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Publication numberUS3868995 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 4, 1975
Filing dateJun 15, 1973
Priority dateJun 15, 1973
Also published asCA997676A1, DE2428804A1, DE2428804B2, DE2428804C3, DE2462473A1, DE2462473B2, DE2462473C3
Publication numberUS 3868995 A, US 3868995A, US-A-3868995, US3868995 A, US3868995A
InventorsCrowe Talmadge L
Original AssigneeBaker Oil Tools Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sub-surface safety valve
US 3868995 A
Abstract
A subsurface safety valve for wells, including a ball valve closed by well fluid pressure and opened by control fluid pressure supplied from the surface. The ball valve includes a control fluid pressure responsive balancing valve for equalizing pressure across the closed ball valve to relieve the ball valve seating pressure. The ball valve is rotatable on support pins carried by the control fluid pressure responsive piston. A spring acts upwardly on the piston to assist well fluid pressure in overcoming control fluid pressure to close the ball valve.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 1111 3,868,995

Crowe Mar. 4, 1975 [5 SUB-SURFACE SAFETY VALVE 3.741.249 6/1973 Leutuyler 166/224 R25,47l l 196 F [75] Inventor: Talmadge L. Crowe, Houston, Tex. l/ 3 redd 166/224 5 [73] Assignee: Baker Oil Tools, Inc., Los Angeles, Pr mary Examiner-James A. Leppink Calif. Attorney, Agent, or FirmBernard Kriegel [22] F1led: June 15, 1973 [57] ABSTRACT PP 370,354 A subsurface safety valve for wells. including a ball valve closed by well fluid pressure and opened by con- 52 U.S. c1. 166/224 A, 137/629 fluid Pressure Supplied from the Surface- The ball 51 rm. c1. E2lb 43/12, F16k 11/20 valve includes a control fluid Pressure responsive [58] Field of Search 166/72, 224, 224 A; arming valve for equalizing Pressure across the closed 137/629 ball valve to relieve the ball valve seating pressure. The ball valve is rotatable on support pins carried by [56] References Cited the control fluid pressure responsive piston. A spring UNITED STATES PATENTS acts upwardly on the piston to assist well fluid pressure in overcoming control fluid pressure to close the 3,310.114 3/1967 DOlllSOn 166/224 ball valve. 3,543,793 l2/l970 Dollison 166/224 3.703,!93 Il/l972 Raulins 166/224 S 23 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PATENIED R 191s KW I], -1

PATENIEUNAR M975 SHEET 2 UF I IG. 8c,

PATENTEUNAR' PATENTEU 41975 SUB-SURFACE SAFETY VALVE In the production of well fluids, such as oil and/or gas, from wells situated at remote locations, it has become the practice to employ automatic shutoff valves which are responsive to the pressure of well fluids so as to be actuated from an opened condition to a closed condition in the event of loss of well fluids as may be caused by various circumstances. For example, it may occur that a well located at sea may suffer damage which will allow well fluids to flow into the sea, not only resulting in loss of well fluids until the well can be killed, but also resulting in contamination of the sea water and the seashore when oil escapes into the sea and drifts ashore. It is also desirable to prevent the uncontrolled loss of well fluids from remotely located onshore wells where damage may occur to the wellhead equipment resulting in the uncontrolled flow of the well until it can be killed.

Various valves have been heretofore developed for the purposes of automatically shutting off such a flowing well, at a subsurface location in the production pipe string, including sleeve type valves and ball type valves which have a substantially full bore opening therethrough and thereby cause no substantial restriction to flow. However, such ball valves experience operating difficulties, particularly when they are being opened and the well fluid pressure below the valve, which is holding the valve closed, is substantial, causing a high friction loading between the sealing faces and the surface of the ball with which they are sealingly engaged. Indeed, the operating means for shifting the ball to an open position may, in some instances, be destroyed.

Ball valves have been incorporated in subsurface safety valves, wherein a balancing valve equalizes the fluid across the closed ball valve before the ball valve is opened, thereby reducing the wear and frictional resistance to ball actuation, as disclosed in my pending application for Letters Patent of the United States, filed November 3, 1972, Ser. No. 303,482.

