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Publication numberUS3803953 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 16, 1974
Filing dateMar 1, 1972
Priority dateMar 1, 1972
Also published asCA961843A1
Publication numberUS 3803953 A, US 3803953A, US-A-3803953, US3803953 A, US3803953A
InventorsGeczy B, Wilms C
Original AssigneeByron Jackson Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Orienting apparatus for threaded well pipe
US 3803953 A
Abstract
Apparatus for horizontally orienting vertical well pipe to initiate the threading of the pipe within a power tong assembly including pipe stabbing apparatus having a support arm of adjustable length, a pivot support carrying the arm in horizontally pivoted relation, and a stabbing head mounted to the support arm and defining two vertically disposed faces converging into a horizontal angle. The stabbing head is adapted for mounting to said support arm in a plurality of horizontal positions for permitting the faces to be presented in a plurality of directions while moved through a horizontally arcuate path to move vertically disposed pipe into horizontal position for entry into said power tong assembly. A hydraulic cylinder is mounted in pivoted relation to the support and to the arm for moving the stabbing head through the arcuate path.
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llnited States Patent 119i Geczy et al.

[111 3,8%,953 [451 Apr. 16, 1974 ORIENTING APPARATUS FOR THREADED WELL PIPE [75] Inventors: Bela Geczy, Glendale; Carl Alfred Wilms, La Habra, both of Calif.

[73] Assignee: Byron Jackson lnc., Long Beach,

Calif.

[22] Filed: Mar. 1, 1972 [2l] Appl. No.: 230,835

[52] U.S. Cl 81/53 A, 8l/57.16, 81/5736 [51] Int. Cl... B25b 13/00, B25b 21/00, B25b 13/50 [58] Field of Search 81/53 A, 57.16, 57.34, 81/5735, 57.36; 166/775; 175/85 [56] I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,450,934 10/1948 Calhoon 175/85 x 2,692,059 10/1954 Bolling 175/85 x FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 613,648 8/1926 France 81/57 Primary Examiner-James L. Jones, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmWilliam S. McCurry [5 7] ABSTRACT Apparatus for horizontally orienting vertical well pipe to initiate the threading of the pipe within a power tong assembly including pipe stabbing apparatus having a support arm of adjustable length, a pivot support carrying the arm in horizontally pivoted relation, and a stabbing head mounted to the support arm and defining two vertically disposed faces converging into a horizontal angle. The stabbing head is adapted for mounting to said support arm in a plurality of horizontal positions for permitting the faces to be presented in a plurality of directions while moved through a horizontally arcuate path to move vertically disposed pipe into horizontal position for entry into said power tong assembly. A hydraulic cylinder is mounted in pivoted relation to the support and to the arm for moving the stabbing head through the arcuate path.

5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures SHEEI 1 [IF 2 PATENTEI] APR i 6 I974 PMENTEBAPRIS 914 v 3803353 SHEET 2 OF 2 1 ORlENTlNG APPARATUS FOR THREADED WELL PIPE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention generally pertains to apparatus for positioning and orienting or stabbing threaded well pipe connected by power tongs during the insertion of a string of such pipe in a well bore and the removal of such pipe string from the well bore.

The invention more specifically pertains to improved pipe orienting apparatus used with the power tongs currently being utilized for the heavier strings of pipe necessary for present day deep wells. Such power tongs are disclosed, for example, in commonly assigned U.S. applications, Ser. No. 134,554, filed Apr. 16, 1971, now US. Pat. No. 3,691,875, issued Sept. 19, 1972; Ser. No. 134,553, filed Apr. 16, 1971, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,739,663, issued June 19, 1973, and Ser. No. 134,552, filed Apr. 16, 1971, now abandoned in favor of [1.5. continuation-in-part application Ser. No. 216,182, filed Jan. 7, 1972. An improved positioning apparatus suitable for use with the present inveption is disclosed in US. application Serial No. 216,216, filed January 7, 1972. The disclosures of these identified applications are-specifically incorporated herein by reference.

Various apparatus for positioning and supporting power tongs and the likehas been previously developed as shown in US. Pats. No. 3,288,000, No. 2,668,689, No. 2,567,039, No. 2,518,398, No. 2,474,336 and No. 2,450,934, for example.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides pipe orienting apparatus particularly suited to initiate the threading of pipe by large and heavy power tongs. The invention also provides pipe orienting apparatus capable of convenient manipulation and closely controlled horizontal placement of vertically disposed stands of pipe.

