Two or more oil and gas zones are produced by allowing production from at least one zone to drain down to a common chamber where production from the zones is comingled and lifted to the earth's surface. A separate gas bent is provided for each zone to the earth's surface.
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ll'nite States ateut 1 91 Fredd ..l66/3l3 yers ay 29, 1973 [5 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR 3,282,341 11 1966 Hodges ..166/313 PRODUCING MULTIPLE ZONE OIL 3,283,570 11/1966 Hodges .....l66/3l3 AND G S WELLS 3,559,740 2/1971 Scagges ..166/313 [75] Inventor: Nijah F. Myers, Oklahoma City, OTHER PUBLICATIONS Okla Prorated Production from Multiple Zones Through a [73] Assignee: Dresser Industries, Inc., Dallas, Tex. Single Tubing String, Journal of Petroleum Technolo- 221 Filed: July 19, 1971 gy Page [21 Appl. No.: 163,855 Primary ExaminerJames A. Leppink Att0rn0y Robert W. Mayer, Thomas P. Hubbard. 52 us. 01. 166/313, 166/105.5, 166/189 Dame ital [51] lint. Cl. ..E2lb 43/00 [58] Field of Search ..l66/313, 189, 105.5 ABSTRACT I Two or more oil and gas zones are produced by allow- [56] References cued ing production from at least one zone to drain down to I UNITED STATES PA T a common chamber where production from the zones is comingled and lifted to the earths surface. A

g Q L separate gas bent is provided for each zone to the v mln 9 8 3/1965 earthssurface.

12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING MULTIPLE ZONE OIL AND GAS WELLS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION uid with or without natural gas in one or more of the zones.

A prior art device is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,618,339. This device discloses apparatus for comingling multiple zone well production. The apparatus is arranged in the well so that the upper zone production travels down the casing and allows gas entrained in the liquid to break out and pass to the surface. No provision is made, however, for separate handling of the lower zone gas. The device does not provide a check valve to prevent high pressure in the lower zone from passing through the tool and into the upper zone where such liquid may not be recoverable. Also, the pump intake is positioned above the packer which is not necessarily a'desirable position in the case of a low pressure,

low production, lower zone. A further prior art device, shown in U.S. Pat. No. Re 26,319, discloses a flow control device for producing multiple zone wells which have sufficient drive in the producing zones to cause the fluid to flow into the wellbore where it is metered through predetermined orifices and comingled at a point whereby gas from a higher pressure zone can assist in lifting production from a lower pressure zone. An additional prior art device, shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,509,941, discloses a confluent production apparatus wherein one zone or the other or both zones can be produced. Check valves are provided in the passages fromeach zone so that flow is prevented between the zones but no provision is made for separate handling of gas from the lower zone nor is the position of the pump intake desirable, because the pump intake is above the packer between zones and is, therefore, above the lower zone. An additional prior art device, shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,559,740 discloses method and apparatus for use with'hydraulic pump and multiplecompletion well bores. This patent discloses a separate vent for the lower zone gas. It also discloses various selector heads which provide production from either one or both of the zones and provides for chokes to meter production from the zones. However, none of the prior art devices show or disclose apparatus which adequately I Y drains production from zones in a multiple zone well;

wherein one or more zones have such low pressure that production is reduced in total or in part by reason of hydrostatic pressure in a column of the liquid in the well bore being lifted from the zone to a pump intake, and also provide separate venting of gas from each zone.

It is, therefore, a primary object of this invention to provide a multiple zone producing arrangement which provides for lifting of one or more low pressure zones.

It is a furtherobject of this invention to provide a multiple zone production apparatus which provides separate venting of the gas from each zone.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a multiple zone production apparatus which provides for separate measurement of the gas from each zone.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a multiple zone production apparatus'which conserves hydrocarbons and prevents loss of fluid or gas from a high pressure zone into a lower pressure zone in the same well bore.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION These and other objects of this invention are fulfilled, broadly, with a multiple zone producing apparatus and method which provides a chamber for comingling fluid from the production zones at a point below the upper zone. As an additional feature, the comingling takes place beneath the lower zone.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view partially in elevation and partially in section of a well bore with well casing and apparatus according to this invention which may be used to produce a multiple zone well in accordance with this invention.

FIG. 2 is an alternative embodiment of FIG. 1 showing gas lift means to produce the liquid from the well.