The present invention involves the provision of an automatic subsurface shutoff valve of the ball type, wherein the ball is easy to manipulate from the closed to the open position, notwithstanding high well fluid pressure tending to hold the valve closed.

The present invention involves the provision of a control fluid operated by-pass valve incorporated in the ball assembly, so that as control fluid pressure is being supplied to open the ball valve, the pressure differential across the ball valve is first equalized, and then the ball valve is shifted to the open position. To accomplish this, the ball valve is composed of a ball base and ball cap providing a by-pass passage, which is opened when the ball base is shifted relative to the cap.

In addition to the foregoing, the present invention provides a subsurface shutoff valve assembly, wherein actuation of the ball valve to the closed position is assisted by a spring, so that even in the absence of sufficient well pressure to assure closure of the shutoff valve, the latter will be nevertheless closed and the sealing effectiveness of the valve will be maintained.

The subsurface valve of the invention may be incorporated in a string of production tubing and run into the well in the tubing string, and control fluid is supplied through an auxiliary control tubing extending into the well alongside the production tubing. Alternatively, if the well is to be produced through the casing above the shutoff valve, the shutoff valve assembly may be run into and latched in place in a seating nipple and may be retrieved from the seating nipple by wireline tools. In this latter case, the control tubing from an appropriate source of control fluid pressure is connected to the seating nipple.

This invention possesses many other advantages. and has other purposes which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of a form in which it may be embodied. One form is shown in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification. It will now be described in detail, for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention; but it is to be understood that such detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense.

Referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view illustrating an offshore well, in which a subsurface automatic shutoff valve has been installed;

FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d and 2e together constitute a longitudinal quarter section showing one form of automatic shutoff valve embodying the invention, with the valve in the closed condition, FIGS. 2b through 2e, respectively, constituting successive downward continuations of FIG. 2a;

FIGS. 3a and 3b together constitute a fragmentary longitudinal section of the portions of the valve assembly seen in FIGS. 2a through 2e, showing the valve in the closed position but in a pressure balanced condition with the by-pass valve open, FIG. 3b being a downward continuation of FIG. 3a;

FIGS. 4a, 4b and 4c together constitute a fragmentary longitudinal quarter section showing the valve in the open position, FIGS. 4b and 40 being downward continuations of FIG. 4a;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary detail view in vertical section, with certain parts broken away, as taken on the line 55 of FIG. 2c;

FIG. 6 is a view corresponding to FIG. 5, but showing the' valve rotated to the open position;

FIG. 7 is a transverse section, as taken on the line 7 -7 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a detailed view in perspective of the ball valve; and

FIG. 9 is a vertical section, as taken on the line 9-9 of FIG. 20.

As seen in the drawings, referring first to FIG. 1, an automatic shutoff valve assembly V is installed in a string of well production tubing T which'extends downwardly through a well casing C which is set in a well bore W. The tubing T and casing C extend upwardly through a body of water to a platform P. On the platform is a conventional valved tubing head H from which a flowline F extends, the flow line being adapted to conduct well fluids to a suitably located reservoir. A packer 10 is set in the casing C and forms a seal between the tubing T and the casing below the valve assembly V and the latter is adapted to remain open, as will later be described, only so long as it is supplied with suitable control fluid pressure from a pressure source 11 to the valve assembly V.

Referring to FIGS. 2a through 9, one form of subsurface valve assembly V is shown. In this form, the valve assembly comprises an elongated tubular outer body 20 including an upper body section 21, which is threadedly connected at 22 to the lower end of a coupling 23 which is, in turn, threadedly connected to the tubing string T above the valve assembly, the upper body sec- 3 tion 21 being threadedly connected at 23a at its lower end to an intermediate body section 24 which extends downwardly and which is threadedly connected by a coupling 25 to a lower body section 26, the latter being threadedly connected at 27, at its lower end, to a connector sub 28 which is, in turn, threadedly connected at 29, at its lower end, to the tubing string T extending downwardly in the well bore below the valve assembly. The body 20 provides an internal bore 35 and a downwardly facing internal shoulder 36 which is opposed by an upwardly facing shoulder 37 provided in the body section 26. lnterposed between the downwardly facing shoulder 36 and the upwardly facing shoulder 37 is a valve actuating cage member 40 which is preferably longitudinally split and, as best seen in FIGS. and 6, consists of a circumferentially extended upper end ring 41 and a pair of diametrically spaced longitudinally extended valve engaging ribs or bars 43 extending downwardly from the end ring. The bars 43 have inwardly extended opposing pins 44 each engaged in a slot 45 in the adjacent side of a ball valve member 46, whereby, as will be later more fully described, the ball valve 46 is adapted to be actuated between the closed condition of FIGS. 2a through 2e and FIG. 5 and the open or flowing condition of FIGS. 4a through 40 and FIG. 6.

