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Publication numberUS3795282 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 5, 1974
Filing dateAug 31, 1972
Priority dateAug 31, 1972
Publication numberUS 3795282 A, US 3795282A, US-A-3795282, US3795282 A, US3795282A
InventorsOliver D
Original AssigneeCities Service Oil Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well flushing method
US 3795282 A
Abstract
Method of flushing debris from a well wherein an upper section of the well hole has a significantly larger diameter than the lower end. Drilling fluid is normally supplied through a drilling bit, but additional fluid can also be supplied from another source so that the total amount of fluid being pumped to the hole is substantially in excess of that which can be supplied through the bit alone. Upward thrust of drilling fluid in the larger, upper section of the hole is significantly increased, thus overcoming the settling rate of debris therein so that it becomes entrained in the circulated drilling fluid and is hence discharged from the top of the hole while suspended in the fluid.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Oliver 1 Mara5, 1974 1 WELL FLUSHING METHOD [75] lnventor: Don L. Oliver, Houston, Tex.

[731 Assignee: Cities Service Oil Company, Tulsa,

Okla.

[22] Filed: Aug. 31, 1972 [211 Appl. No.: 285,142

3,334,697 8/1967 Edwards et a1. 175/231 3,552,412 1/1971 Hagar et al. 175/231 UX 3,667,557 6/1972 Todd ct al. 175/38 X Primary Examiner-David H. Brown Attorney, Agent, or Firm-E1ton F. Gunn [57] ABSTRACT Method of flushing debris from a well wherein an upper section of the well hole has a significantly larger diameter than the lower end. Drilling fluid is normally supplied through a drilling bit, but additional fluid can also be supplied from another source so that the total amount of fluid being pumped to the hole is substantially in excess of that which can be supplied through [56'] References Clted the bit alone. Upward thrust of drilling fluid in the UNITED STATES PATENTS larger, upper section of the hole is significantly in- 2,312,0l8 2/ I943 Beckman 175/237 X r a ed, thu overcoming the settling rate of debris 3 1 10/1956 Williams 175/317 therein so that it becomes entrained in the circulated 2,828,107 3/1958 Bobo 75/237 X drilling fluid and is hence discharged from the top of 2,882,020 4/1959 Carr et a1 175/317 X the hole while Suspended in the fluid 3,116,300 1/1964 Kammerer 166/222 X 3,198,256 8/1965 Kirby 166/99 4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures Drilling fluid Drilling fluid SHEEI 1 BF 2 Drilling fluid Drilling fluid I upper section.

. 1 WELL FLUSHING METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION smaller diameters until a desired total depth is reached.

For instance, a casing program might comprise 30 inch casing to 100-200 feet, l/z inch casing to 900-1,000 feet, and 7inch casing to several thousand feet. Open hole drilling can also be carried out below a casing to provide an open hole having a diameter smaller than thecasing. v

It has now been observed that difficulty can sometimes be en-eountered with build up in the larger,

upper part of the well hole of large drill cuttings, rubble, small pieces of cement, junk, etc. hereinafter referred to as debriswhich cannot" be flushed from the hole because 'of'inadequate'fluid velocity in the larger,

More specifically, the volume of drilling fluid which is provided to a well hole'by thedrilling bit is'generally sufficient to provide a fluid velocity which effectively suspends the debris so' that it "can be entrained and flushed from the section of hole then being drilled. It has been observed, however, that the resulting drop in velocity which occurs upon entry of the'fluid into an upper section oflarger diameter can be so severeas'to result in precipitation and accumulation of at. least some of the entrained objects therein, i.e., the vvelocity is no longer sufficient to overcome the settling rate of the debris. Accumulation of these undesirable materials in the upper section does not necessarily have any detrimental effects on the drilling operation during the time thatthe buildup occurs, but upon stopping mud circulation to trip thed'rill pipe out of the hole, the debris can settle around the pipe andstick .to it. On the otherhand. if the pipe is successfully pulled'from the hole-Settling of the accumulated debris can result in formation of a bridge across the hole that can require drillingthrough toget the drill pipe back to the bottom. Such bridging ofdebris-is particularly'detrimental when the drilling string 'is pulled from the hole so that easing can be run back, or when openhole'lo gging isto-take SUMMARY OF THE 'INVENTION Therefore, the principle object of this invention is to substantially preclude or even obviate the aforementioned problems associated with accumulation of debris, rubble and the like during the drilling of a well hole which has an upper section of larger diameter than the lower end.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and the appended claims.