FIG. 3 is an alternative embodiment of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the preferred embodiment, FIG. 1, casing 10 is shown in a well bore through two producing horizons l2 and 14. Perforations l6 and 18 in the upper and lower producing zones, respectively, allow production from these zones to flow into the casing 10. A packer 20'is sealingly engaged with the casing 10 between the perforations l6 and 18 to isolate the producing zones from each other. Gas from the upper zone 12 flows into the casing 10 through perforation 16 and is designated UG. Gas may be dissolved and/or entrained in the upper zone liquid production designated U. Some of the upper zone gas UG can break out of the liquid U and flow upward throughthe casing 10 to be gathered from outlet 22 in the casing at the top of the well bore. The volume of UG gas passing through this outlet can be measured and then used for gas lift purposes, sold into a pipeline, or used for another purpose. Production LG from lower zone 14 flowing into casing 10 through perforation 18 may flow upward into a passage 24 in a head or barrier portion 26 connected to packer 20. This gas can then pass into a tubing string 28 which extends to the top 'of the well bore where it may be measured and disposed of inone of the ways mentioned for the UG gas. Liquid production U from the upper zone can gravitate or flow downward through passage 30 and head 26 and thence through tubing 31 connected to passage 30. A check valve 32 is incorporated in the flow path for liquid U permitting flow into chamber 34 from the upper zone but preventing back flow from chamber 34 to passage 30. Lower zone liquid production L flows into casing 10 through perforation l8 and enters chamber 34 through ball'check valve 36 which prevents back flow from chamber 34 to perforabular string 40 as illustrated in FIG. 2 as tubing string 42 which is illustrated for gas lift purposes. The additional string for the hfydraulic pump could alternately be located beside tubiri g string 40 in a manner well known by those with skill in the art.

Referring to FIG. 2, an apparatus used in gas lifting a well according to this invention is illustrated. A concentric tubing string 42 is run inside the long tubing string 40 and is used to inject gas through gas lift valves 44 to lift the comingled liquids L and U from chamber 34. In this embodiment, gas to lift the comingled fluid is injected at 46 into tubing 40 and is admitted through gas lift valves 44 into he concentric tubing string 42 to lift the comingled fluid through concentric tubing string 42. A packing arrangement 48 which may be a landing nipple or a packer or other suitable device is used to seal between tubing string 40 and tubing string 42 to permit a gas lift arrangement. Other arrangements for gas lift are well known to those with skill in the art and any one of a number of arrangements may beused to gas lift the liquid from chamber 34.

Referring to FIG. 3, an apparatus used in lifting a well according to this invention, casing 110 is shown in a well bore through two producing horizons 112 and 114. Perforations 116 and 118 to the upper and lower producing zones respectively allow production from these zones to flow into the casing 110. A packer 120 is sealingly engaged to the casing 110 between the perforations 116 and 118 to isolate the producing zones from each other. The flow of upper and lower zone gas and liquid is generally the same as described hereinbefore except that the head or barrier portion 126 is simplified to have fewer passages. Lower zone gas LG flows through passage 124 into tubing string 128 connected thereto. Upper zone liquid production flows through check valve 132 into passageway 133 in body 126. A tubular string 131 is connected to body 126 in alignment with passage 133 to conduct upper zone liquid U to chamber 134. Check valve 136 admits lower zone production liquid L into chamber 134 and prevents back flow therefrom. Tubing string 140 is sealingly engaged to head 126 by means of a suitable connection 127. Tubing string 131 is sealingly engaged to tubing string 140 by a suitable connection 135, so that back flow from chamber 134 is prevented into the upper zone by check valve 132 and back flow from chamber 134 is prevented to lower zone by check valve 136. A suitable plunger pump 138 may be used to lift the liquid from chamber 134 through tubing string 140. It should be understood that pump 138 may be a hydraulically operated pump. It should also be understood that a gas lift arrangement similar to FIG. 2 could be used to lift fluid from chamber 134 through tubing string 140 to the top of the well bore. These and other means for lifting fluid well known to those skilled in the art may be used in lifting the fluid from chamber 134 according to this invention.