The lower body section 26 has an internal bore 47 which receives an upper cylindrical end portion 48 of the connector sub 28, the latter having a side ring seal 49 sealingly engaged in the bore 47 below the upper end surface 50 of the sub 28. This end surface 50 constitutes an abutment or seat for a coiled compression spring 51 which is disposed within the bore 47. The spring 51 is a valve actuating spring and seats or abuts at its upper end with an abutment ring 51a, which engages beneath an end flange or abutment 52 on a lower valve sealing sleeve 53 which is reciprocable within the bore 47 in the lower body section 26 and extends longitudinally through the coiled spring 51. At its lower end, the sleeve 53 has an external abutment 54 engageable by a spring seating ring 55 engaged by the lower end of the spring 51. Thus, the spring 51 is operable to bias the sealing sleeve 53 upwardly. At its upper end, the valve sealing sleeve 53 has an annular, spherical seating surface 56 adapted for abutting and sealing engagement with 'a companion spherical valve surface 57 on the valve member 46, as seen in FIGS. 4c and 6.

Reciprocable within the outer body 20 above the valve member 46 is an upper valve actuating and sealing sleeve 60, which has at its lower end a spherical valve engaging and sealing surface 61 engageable with the spherical surface 57 of the valve member 46. The upper valve sleeve 60 extends upwardly in radially inwardly spaced relation within the outer body sections 21 and 26, and has at its upper extremity a cylindrical end sleeve 62 extending reciprocably onto an inner body sleeve 63 of the outer body section 21, a side ring seal 64 slidably and sealingly engaging the sleeve section 63 below a radially inwardly extended cylinder head portion 65 of the body section 21.

The body sleeve 63 is normally connected to the body section 21 by releasable means including a shear screw 63a, in the position seen in FIG. 2b. However, as more particularly disclosed in my pending application for United States patent, Ser. No. 275,910, filed July 28, I972, the sleeve 63 may be actuated downwardly, as will be apparent from the following description, to open the ball valve 46 and hold it open. Accordingly,

a resilient,'split ratchet ring 63b has external teeth 63c engaged with upwardly facing internal teeth on the outer body section 21, and the ratchet ring 63b also has internal ratchet teeth 63d engaging external ratchet teeth on the sleeve 63, whereby, when the sleeve 63 is forced downwardly by a shifting tool, and the shear screw 63a is broken, the sleeve 63 will abut with a shoulder 63e on the upper valve sleeve 60 to force the latter downwardly. The ratchet ring 63b will hold the sleeve 63 in a position at which the valve 46 is open.

Reciprocable within the outer body 20 is an elongated piston sleeve 67 which has a head 68 slidably engaging the upper valve sealing sleeve 60. Below the head 68 is a downwardly facing shoulder 69 and a downwardly extended cylindrical sealing portion 70 slidable relative to a sealing rib or flange 71 on the valve sleeve 60, which carries a seal ring 72 and provides an upwardly facing shoulder 73. The piston sleeve 67 has downwardly extended, diametrically spaced arms 74 which slidably project through the valve cage ring 41 and between the cage arms 43, the piston arms 74 supporting and carrying the ball valve 46 on pivot pins 75, engaged in pin holes 75a in opposite side of the ball valve 46, for rotation of the ball valve, as will be later described, about a horizontal axis. Below the pivot pins 75, the piston arms 74 extend downwardly and span the upper end 52 of the lower valve sealing sleeve 53 so as to be engageable with the upper spring seating ring 51a, as seen in FIG. 2d.