The foregoing and other provisions and advantages are attained in pipe tong positioning apparatus having a vertically and arcuately adjustable pipe tong support yoke means adapted to support a power tong assembly through supporting cradle means respectively mounted at the divided ends of said yoke means. Means for orienting well pipe to initiate the threading of said pipe within the power tong assembly includes pipe stabbing means adapted for respective mounting on either of said divided ends'of the yoke means. The pipe stabbing means comprises: support arm means having adjustable BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a positioning and pipe orienting apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary partially sectional plan view generally taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view generally taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a partially sectional elevational view of part of the tong cradle assembly shown in FIG. 2 and generally taken along the line 44 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2there is shown a positioning apparatus incorporating the pipe orienting apparatus 10 of this invention which generally includes a verti- I cally disposed column 12 formed of a web joined between two parallel flanges such as an I-beam, for example. Alower support (not shown) is joined to the bottom of column 12, and an upper support 14 is conlength, pivotsupport means connectedwith one of the cradle means and carrying the arm means for movement in a horizontally pivoted relation and stabbing head means mounted to said support arm means and defining two vertically disposed faces converging into a horizontal angle. The stabbing head'rneans is adapted for mounting to the support arm in a plurality of horizontal positions for permitting the faces to be presented in a plurality of directions while moved through a horizontally arcuate path by the arm to move vertically disposed pipe into horizontal position for entry into the power tong assembly. Movement producing means is mounted in pivoted relation to the support means and to the arm means for moving the stabbing head means through the arcuate path between a retracted position andan extended position located over the power tongv nected with the top of column 12 as by bolted connection as shown, for example. Upper support 14 is connected to a pivotable upper bearing unit 16.

A generally hollow and elongated rectangular support collar 20 is fitted about column 12 and adapted to be moved up and down along the column. Collar 20 is maintained and rigidly supported in longitudinal movable alignment with column 12 by a roller assembly 22 incorporated within collar 20. As shown, a plurality of flanged rollers 23 are included in assembly 22 and mounted to abut and roll along the inner faces of the flanges of column 12 with the roller flanges abutting the side edges of the column flanges to maintain collar 20 in fixed horizontal or lateral relation with respect to column 12.

A tong support yoke structure 24 is mounted to collar 20 and projects horizontally and radially from the pivotable axis of column 12. A power pipe tong assembly 26 adapted to receive a well pipe includes a back-up tong 28 and a rotating tong 30 is mounted within yoke 24 through a cradle assembly having cradle units 32 and 32 .For the purpose of this disclosure, the power tong assembly 26 may be considered to be of construction such as disclosed in the previously referenced US. patent disclosures, for example.

Mounted in generally upright posture adjacent column 12 is a power source 34 adapted for linear movement which is provided as a hydraulic piston and cylinder unit. Power source 34 is pivotally mounted at its lower end to a lower support (not shown) and terminates at its upper movable end with a force and move ment crosshead unit 38. Flexible force and movement transfer means are provided as a pair of roller chains 36 which are respectively meshed across chain sprockets incorporated as part of crosshead unit 38. Chains 36 are also respectively anchored at their lower ends to a lower support member (not shown) and extend upwardly over crosshead unit 38 to a position below unit 38 where such chains are respectively anchored to yoke structure 24.

Upper support member 14 is provided as removable to permit assembly of support collar around column 12. Upper support assembly 14 is removably attached to column 12 through provision of downwardly projecting support flanges 52 which are respectively connected to the flanges of column 12 by means of bolts 54. Upper bearing unit 16 is a flanged ball hearing assembly connected to support 14 and to a cylindrical retaining bitt 56 by means of fasteners such as cap screws 58. Bitt 56 is equipped with a plurality of lobed and divided retainer rings such as indicated at 60 and 62. Rings 60 and 62 are assembled with fasteners such as cap screws. Horizontal tie bars 64 and 66 are respectively connected to the lobes of rings 60 and 62 through clevis and pin arrangements 68 and 70. The other ends of tie bars 64 and 66 are connected in tension to the structure (not shown) of the well derrick. To be noted is that more than the two disclosed tie bars may be utilized as desired to provide appropriate horizontal stability in a particular installation.

Collar 20 is shown to be of welded fabrication and incorporating a front load plate 72, side plates 74 and a rear plate 76 with such plates being reinforced in the rectangular shape as shown by a plurality of stiffening ribs 78. As provided, collar 20 has free longitudinal movement along column 12 but is otherwise supported against movement with respect to column 12.

