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Publication numberUS3746089 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 17, 1973
Filing dateJul 19, 1971
Priority dateJul 19, 1971
Publication numberUS 3746089 A, US 3746089A, US-A-3746089, US3746089 A, US3746089A
InventorsVencil N
Original AssigneeDresser Ind
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for producing multiple zone oil and gas wells
US 3746089 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 vent is provided for each zone to the earth's surface.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Vencil July 17, 1973 [54] APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING MULTIPLE 3,003,564 10/1961 Smink 166/313 AND GAS WELLS 1335'???) 1111322 11"? 1225313 o ges 1 [75] Invent r: Naylan N vencll, Odessa, 3,509,941 5 1970 Leutwyler c1211.... 166/149 3,552,491 1 1971 Th 1 166 313 [73] Asslgneez Dresser Industries, lnc., Dallas, Tex. 3,559,740 21197 :25??? I n 164313 [22] Filed: July 19, 1971 Primary Examiner-James A. Leiapink l. N 1 3 7 [2]] App 0 6 95 Attorney-Robert W. Mayer, W1l11am E. Johnson,

Jr. et al. v [52] US. Cl. 166/106, 166/189 57 ABSTRACT [51] Int. Cl .E2lb 43/00, E21b 33/122 1 [58] Field of Search 166/115, 114, 313, T or r and gas Zones are P d y allow- 166/189, 105, 106 mg product1on from at least one zone to dram down to a common chamber where production from the zones [56] References Cited is comingled and lifted to the earths surface. A sepa- UNTED STATES PATENTS rate gas vent 1s provlded for each zone to the earths surface. R26,319 12/1967 Tamplen 166/115 2,618,339 11/1952 Glover 166/114 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented July 17, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 M/VLA/ 70? NA YL AN M VEA/C/L APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING MULTIPLE ZONE OIL AND GAS WELLS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The field of the invention relates to multiple zone wells which require one or more of the zones to be artificially lifted. This method and apparatus is suitable for wells producing oil, saltwater, fresh water or other liquid with or without natural gas in one or more of the zones.

A prior art device is shown in U. S. Pat. No. 2,6l8,339. 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 present 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 well bore 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 from each 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 multiple completion 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 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 further object 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 co-mingling 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 16 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. 16 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 through the casing 10 to be gathered from outlet 22 in the casing at the top of the well bore. The volume of U6 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 tp 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 in one of the ways mentioned for the U6 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 perforation 18. A pump 38 is positioned in the tubing string 40 immediately above chamber 34 where production U and L are comingled and admitted to the pump intake and lifted to the surface. Pump 38 may alternatively be a plunger pump operated by sucker rods or a hydraulically operated piston pump which has a piston-type motor section that operates a piston-type pump. A bydraulic pump would require an additional tubular conduit extending from the surface of the well bore to the pump. The additional pipe could be located inside tubular string 40 as illustrated in FIG. 2 as tubing string 42 which is illustrated for gas lift purposes. The additional string for the hydraulic pump could alternately be located beside tubing 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 the 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 be used 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 1 l2 and 1 14. Perforations 116 and 118 to the upper and lower producing zones respectively allow production from these zones to flow into the casing 1 10. 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 LF flows through passage 124 into tubing string 128 connected thereto. Upper z'one 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 dual zone well production apparatus:

a well casing passing through upper and 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 longitudinal passage;

a first tubular string extending to the top of the well bore and through said passage in said barrier means;

chamber means below said barrier means, said cham' ber means communicating with said lower 'zone and connected to and communicating with said first tubular string for conducting fluid in the lower zone to said first tubular string;

a second tubular string extending from above said barrier to below said barrier, and surrounding said first tubular string forming an annulus therebetween, said second tubular string communicating with said upper zone and with said chamber for conducting fluid from said upper zone to said chamber through said annulus; and

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

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising:

a second passage insaid barrier means and communicating with said lower zone; and

a third tubular string communicating with said second 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. In dual 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 laving a longitudinal passage;

a first tubular string extending to the top of the well bore and through said passage in said barrier means;

chamber means below said barrier means, said chamber means communicating with said lower zone and connected to and communicating with said first tubular string;

a second tubular string extending from above said barrier to below said barrier and surrounding said first tubular string forming an annulus therebetween, said second tubular string communicating with said upper zone and with said chamber means for conducting fluid from said upper zone to said chamber means through said annulus; and means for lifting fluid from said chamber means to the top of the well bore.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3 further comprising:

a second passage in said barrier means and communicating with said lower zone; and

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

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US26319 *Nov 29, 1859ASame plage
US2618339 *Dec 24, 1946Nov 18, 1952Baker Oil Tools IncApparatus for commingling multiple zone well production
US3003564 *Jan 8, 1959Oct 10, 1961Jersey Prod Res CoWell completion
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
US3509941 *Apr 22, 1968May 5, 1970Baker Oil Tools IncConfluent production apparatus
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
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4790376 *Nov 28, 1986Dec 13, 1988Texas Independent Tools & Unlimited Services, Inc.Downhole jet pump
US5657821 *Jul 31, 1995Aug 19, 1997Elf Aquitaine ProductionFacility for an oil well
US5881814 *Jul 8, 1997Mar 16, 1999Kudu Industries, Inc.Apparatus and method for dual-zone well production
US6250384 *Jan 28, 1998Jun 26, 2001Elf Exploration ProductionInstallation for pumping a liquid/gas two-phase effluent
US7766085Feb 4, 2008Aug 3, 2010Marathon Oil CompanyApparatus, assembly and process for injecting fluid into a subterranean well
US8316950May 14, 2010Nov 27, 2012Bp Corporation North America Inc.Systems and methods for deliquifying a commingled well using natural well pressure
US8413726Aug 3, 2010Apr 9, 2013Marathon Oil CompanyApparatus, assembly and process for injecting fluid into a subterranean well
US20090194293 *Feb 4, 2008Aug 6, 2009Marathon Oil CompanyApparatus, assembly and process for injecting fluid into a subterranean well
US20100294506 *May 14, 2010Nov 25, 2010Bp Corporation North America Inc.Systems and methods for deliquifying a commingled well using natural well pressure
US20110042097 *Aug 3, 2010Feb 24, 2011Marathon Oil CompanyApparatus, assembly and process for injecting fluid into a subterranean well
WO2010135187A2 *May 14, 2010Nov 25, 2010Bp Corporation North America Inc.Systems and methods for deliquifying a commingled well using natural well pressure
WO2010135187A3 *May 14, 2010Mar 24, 2011Bp Corporation North America Inc.Systems and methods for deliquifying a commingled well using natural well pressure
WO2013010244A1 *Jul 19, 2011Jan 24, 2013Evan KoslowApparatus and methods for producing natural gas using a gas recycle phase to remove liquid from a well
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/106, 166/189
International ClassificationE21B33/12, E21B43/12, E21B33/122, E21B43/14, E21B43/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/14, E21B33/122, E21B43/122
European ClassificationE21B33/122, E21B43/12B2, E21B43/14