A floating piston sleeve 76 is interposed between the piston sleeve 67 and the outer body section 24, and has an external seal ring 77 and an internal seal ring 78 engaging the body section 24 and the piston sleeve 67, respectively. Thus, there is defined between the floating piston sleeve 76 and the cylinder head portion 65 of the body section 21 a chamber 79 to which control fluid is admitted from the control fluid conduit CF via a port or passage 80. The pressure of the central fluid in the chamber 79 acts upon the piston 67 to force it downwardly, to open the ball valve 46, as will be later described, and the pressure of well fluid in the tubing T below the ball valve 46 acts upwardly on the piston 67, together with the spring 51, to force the valve 46 to a closed position if control fluid pressure is reduced in the chamber 79.

While sealing of the ball valve 46 on its spherical surface 57 may be accomplished solely by the spherical end surfaces 56 and 61 on the sealing sleeves 53 and 60, the present valve also has an elastomeric sealing ring 81 supported by a carrier ring 82 having a sealing ring 83 slidably engaging the piston sleeve 60. The carrier ring 82, as best seen in FIG. 5, is mounted in a groove 84 inthe split cage ring 41.

When the ball valve 46 is in the closed position, it is preferred that pressure across the ball valve be equalized before the ball valve is opened, thereby relieving the operating mechanism of the resistance caused by the pressure imbalance; In accordance with the present invention, equalizing or balancing valve means are incorporated in the ball valve structure, as best seen in FIGS. 2c, 3b, 8 and 9. More particularly, the ball valve 46 has a chordal cap 85 having a central opening or port 86. The body or base of the ball valve 46 has a stem 87 on an insert 870, the stem 87 being adapted to extend into the opening 86. The valve insert 87a facilitates manufacture of the ball valve 46 and is in the form of a disc having a peripheral flange 87b adapted to be received in an undercut groove 870 in the ball valve 46 and retained in place by suitable means, such as by staking (not shown). The cap 85 and the ball valve 46 have interengaged means for interlocking the cap and ball together for rotation as a unit between the positions of FIG. and FIG. 35, including inwardly extended portions or ribs 87d on the cap 85, spaced apart to form a slot 87e, the slot receiving a companion rib portion 87f of the ball valve 46, and the by-pass valve disc 87a being carried by said ball valve rib portion 87f. Disposed about the stem 87 is a seal ring 88 on a boss adapted to sealingly engage in a seat 89 in the under surface of the cap 85. When the cap is off of the ball base, as seen in FIG. 3b, fluid can flow through the cap port 86 to equalize pressure across the ball valve 46 and the companion rib portions 87d and 87f retain the ball and cap assembled or engaged for unitary rotation, but when, as seen in FIG. 9, the cap is seated, the bypass port 86 is closed.

When the valve actuating piston 67 is in the position of FIGS. 4a 40, which is a lower position relative to the valve body 20, the valve member 46 is in the open position, and the end sealing surface 61 of the sealing sleeve 60 is biased into engagement with the spherical surface 57 of the valve member 46 by the pressure of control fluid in the chamber 79 acting downwardly on the piston area of the sealing sleeve 60. The central fluid acting downwardly on the piston 67 and through the pivot pins 75 transmitting a downward force on the valve member 46 to the lower valve sealing sleeve 53, compressing the spring 51.

The relationship of the ball valve actuating pins 44 and the slot 45, previously referred to, is best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, it being understood that the ball valve member 46 has identical slots 45 at its opposite sides engaged by diametrically opposite pins 44. More particularly, the ball valve member 46 on each of its opposite sides has a chordal flat surface 90 adjacent to the diametrically opposite bars 43 of the ball cage 40 and the piston arms 74. The slot 45 extends radially with respect to the axis of rotation of the ball valve member 46, and in radial alignment with the slot 45; a stop lug 91 projects outwardly from the flat surface 90 and provides a pair of right angularly related stop surfaces 71a and 91b. When the ball valve member 46 is in the position of FIG. 5, the stop surface 91a engages the vertical side wall 740 of the adjacent piston arm 74, thereby limiting rotation of the valve member 46 to the position at which the valve is closed. The stop surface 9112 on the stop lug 91 engages the bar surface 74a, as shown in FIG. 6, to limit rotation of the valve member 46 to the position at which the valve is closed. Such rotation between the open and closed positions is caused by longitudinal or vertical movement of the valve member 46 within the cage 40, the two longitudinal extremes being shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