Yoke 24 includes a clevis box 84 mounted at the upper part of load plate 72 and support arms 86 and 86 mounted to and projecting from the lower part of load plate 72. Support cradles 32 and 32' are respectively mounted to arms 86 and 86' and secured through pinned connection to members 88 and 88' of a support fork 90 to clevis box 84. Clevis box 84 defines a cavity which will receive chain crosshead 38 and is provided with a chain anchor bracket 92 to which chains 36 are secured by bolted connection as shown. The other lower ends of chains 36 are appropriately secured to the base (not shown) of column 12.

Power source 34 as provided includes a piston and cylinder unit having a cylinder 96 with a piston rod 98 1 extending from the cylinder. Chain crosshead 38 is mounted to the distal end of rod 98 and cylinder 96 is pivotally mounted to a lower support (not shown). Cylinder 96 is equipped with a fluid fitting (not shown) through which hydraulic fluid under pressure may be forced into or discharged from the cylinder to cause extension and retraction of piston rod 98 with corresponding perpendicular movement of support yoke 24, as previously described.

FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 show the supporting cradle including cradle units 32 and 32'. Cradle unit 32 is provided of construction which is in mirror image of the construction of cradle unit 32. Cradle unit 32 generally includes a supporting guide 104 formed at the extremity of support arm 86 which guides and supports a tong unit carrier frame 106 in pivoting and radially movable relation through a roller unit 108 as shown.

Supporting guide 104 is formed of generally rectangular configuration with a pair of upwardly extending ears'which fonn a clevis 110 for attachment by means of a pin to support fork 90. Parallel trackways 112 are horizontally and radially defined within guide 104 and closed at the distal end of support arm 86 by a closure bar 114 connected across the trackways of guide 104 by fasteners such as cap screws 116 as shown. A flanged guide block 118 is snugly fitted in sliding relation within trackways 112 with the flanges of the guide block abutting the sides of the trackways and maintain-. ing the guide block in radial alignment with support arm 86. Adjustable radial support of guide block 118 is provided by a threaded stud 120 projecting from the guide block 118 through a hole in closure bar 114 with threaded lock nuts 122 adjustably threaded on stud 120 and tightened to lock on either side of bar 114. A short machined slot (not shown) having circular ends is horizontally definedin guide block 118 which slot receives roller 108 and permits limited radial movement of the roller within the slot for purposes later evident. Roller 108, as disposed within its slot, is secured by means of a pin to a clevis 126 formed as an upper part of carrier frame 106 in a manner as shown to cause carrier frame 106 to be suspended in pivoted and radially movable relation through roller 108 from guide block 118.

Carrier frame 106 is adapted to be rigidly connected to pipe back-up unit 28 by fasteners such as cap screws 128 to support lugs 130 which project from unit 28 as shown. As partially shown, four guide rollers 132 are mounted in rectangular formation on carrier frame 106 by means of pins or axles to accommodate a guide bar 134 and maintain the guide bar in vertically movable alignment. Guide bar 134 is adapted to be rigidly connected by means of fasteners such as cap screws 136 to pipe rotating unit 30 as shown.

Vertical movement of pipe rotating unit 30 relative to pipe back-up unit 28 is maintained within a predetermined limit by means of a dog 138 which is connected to and projects from guide bar 134 into a limit slot 139 defined in carrier frame 106 as shown.

The construction of cradle unit 32 as shown provides parallel alignment and limited vertical movement between rotating unit 30 and back-up unit 28 while permitting adjustable limited radial movement and vertical pivoting of the entire power tong assembly 26. As more fully explained in the referenced US. patent disclosures incorporated herein, the vertical movement between back-up unit 28 and rotating unit 30 is needed to permit longitudinal displacement between a section of pipe being held stationary by back-up unit 28 and a section of pipe being held and rotated by rotating unit 30 as the two sections are being threaded into or out of connection.

Pivotal movement or rocking of power tong assembly 26 about the axis of roller unit 108 is resiliently limited by a stabilizing unit 140 which provides resilient connection between arms 86 and back-up unit 28.

The pipe orienting unit 10 is shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 to be mounted on the left support cradle 32' and as being rotated into extended position. Phantom lines indicate the position of unit 10 when rotated or pivoted into retracted position.

Also indicated by phantom lines is the alternate mounting of orienting unit 10 on the right support cradle 32. As later will be evident the orienting unit 10 may be mounted with equal facility to either cradle unit as needed for a particular well drilling installation through appropriate assembly and adjustment of the component parts of the unit.