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

1. In multiple zone well production apparatus comprising:

a well casing passing through upper nd lower producing zones in a well bore, said casing having upper and lower openings through which production from said upper and lower zones can flow, respectively, into the well casing;

barrier means in said casing between said upper and lower openings, said barrier means having a plurality of longitudinal passages and having means in one of said passages for securing a first tubular string extending to the top of the well bore to said barrier means;

chamber means below said barrier means, said chamber means communicating with said lower zone;

tubular means connected to said barrier means and said chamber means, said tubular means communicating with said one passage for conducting fluid in the lower zone to said first tubular string;

a second tubular string below said barrier, said second tubular string connecting another of said passages to said chamber for conducting fluid fro said upper zone to said chamber;

means for lifting fluid from said chamber to the top of the well bore;

a third said passage in said barrier means; and

a third tubular string communicating with said third passage and extending to the top of the well bore for conducting gas from the lower zone to the top of the well bore.

2. In multiple zone well production apparatus adapted to be set in a well casing passing through upper and lower producing zones in a well bore, the casing having upper and lower openings through which production from the upper and lower zones can flow, respectively, into the well casing, the apparatus comprising:

barrier means in the casing between the upper and lower openings;

said barrier means having a first longitudinal passage with means for securing a first tubular string to said barrier means, said first tubular string extending to the top of the well bore;

chamber means below said barrier means, and chamber means communicating with said lower zone;

tubular means connected to said first longitudinal passage in said barrier means and said chamber means for conducting fluid in the lower zone to said first tubular string;

a second longitudinal passage in said barrier;

a second tubular string below said barrier, said second tubular string connecting said second passage to said chamber means for conducting fluid from said upper zone to said chamber means;

means for lifting fluid from said chamber means to the top of the well bore;

a third said passage in said barrier means; and

a third tubular string communicating with said third passage and extending to the top of the well bore for conducting gas from the lower zone to the top of the well bore.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said chamber means is located at least as low as the lower zone.

4. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said chamber means is located below the lower zone.

5. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said means for lifting fluid comprises a plunger pump.

6. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said means for lifting fluid comprises gas lift means.

7. The method of producing liquid from a well bore passing through two producing zones with barrier means in the well bore between the zones comprising the steps of:

passing liquid from the upper zone into a chamber located below the barrier means;

passing liquid from the lower zone into said chamber;

lifting liquid from said chamber to the top of the well bore; and

venting gas from the lower zone to the top of the well bore.

8. The method of producing liquid from a well bore passing through two producing zones comprising the steps of:

draining liquid from the upper zone into a chamber located at least as low as the lower zone;

draining liquid from the lower zone into said chamber;

lifting liquid from said chamber to the top of the well bore; and

venting lower zone gas to the top of the well bore througha tubular member.

9. The method of claim 8 comprising the additional step of measuring the volume of gas produced from the lower zone.

10. The method of producing liquid from a well bore passing through two producing zones comprising the steps of:

draining liquid from the upper zone into a chamber located at least as low as the lower zone;

draining liquid from the lower zone into said chamber;

lifting liquid from said chamber to the top of the well bore; and

venting the upper zone gas to the-top of the well bore.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein said step of venting the upper zone gas comprises venting the upper zone gas to the top of the well bore through the casing annulus.

12. The method of claim 10 comprising the additional step of measuring the volume of gas produced from the upper zone.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3003564 *Jan 8, 1959Oct 10, 1961Jersey Prod Res CoWell completion
US3171483 *Apr 16, 1956Mar 2, 1965Otis Eng CoWell tools
US3282341 *Sep 25, 1963Nov 1, 1966Sun Oil CoTriple flow control device for flow conductors
US3283570 *Jun 26, 1963Nov 8, 1966Sun Oil CoProduction measurement in multiple completion wells
US3552491 *Feb 17, 1969Jan 5, 1971Thompson Roy ECommunicating valve assembly for multiple well formations
US3559740 *Apr 11, 1969Feb 2, 1971Pan American Petroleum CorpMethod and apparatus for use with hydraulic pump in multiple completion well bore
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *Prorated Production from Multiple Zones Through a Single Tubing String, Journal of Petroleum Technology page 54, 1967.
Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/313, 166/189, 166/105.5
International ClassificationE21B43/14, E21B43/12, E21B43/00, E21B43/38, E21B43/34
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/122, E21B43/38, E21B43/14
European ClassificationE21B43/38, E21B43/12B2, E21B43/14