As previously indicated and as will later be more fully described, the ball member 46 is actuated or shifted longitudinally by longitudinal movement of the piston 67. The slot 45 is formed in such a manner as to cause such rotation of the valve member 46 as the latter moves vertically or longitudinally within the cage 40. Thus, as seen in FIGS. 5, 6 and 8, the slot 45 is formed in the valve member 46 by opposed walls which are disposed at a right angle to one another and designated 45a and 45b, and which, respectively, are parallel to the stop surfaces 91a and 91b. At the apex of the angle defined between the walls 45a and 4512, the slot opens radially inwardly at 45c. Thus, the relationship between the pin 44 and the wall 45a is such that the ball valve 46 will be rotated from the position of FIG. 5 to the position of FIG. 6 when the valve member 46 moves downwardly relative to the pin 44, and, conversely, the flat wall 45b will engage the pin 44 and rotate the ball valve member from the position of FIG. 6 to the position of FIG. 5 upon upward movement of the valve member 46. However, it will be noted that when the valve member 46 is in the position of FIG. 5, the pin 44 clears the flat wall 45a so as to allow freedom of longitudinal movement of the ball valve 46 after the stop surface 91a engages the bar wall 74a, and correspondingly limited free downward movement of the ball valve 46 is permitted when the ball valve is open, as seen in FIG. 6, and the pin 44 clears the slot wall 45b when the stop surface 91b engages the side wall 74a of the bar 74. Such free or lost motion connection of the ball valve 46 and the rotating pin 44 relieves the connection of damaging forces when the ball valve is in either of its closed or open positions.

The operation of the invention described above is as follows:

The tubing string T with the valve assembly V installed therein is run into the well to the desired location, the packer 10 sealing off the annulus between the tubing and the casing C and the control fluid conduit is simultaneously run into the well with the tubing T.

The safety valve is normally closed, as seen in FIGS. 2a through 2e and in FIG. 5, when the pressure of control fluid in the control fluid pressure chamber 79 is relieved, and the spring 51 acts upwardly on the lower ends of the piston arms 74, to bias the piston 67 upwardly. The upward movement of the piston 67, through the pivot pins 75, carries the ball valve 46 upwardly so that the valve rotating pins 44 engaging the cam surfaces 45a rotate the ball valve to the closed position. Inasmuch as the cam surface 45a clears the pin 44, the ball valve 46 is permitted to have a certain amount of longitudinal over-travel so that it moves into sealing engagement with the resilient seal 81 longitudinally, and without rotation. Upward travel of the seating or sealing sleeve 60 is limited by coengagement of an external annular shoulder 41a thereon with the split upper end ring 41 of the valve cage 40.

When control fluid pressure is applied to the pressure chamber 79 through the control fluid tubing CF from the top of the well, a downward force is applied to the piston 67 to overcome the force of the spring 51. The piston 67 can move downwardly relative to the sealing sleeve 60 until the opposed shoulders 69 and 73, as shown in FIG. 3b, are engaged. During this initial increment of downward movement of the piston sleeve 67 and consequently the ball valve base 46, differential fluid pressure maintains the cap in sealing contact with the lower end of the upper sealing sleeve 60 and the resilient seal 81, and prevents downward movement of the sealing sleeve 60, until such time as the ball base has moved from the position of FIG. 9 to the position more particularly illustrated in FIG. 3b, at which the port 86 through the ball cap is open, and fluid pressure is equalized across the cap, thereby enabling the cap to move downwardly relative to the base and facilitating downward movement of the upper sealing sleeve 60, as the control fluid pressure responsive piston 67 moves further downwardly.

As the ball valve 46 moves downwardly, the rotating pin 44 will contact the slot surfaces 45b, thereby rotating the ball valve from the closed position of FIG. to the open position of FIG. 6, such open position also being shown in FIG. 40, wherein the valve closing spring 51 has been compressed by the piston arms 74 and the spherical sealing surfaces 56 on the lower valve sealing sleeve 53 and 57 on the ball valve 46 are sealingly engaged. At this point, further downward movement of the ball valve is prevented, and the sealing contact between the metal sealing surfaces of the lower sealing sleeve 53 and the upper sealing sleeve 60 with the ball valve 46 is maintained by fluid pressure. Further downward movement of the lower sealing sleeve 53 is prevented by contact by the lower shoulder 54 thereon with the internal shoulder of the lower connector sub 28.