The unit 10 comprises a mounting plate 18 attached to carrier frame 106 by means of fasteners such as cap screws 40. Plate 18 extends upwardly from frame 106 to provide space and support for attachment of an arm various mounting faces 166 within clevis 156 by clevis pin 160 through a respective pin hole 168. With selecis a hollow arm sleeve 102 which is rectangular in cross-section. Flange 124 extends horizontally to define a pivot bracket 142 having holes horizontally located on each side of arm sleeve 102 to accommodate alternate pivoted mounting of a hydraulic movement producing piston and cylinder unit 144 which is attached to bracket 46 through a pivoting clevis arrangement 146 and attached to pivot bracket 142 through a pivoting clevis arrangement 148. As shown, extension and retraction of cylinder unit 144 causes'corresponding rotation or pivoting of arm sleeve 102 about the axis of bearing unit 50. I

As shown arm sleeve 102 is slotted on one side at its distal end and equipped with ears 150 connected with a bolt 152 to draw'the sides of the slot together in a clamping arrangement. Adjustably fitted within arm sleeve 102 is an extension arm 154 which may be adjusted to various radial positions and clamped into a respective position by bolt 152.

Mounted to the distal end of arm 154 is a clevis 156 which rigidly mounts and supports a pipe orienting or stabber head unit 158 through a removable clevis pin 160. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, stabber head 158 is generally V shaped in configuration and of welded fabrication of appropriately formed plate and tubing. The head 158 defines two vertically disposed vertical surfaces or faces 162 and 164 converging in a horizontal angle as shown. The outside of the V shape of head 158 defines a plurality of faces 166 each face being presented in a different direction. Disposed adjacent each face 166 is a clevis pin hole 168 defined through the head 158. As provided, any respective face 166 may be fitted within arm clevis 156 to establish a respective direction in which surfaces 164 and 166 are presented and the head is thereon retained in such position by clevis pin 160.

Respectively mounted for horizontal rotation within faces 162 and 164 are rollers 170 having axles 172 retained in slots within head 158 by means of retainer screws 174. The rollers protrude from the surfaces only far enough to present rolling contact with abutting pipe as shown in FIG. 2.

As best shown in FIG. 2, shaft flange 124 defines shoulders 176, one of which is adapted to move into abutment with an adjustable arm limit bolt 172 which is threaded through mounting plate 18 as shown and locked in a preselected position by a lock nut 174. Adjustment of bolt 172 limits the counterclockwise movement of stabber head 158 to the extent that pipe 100 is centered over the hole in rotating unit 30 when cylinder unit 144 is-fully extended as permitted by abutment of shoulder 176 with bolt 172. As can be seen, combined adjustments are provided by (I) right or left mounting of orienting unit 10, (2) the adjustable extension of extension arm 154 from arm sleeve 102 as provided by clamping bolt 152, and (3) the adjustable angular presentation of head faces 162 and 164 through tive adjustment and mounting, orienting unit 10 may engage a pipe 100 which is in one of many positions above rotating unit 30 and swing the pipe into centered position over the hole in rotating unit 30 through actuation of cylinder unit 144.

OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In operation, the positioning apparatus is provided with the power tong assembly 26 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 positioned over a well bore and secured in position. The fluid fittings of cylinder 96 and 144 are connected to a hydraulic power system (not shown) which is suitable to inject hydraulic fluid into the cylinders 96 and 144 to actuate cylinder 144 and to release the fluid from the cylinder at controlled rates and in controlled volumes to raise and lower tong assembly 26 as desired.

When the pipe is to be connected the lower pipe joint is positioned and firmly grasped by the back-up unit. Another section of pipe is lowered and centered or stabbed through rotating unit 30 to be threaded into the lower pipe section. The pipe is then rotated by the rotating unit to thread the joint into final connection. Such procedure is repeated for the next section of pipe to be connected;

Each stand of pipe 100 is approximately feet (25.5 meters) in length and has considerable mass. Due to such length and some deviations in the overall well derrick structure, the lower end of pipe is usually and consistently out of alignment with the hole in rotating unit 30. Such misalignment usually places successive stands of pipe 101) at the same general position over rotating head 30. The orienting unit 10 is appropriately adjusted to move into engagement with pipe 100 at its misalignment position and move the pipe to a centered position over the hole in rotating unit 30 whereupon the pipe is lowered into rotating unit 30 and stabbed for threading into the pipe being held by back-up unit 28.