When drilling a well wherein an upper section of the hole has a significantly larger diameter than the lower end, and a drilling fluid is circulated from the bottom to the top of the hole to lubricate the drilling string and flush drill cuttings and debris out of the well hole at the top, additional drilling fluid is introduced into the lower end of the hole from still another source other than the drilling bit. As a consequence 'of this increased flow to the lower end of the hole, fluid velocity in the upper section of larger diameter is raised to a level in excess of that which can be effected by pumping through the bit alone, for the rate at which fluid can be pumped through the bit is limited by the size of the discharge orifices therein, the pressure at the point being drilled, and the pressure at which the fluid can be made available to the bit. Because of frictional drag with the interior wall of the drilling string, much if not most of the pressure supplied to the drilling fluid at the 'upperen'd is lost by the. time it reaches the bit. Thus, by using still another opening in the drilling string so that fluid can be introduced to the well hole from another source as well as the drilling bit, the aforementioned difficulties are avoided. To advantage, this additional fluid can be introdueed higher up in the string where more pumping pressure and, hence, more fluid flow is available for getting the fluid into the well hole. The increased upward thrust made available by supply ofadditional fluid thus overcomes the settling rate of debris in the upper section of the hole having a larger diameter, thus maintaining the debris suspended in the drilling mud after it has passed from the lower end of small cross section. so that flushing of debris out of the hole without accumulation can be carried out either continuously or at will. 7 j

The present invention can be practiced by use of a special circulating tool located in the drilling string above the bit. The tool can comprise a tubular body section coupled at each end to other members'of the drilling string, a passageway through the, body section which interconnects with the central passageway for fluid which extends through the side wall of the body section from the fluid passageway therein to theioutside. The tool can further comprise a previously set op erable member inside the section which covers the channel through the wall of the body section when set, and which uncovers the channel when operated.

The circulating tool, along with a bit, can thus be made up with the drilling string when it is lowered into the smaller, lower end of a hole. Because ofthe channel for fluid in'the wall of the tool, more drilling fluid can BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view, partly in section, of one embodimerit of the tool of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a weighted dart, or plunger, which 'can be used to Operate a slidable sleeve which covers the channels in the wall of the body section of the tool, and also to obstruct flow of fluid beyond the tool.

FIG. 3 is a side view, partly in section, of a slidable sleeve which can be used as the preset operable member in the tool of FIG. 1 for covering and uncovering the channels in the wall of the body section of the tool.

FIG. 4 is a partially fragmentary and partially sectional side view of another embodiment of the invention wherein the sleeve arrangements and the method of operating the sleeve are different from that shown in FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 1, the tool is generally represented at l, and is connected by threads to a drill pipe 2 and a drill bit 3. The tool is thus made up with the drilling string at the time the bit is to be lowered in he hole, and does not necessarily perform any special function until there is need to pump drilling fluid-into the hole at a greater rate than can be supplied through the bit. The body section 4 of the too] isattached at the upper end to a coupling 5 on the drill pipe 2. A passageway 6 fordrilling fluid runs through the body section 4 and interconnects at the upper and'lower ends with fluid passageway 6a and 6b which lead; respectively, from the drill string 2 and into the drilling bit 3.

Channels 7 are drilled ducts which extend through the wall ;8 of the body section from the passageway 6 to the outside. When the string is lowered into the bore hole these channels can be covered over by an impervious axially slidable sleeve 9 frictionally held in place in the passageway 6 by means of O-rings 10 attached to the sleeve in recessed grooves. As drilling proceeds, drilling fluid passes through the central passageway 60 of the sleeve which is aligned with the other passageways 6, 6a and 6b, thus maintaining a flow of all drilling fluid to the bit, since the channels 7 are blocked off by the sleeve which is preset in position over the openings of the channels before the tool and bit are lowered into the well hole.

In FIG. 1, the sleeve 9 is thus shown in the preset position whereby the channels 7 are covered over. The passageway 6 in the-vicinity of the sleeve is recessed for a distance in excess of the sleevelength to permit the sliding thereof when operated and to provide a chamher which accommodates the thickness of the sleeve wall, the latter feature tending to preserve the diameter of the fluid passageway 6 while also forming a shoulder 11 at the top of the chamber whichv serves as an upper stop for the sleeve. The upper edge 3a of the drill bit 3 serves as a lower stop for the sleeve.

When it is desirable to increase the ratc at which drilling fluid is pumped .into the well hole, channels 7 are then uncovered in order to divert flow from the bit and into the hole through the wall 8 of the body section.