If, for any reason, the control fluid pressure in the pressure chamber 79 acting downwardly on the piston 67 should be relieved, such as by reason of fracture of the control fluid conduit CF or the purposeful venting of the control fluid pressure at the platform P, the valve closing spring 51 will assist well fluid pressure acting upwardly on the piston 67 to overcome any residual control fluid pressure to reverse the closing operation by shifting the piston sleeve 67 upwardly, thereby carrying the ball 46 therewith for closing actuation of the ball by the ball rotating pins 44.

While the subsurface safety valve of the invention has been shown in its preferred form as incorporating a two-piece ball valve having the base and relatively shiftable cap providing by-pass valve means, it will be understood that such a composite ball valve may be replaced, if desired, by a solid ball valve supported upon the pins 75 and having the same mode of operation, except for the pressure equalizing feature.

I claim:

1. In a subsurface shutoff valve for wells adapted to be supported in a well fluid production pipe: a body having a flow passage therethrough; shutoff valve means including a member shiftable between a first position closing said passage and a second position at which said passage is open; actuator means for shifting said member between said positions, including means defining a control fluid pressure chamber for moving said member to said second position and means responsive to the pressure of well fluid in the production pipe for biasing said member to said first position upon reduction in the pressure of control fluid in said chamber; said member including by-pass valve means for equalizing the well fluid across said shutoff valve means before said member is moved from said first position to said second position.

2. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said valve member being a ball having said flow passage therethrough and a spherical sealing surface, said actuator means comprising actuator piston means movable longitudinally in said body responsive to control fluid pressure in said chamber and to the pressure of well fluid, an actuator sleeve having a sealing surface engageable with said spherical sealing surface of said ball, said piston means and said sleeve being relatively longitudinally movable to open and close said by-pass valve means, and including means for rotating said ball be tween said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said piston means.

3.In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim I; said valve member being a ball having said flow passage therethrough and a spherical sealing surface, said actuator means comprising actuator piston means movable longitudinally in said body responsive to control fluid pressure in said chamber and to the pressure of well fluid, an actuator sleeve having a sealing surface engageable with said spherical sealing surface of said ball, said piston means and said sleeve being relatively longitudinally movable to open and close said by-pass valve means, and including means for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to iongitudinal movement of said piston means, and spring means acting on said piston means for opposing said control fluid pressure.

4. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim I; said valve member being a ball having said flow passage therethrough and a spherical sealing surface, said actuator means comprising actuator piston means movable longitudinally in said body responsive to control fluid pressure in said chamber and to the pressure of well fluid, an actuator sleeve having a sealing surface engageable with said spherical sealing surface of said ball, said piston means and said sleeve being relatively longitudinally movable to open and close said by-pass valve means, and including means for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said piston means, said means for rotating said ball including means for enabling bodily longitudinal movement of said ball with respect to said body during the final increment of movement of said ball to said first and second positions.

5. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said valve member being a ball having said flow passage therethrough and a spherical sealing surface, said actuator means comprising actuator piston means movable longitudinally in said body responsive to control fluid pressure in said chamber and to the pressure of well fluid, an actuator sleeve having a sealing surface engageable with said spherical sealing surface ofsaid ball, said piston means and said sleeve being relatively longitudinally movable to open and close said by-pass valve means, and including means for rotating said ball be tween said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said piston means, said means for rotating said ball including a support for said ball carried by said piston means, said support and said ball having cooperative means mounting said ball for rotation, a ball cage, said cage and said ball having pin and pin engaging surfaces for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said piston means.

6. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said valve member being a ball having said flow passage therethrough and a spherical sealing surface, said actuator means comprising actuator piston means movable longitudinally in said body responsive to control fluid pressure in said chamber and to the pressure of well fluid, an actuator sleeve having a sealing surface engageable with said spherical sealing surface of said ball, said piston means and said sleeve being relatively longitudinally movable to open and close said by-pass valve means, and including means for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said piston means, said means for rotating said ball including a support for said ball carried by said piston means, said support and said ball having cooperative means mounting said ball for rotation, a ball cage, said cage and said ball having pin and pin engaging surfaces for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said piston means and for enabling bodily longitudinal movement of said ball with respect to said body during the final increment of movement of said ball to said first and second positions.

7. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said valve member being a ball having said flow passage therethrough and a spherical sealing surface, said actuator means comprising actuator piston means movable longitudinally in said body responsive to control fluid pressure in said chamber and to the pressure of well fluid, an actuator sleeve having a sealing surface engageable with said spherical sealing surface of said ball, said piston means and said sleeve being relatively longitudinally movable to open and close said by-pass valve means, and including means for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said piston means, said means for rotating said ball between said first and second positions including a ball cage for said ball and ball supporting arms on said piston means supporting said ball for rotary movement and for longitudinal movement with respect to said cage, said cage having opposed pins, and walls on said ball engageable with said pins for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said ball.

8. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said valve member being a ball having said flow passage therethrough and a spherical sealing surface, said actuator means comprising actuator piston means movable longitudinally in said body responsive to control fluid pressure in said chamber and to the pressure of well fluid, an actuator sleeve having a sealing surface engageable with said spherical sealing surface of said ball, said piston means and said sleeve being relatively longitudinally movable to open and close said by-pass valve means, and including means for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said piston means, said means for rotating said ball between said first and second positions including a ball cage for said ball and ball supporting arms on said piston means supporting said ball for rotary movement and for longitudinal movement with respect to said cage, said cage having opposed pins, walls on said ball engageable with said pins for rotating said ball between said first and second positions responsive to longitudinal movement of said ball, and stop means on said ball and said arms for limiting rotation of said ball to said first and second positions.

9. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said means defining a control fluid pressure chamber comprising an actuator sleeve reciprocable in said body and supporting said member to shift the same to said positions, said sleeve having thereon piston means responsive to the pressure of fluid in said chamber to shift said sleeve in one direction.

10. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said means defining a control fluid pressure chamber comprising an actuator sleeve reciprocable in said body and supporting said member to shift the same to said positions, said sleeve having thereon piston means responsive to the pressure of fluid in said chamber to shift said sleeve in one direction, and spring means engaged between said body and said sleeve for biasing said sleeve in the other direction.

11. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said means defining a control fluid pressure chamber comprising an actuator sleeve reciprocable in said body and supporting said member to shift the same to said positions, said sleeve having thereon piston means responsive to the pressure of fluid in said chamber to shift said sleeve in one direction, said by-pass valve means including a by-pass valve member shiftable on said shutoff valve member, said valve members cooperating with one another when said shutoff valve member is in an upper position to close said by-pass valve means, said piston means and sleeve acting on said shutoff valve member for moving the latter to a lower position responsive to control fluid pressure in said chamber to open said by-pass valve means.

12. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said means defining a control fluid pressure chamber comprising an actuator sleeve reciprocable in said body and supporting said member to shift the same to said positions, said sleeve having thereon piston means responsive to the pressure of fluid in said chamber to shift said sleeve in one direction, said shut-off valve member being in the form of a ball base, said by-pass valve means including a cap on said base, said base and said cap having means providing a by-pass port, and means normally closing said by-pass port.

13. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1; said means defining a control fluid pressure chamber comprising an actuator sleeve reciprocable in said body and supporting said member to shift the same to said positions, said sleeve having thereon piston means responsive to the pressure of fluid in said chamber to shift said sleeve in one direction, said shutoff valve member being in the form of a ball base, said by-pass valve means including a cap on said base, said cap having a port and said base having a pin extending into said port, sealing means between said base and said cap for sealing said port when said pin is in said port, and means responsive to differential pressure across said cap normally holding said cap against movement with said base until said port is open.

14. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1, said means defining a control fluid pressure chamber comprising an actuator sleeve reciprocable in said body and supporting said member to shift the same to said positions, said sleeve having thereon piston means responsive to the pressure of fluid in said chamber to shift said sleeve in one direction, said shutoff valve member being in the form of a ball base, said by-pass valve means including a cap on said base, said base and said cap having means providing a by-pass port, and means normally closing said by-pass port, said base and said cap having coengaged means for allowing said cap and said base to be relatively shifted to open said by-pass port while connecting said cap with said base.

15. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 1, said means defining a control fluid pressure chamber comprising an actuator sleeve reciprocable in said body and supporting said member to shift the same to said positions, said sleeve having thereon piston means responsive to the pressure of fluid in said chamber to shift said sleeve in one direction, said shutoff valve member being in the form of a ball base, said by-pass valve means including a cap on said base, said base and said cap having means providing a by-pass port, and means normally closing said by-pass port, said base and said cap having coengaged means for allowing said cap and said base to be relatively shifted to open said by-pass port while connecting said cap with said base, said coengaged means comprising companion ribs on said base and on said cap.

16. In a subsurface shutoff valve for wells adapted to be supported in a well fluid production pipe: an elongated outer tubular body; an elongated inner tubular assembly including upper inner sleeve means, upper outer sleeve means surrounding said inner sleeve means, and lower sleeve means; a ball between said inner sleeve means and lower sleeve means and having a flow passage therethrough, said ball valve and said inner sleeve means having complemental spherical sealing surfaces; support means for said ball valve carried by said upper outer sleeve means; cooperable means on said ball valve and in said body for rotating said ball valve between first and second positions at which said flow passage is open and closed, respectively, in response to longitudinal movement of said upper inner sleeve means and said ball valve in opposite directions in said outer body, said upper inner sleeve means, said upper outer sleeve means and said outer body defining a chamber for control fluid pressure; said upper outer sleeve means having means responsive to the pressure of control fluid in said chamber for moving said upper inner and outer sleeve means and said ball valve downwardly; and means for moving said upper inner and outer sleeve means and said ball valve upwardly.

17. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 16; said cooperable means for rotating said ball comprising rotary drive means which are released to enable free further longitudinal movement of said sleeve and said ball when said ball is in said positions.

18. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 16; a spring acting on said upper outer sleeve means to bias the latter and said ball upwardly.

19. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 16; said lower sleeve means and said outer body having means for limiting downward movement of said lower sleeve means, whereby said ball is engaged between said spherical surfaces of said lower sleeve means and inner sleeve means.

20. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 16; said upper outer sleeve means having longitudinally extended arms, said arms and said ball valve having pivot means supporting said ball valve between said arms. v

21. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 16; said upper outer sleeve means having longitudinally extended arms, said arms and said ball valve having pivot means supporting said ball valve between said arms, said lower sleeve means extending between said arms into sealing engagement with said ball valve.

22. In a subsurface shutoff valve as defined in claim 16; said upper outer sleeve means having longitudinally extended arms, said arms and said ball valve having pivot means supporting said ball valve between said arms, said lower sleeve means extending between said arms into sealing engagement with said ball valve, and said means for moving said upper inner and outer sleeve means and said ball upwardly including a coiled spring between said outer sleeve and said tubular body and acting upwardly on said upper sleeve means.

23. In a subsurface shutoff valve for wells adapted to be supported in a well fluid production pipe: a body having a flow passage therethrough; shutoff valve means including a member shiftable between a first position closing said passage and a second position in which said passage is open; actuator means for shifting said member between said positions, including means defining a control fluid pressure chamber for moving said member to said second position and piston means responsive to the pressure of well fluid in the production pipe for biasing said member to said first position upon reduction in the pressure of control fluid in said chamber; said shutoff valve means including a by-pass valve means for equalizing the well fluid across said shutoff valve means before said member is moved from said first position to said second position; said piston means being movable longitudinally in said body to move said member longitudinally in said body to effect shifting of said member to said second position; means operatively associated with said piston means for open ing said by-pass valve means in response to longitudinal movement of said member; and means for shifting said member between said first and second positions in response to longitudinal movement of said member by

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification166/324, 137/629
International ClassificationE21B43/00, E21B34/10, F16K5/06, E21B34/12, E21B34/00, E21B34/08
Cooperative ClassificationE21B2034/002, E21B34/101
European ClassificationE21B34/10E