When the pipe is to be disconnected, the pipe is raised or lowered through tong assembly 26 and stopped with a screwed pipe joint within the range of vertical movement of the tong assembly. The tong assembly is thereon raised or lowered until the lower section of the pipe joint is within potential grasp of backup unit 28 and free of possible grasp by rotating unit 30. Back-up unit 28 is next actuated to firmly grip the lower section of the pipe joint against rotation and the rotating unit is actuated to grip the upper section of the pipe joint to be rotated. The rotating unit 30 is further actuated to rotate the pipe to unscrew and disconnect the threads of the joint. The operation may then be repeated for the next lower pipe joint to be disconnected in the pipe string;

The foregoing description and drawing will suggest I other embodiments and variations to those skilled in the art, all of which are intended to be included in the spirit of the invention as herein set forth.

That being claimed is:

1. Pipe stabbing apparatus mountable on a base member in a derrick structure and adapted for horizontal pivotal movements and to engage a vertically suspended pipe and center it at a predetermined horizontal position, said stabbing apparatus comprising: a support arm; means for mounting said support arm on a base member for horizontal pivotal movements; a stabber head providing two pipe engaging faces converging into an acute angle; means for mounting said stabber head on said support arm in a plurality of different positions disposed at different angles to said support arm and with said pipe engaging faces disposed vertically, said mounting means including complementary fastener means on said stabber head and on said support arm, said fastener means being interengaged to lock said stabber head in one of said plurality of different positions, said fastener means being disengageable to permit said stabber head to be moved from said one of said plurality of different positions to any other of said plurality of different positions, said fastener means being then interengageable to lock said stabber head to said support arm in the position to which it moved, and means for pivoting said support arm.

2. Pipe stabbing apparatus as defined in claim 1,

wherein said fastener mearis comprise single pin hole means on said support arm, a plurality of spaced, complementary pin hole means on said stabber head, and a pin engageable with said single pin hole means and any selected one of said plurality of pin hole means.

3. Pipe stabbing apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein said single pin hole means comprise a clevis on said support arm receiving a portion of said stabber head.

4. Pipe stabbing apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said support arm comprises telescopic sections and means for releasably locking said sections together.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2450934 *May 25, 1946Oct 12, 1948Calhoun Ingram XWell pipe handling apparatus
US2692059 *Jul 15, 1953Oct 19, 1954Standard Oil Dev CoDevice for positioning pipe in a drilling derrick
FR613648A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5931231 *Jun 17, 1997Aug 3, 1999Bucyrus International, Inc.Blast hole drill pipe gripping mechanism
US6047775 *Jul 21, 1999Apr 11, 2000Bucyrus International, Inc.Blast hole drill pipe gripping mechanism
US6138776 *Jan 20, 1999Oct 31, 2000Hart; Christopher A.Power tongs
US6318214 *Jun 26, 2000Nov 20, 2001David A. BuckPower tong positioning apparatus
US7104316Mar 24, 2004Sep 12, 2006John Paul HobgoodTong positioning and alignment device
US7188548Sep 20, 2004Mar 13, 2007Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Adapter frame for a power frame
US7921750Nov 19, 2001Apr 12, 2011Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Power tong frames
US20050061112 *Sep 20, 2004Mar 24, 2005Weatherford Lamb, Inc.Adapter frame for a power frame
US20090255663 *Jul 13, 2007Oct 15, 2009Petrus Christiaan GouwsDrilling apparatus
WO2002000395A1 *Jun 20, 2001Jan 3, 2002David A BuckPower tong positioning apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/77.51, 81/57.16, 81/57.36
International ClassificationE21B19/00, E21B19/16
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/16
European ClassificationE21B19/16
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 17, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: VARCO INTERNATIONAL, INC., A CA. CORP., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HUGHES TOOL CONPANY-USA;REEL/FRAME:005013/0843
Effective date: 19880929
Aug 18, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: HUGHES TOOL COMPANY-USA, 5425 POLK AVE., HOUSTON,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:004944/0763
Effective date: 19880718
Owner name: HUGHES TOOL COMPANY-USA, A DE CORP.,TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:4944/763
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:004944/0763
Aug 8, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HUGHES TOOL COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:005050/0861
Effective date: 19880609
Feb 22, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: HUGHES TOOL COMPANY, P.O. BOX 2539, HOUSTON, TX. 7
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BJ-HUGHES INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004098/0273
Effective date: 19821231