. This can be accomplished in various ways, and two ap paratus arrangements intended for this purpose are shown in the drawings. FIGS. l-3 illustrate use of a weighted dart, or plunger, which is dropped into the drilling string for displacing the sleeve downwardly to uncover the channels 7, and FIG. 4 illustrates use of a sleeve which normally covers the channels 7 when the sleeve is bottomed, and which can be lifted by wire line to uncover the channels.

Referring to FIGS. l-3, the dart 12 is dropped into the drilling string from the surface when it is desirable to increase the rate at which fluid is pumped to the hole so that flushing of debris can be continuously carried out. As soon as the dart is dropped, pressurization of the drilling fluid can be resumed. The momentum of the falling dart may in itself be sufficient to drive the sleeve downward below the .channels 7, but in any event both dart and sleeve are constructed so as to form a piston which can be driven downward by pumping pressure when engaged as shown in the drawing.

More specifically, the sleeve 9 comprises an attached or integral ring 13 which projects into the central passageway and is axially aligned therewith. With the sleeve shown, the ring is machine beveled to provide an upper tapered sealing surface 13b. The upper part of the dart 12 is provided with a matched bevel 14, so that when the dart and the sleeve are engaged as in FIG. 1, flow of fluid past the sleeve is effectively obstructed. Therefore, elevation of pumping pressure on the drilling fluid will displace the dart and sleeve down-wardly and thus uncover the channels 7 when dart and sleeve are mated as in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 illustrates-a different arrangement wherein the sleeve is normally bottomedagainst the lower stop 22a forcovering of the channels 7. When there is a need to increase the rate at which drilling fluid is pumped to the 'well hole, a wire line tool is lowered which engages a latch 15 on a rod 16 which extends inside the sleeve from one side to the other. The sleeve is then raised against the upper stop 11 by means of a wire line tool. A snap ring 17 which extends around the sleeve and is attached thereto in a groove engages a latching groove 18 in the wall of. the passageway and thus holds the sleeve in an elevated position. The wire line is then pulled loose from the sleeve and the latter remains in place by engagement ofthc snap ring withthe latching groove.

Should it become desirable to again cover up channels 7 once the sleeve has been shifted to uncover them, e.g., when pumping of more fluid to the bit is needed, the sleeve can be relocated over the channels by an action taken at the surface. When using a sleeve and dart arrangement as shown in FIGS. l3, the lower spindle 19 0f the dart is provided with a snap ring 20 attached thereto in a groove so that upon entry of the dart into the sleeve the snap ring is compressed by the ring 13 into its recess, thus permitting the bevel 14 on the dart to abut the ring bevel 13h. However, when the dart is pulled upward through the sleeve, sufficient resistance is provided by the flat under surface of the ring to effect upward sliding of the sleeve before the ring 20 is compressed. Once the sleeve is topped against the upper stop 11, the snap ring can then be compressed by upward tugging and the dart withdrawn from the sleeve. Using an arrangement as shown in FIG. 4, the sleeve can be lowered again to cover the channels by bumping it downward with a weight on a wire line.

It will be appreciated that when the dart 12 is emplaced within the sleeve 9 the sealing surfaces 13b and 14 become mated, and flow of fluid to the bit is shut off. Since it will usually be desirable to continue the s pumping of fluid through the bit as well as through the circulating tool, the snap ring on the plunger can be.

omitted. in such cases a dart, minus the snap ring, is dropped into the drill pipe for operation of the sleeve, and can then be raised back out of the pipe by wire line without pulling the sleeve upwards and over the channels. Should it be desirable to again recover the channels, this can be accomplished with use of still another dart having a 'snap ring, as previously described.

In any event the apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 can be employed for increasing and subsequently restoring to normal the amount of drilling fluid which can be pumped into a well hole. As previously indicated, the channels 7 can be kept covered over by the sleeve 9 until greater flow is needed; for example, until the bit is about to be lifted up into the upper section of the hole of larger diameter, and can subsequently be covered over again when the increased flow is no longer needed.

The number and size of the channels 7 in the wall of derstood that still other embodiments will become apparent which are within the spirit and scope of the invention described in the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In the drilling of a well wherein an upper section of the well hole has a significantly larger diameter than the lower end and a drilling fluid is circulated from the bottom to the top of the well hole by injection through a drilling bit, the method of flushing debris out of the well hole which has a settling rate that overcomes the upward thrust of drilling fluid injected through the drilling bit and which passes through the upper section of the hole having a larger diameter, said method com' .prising introducing additional drilling fluid into the hole from a source other than the drilling bit and hence in aquantity greater than can be supplied through the bit alone, raising the upward thrust of fluid in the upper ,,section of the hole having a larger diameter, overcomthe body section is subject'to variation, but atleast one is' required and should hav sufficient diameter'to'permit pumping of asignifica'ntlyadditional amount of fluid into the well hole. I

FIG. 1 illustratesplacement of the circulating tool directly above the drilling bit for introducing additional drilling fluid at thatpoint. It'will be appreciated, however, that the tool can, to advantage, be located further up in the string for introduction of additionalfluid at'a higher point, e.g nearer the bottom of the upper section of the hole having a larger diameter than the lower 5 2 from a fluid channel through the Wall of the .drilling' end, for thus located, more pressure is available from the string for introducing a greater quantity of fluid into the'hole. y The present invention has been described with referenceto particular conditions, techniques, materials, apparatus arrangements and the like, but it will be uning the settling rate of debris therein, discharging debris from the upper section of the hole while entrained in the fluid introduced into the well hole, and preventing the falling of debris into the lower end of the well hole.

' 2. Atmethod as in claim 1 wherein fluid is introduced string, said channel being located above the drilling bit.

, 3. A method in claim wherein the supply additional fluid is shut off during drilling and is turned on prior to raising the drilling bit'into the larger, upper portion of the hole..

4 A method as in claim 1 wherein fluid from'the. source other than the bit is introduced into the well hole near the bottompf the upper. section having a larger diameter than'the lower section.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2312018 *Aug 19, 1939Feb 23, 1943Beckman Fred GMethod of and means for cleaning wells
US2765146 *Feb 9, 1952Oct 2, 1956Williams Jr Edward BJetting device for rotary drilling apparatus
US2828107 *Jun 23, 1955Mar 25, 1958Phillips Petroleum CoAerated fluid drilling process
US2882020 *Oct 14, 1957Apr 14, 1959Carr Charles JSelf-cleaning reamer
US3116800 *Dec 12, 1960Jan 7, 1964Kammerer Jr Archer WApparatus for conditioning well bores
US3198256 *Oct 9, 1961Aug 3, 1965Bowen Tools IncJet junk basket
US3334697 *Nov 9, 1964Aug 8, 1967Tenneco IncJet sub for drilling well bores
US3552412 *Oct 19, 1967Jan 5, 1971Hagar Donald KDrill string dump valve
US3667557 *Jan 20, 1971Jun 6, 1972Hydril CoMud diverter and inside blowout preventer drilling tool
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4361193 *Nov 28, 1980Nov 30, 1982Mobil Oil CorporationMethod and arrangement for improving cuttings removal and reducing differential pressure sticking of drill strings in wellbores
US5533571 *May 27, 1994Jul 9, 1996Halliburton CompanySurface switchable down-jet/side-jet apparatus
US5564500 *Jul 19, 1995Oct 15, 1996Halliburton CompanyApparatus and method for removing gelled drilling fluid and filter cake from the side of a well bore
US8066059Mar 9, 2006Nov 29, 2011Thru Tubing Solutions, Inc.Methods and devices for one trip plugging and perforating of oil and gas wells
US8210250Oct 6, 2011Jul 3, 2012Thru Tubing Solutions, Inc.Methods and devices for one trip plugging and perforating of oil and gas wells
US8403049Jan 26, 2012Mar 26, 2013Thru Tubing Solutions, Inc.Methods and devices for one trip plugging and perforating of oil and gas wells
US8448700Aug 3, 2010May 28, 2013Thru Tubing Solutions, Inc.Abrasive perforator with fluid bypass
US9228422Jan 24, 2013Jan 5, 2016Thru Tubing Solutions, Inc.Limited depth abrasive jet cutter
US20060201675 *Mar 9, 2006Sep 14, 2006Cudd Pressure Control, Inc.One trip plugging and perforating method
US20110114316 *Mar 9, 2006May 19, 2011Thru Tubing Solutions, Inc.Methods and Devices for One Trip Plugging and Perforating of Oil and Gas Wells
EP0754836A1 *Jul 18, 1996Jan 22, 1997Halliburton CompanyMethod and apparatus for removing gelled drilling fluid and filter cake from the side of a well bore
Classifications
U.S. Classification175/65, 175/317, 175/237
International ClassificationE21B21/10, E21B21/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B21/103, E21B21/00
European ClassificationE21B21/00, E21B21/10C