Title:
Well flowing apparatus
United States Patent 2278532


Abstract:
This invention relates to new and useful improvements in well flowing apparatus. One object of the invention is to provide an improved apparatus for lifting well fluids to the surface by means of an auxiliary lifting fluid, such as gas or air, the device being particularly adapted for use...



Inventors:
Crickmer, Charles S.
Application Number:
US24967139A
Publication Date:
04/07/1942
Filing Date:
01/07/1939
Assignee:
MERLA TOOL COMPANY OF DALLAS
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
137/155, 137/624.13
International Classes:
E21B34/06; E21B43/12
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Description:

This invention relates to new and useful improvements in well flowing apparatus.

One object of the invention is to provide an improved apparatus for lifting well fluids to the surface by means of an auxiliary lifting fluid, such as gas or air, the device being particularly adapted for use in wells having a relatively low standing liquid level and a resulting low liquid pressure.

An important object of the invention is to provide an improved well flowing apparatus which is electrically operated from the surface of the well, whereby the auxiliary lifting fluid is admitted to the liquid column, as needed, and such admission is not in any way dependent upon the liquid pressure or level, whereby the lifting fluid is admitted irrespective of the lack of well pressure.

A particular object of the invention is to provide an improved well flowing apparatus having a lfiting fluid inlet valve for admitting said lifting fluid to the liquid column to aerate and lift the same, said valve being arranged to be located below the standing liquid level of the well and being constructed so as to be operated electrically, whereby the operation of said valve may be either automatically or manually controlled from the surface of the well to admit the lifting fluid to the liquid column when said liquid has risen above the valve.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved apparatus, of the character described, wherein an electrically operated valve is located within the well bore for controlling the admission of a lifting gas to the liquid column, together with improved means at the surface of the well for controlling the operation of said valve, whereby said valve will be automatically operated at predetermined time intervals; said means also controlling the duration of each operation, that is, the length of time which the valve remains open, whereby the volume of gas introduced into the liquid column upon each operation of the valve may be accurately controlled.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved well flowing apparatus having a plurality of electrically operated valves disposed at various elevations in the well tubing, with selective means at the surface for selectively operating one or more of the valves to admit gas to the liquid column at one or more elevations; such arrangement making it possible to find the approximate liquid level in the well bore by successively operating the valves in a predetermined order.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a well flowing apparatus, of the character described, wherein a plurality of gas-admitting electrically operated valves are disposed at virious elevations in the well bore and are connected to a single source of current supply so that current may be conducted thereto over a single conductor; each valve being constructed so that it will be energized by a different amperage than the rest, whereby one or more of said valves may be actuated by varying the amperage of the. current flowing to the valves, thereby making it possible to control the admission of gas into a liquid column in the well bore, from the surface of the well.

A construction designed to carry out the invention will be hereinafter described, together with other features of the invention.

The invention will be more readily understood from a reading of the following specification and by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which an example of the invention is shown, and wherein: Figure 1 is a view, partly in section and partly in elevation of an improved well flowing apparatus, constructed in accordance with the invention, Figure 2 is a transverse, vertical, sectional view of one of the improved gas admitting valves, with said valve in a seated or closed position, Figure 3 is a similar view, with the valve in an open position, and Figure 4 is a view, similar to Figure 1, and showing a plurality of valves mounted at spaced elevations in the well tubing and also illustrating the improved means for controlling the operation of the valves.

Fig. 5 is an electrical diagram, showing a modification of the controlling means of Fig. 4. The invention is particularly adaptable for use in wells which have ceased to flow naturally, that is, the natural gas pressures in the producing formation at the bottom of the well bore is insufficient to raise the well liquids to the surface. However, in most cases, the natural gas pressure is sufficient to raise the well liquids to some level in the bore, such level being dependent upon and varying in accordance with the condition and character of each well. By introducing an auxiliary lifting medium, such as gas or air, into the well bore below the standing liquid level therein, the liquid column is acted upon by said auxiliary lifting medium and is thereby lifted to the surface.

In the drawings, the numeral 10 designates a well casing which extends vertically within the well bore II. The upper end of the casing projects from the bore and has a casing head 12 mounted thereon. The casing head is provided with a radial inlet pipe 13 and this pipe is connected with a source of supply of gas, air, or other lifting fluid, whereby such lifting fluid is conducted to the interior of the well casing. A well tubing 14 extends axially through the casing head and also through the well casing, being suitably supported in said head in the usual manner. The upper end of the tubing extends from the head and' has an outlet pipe 15 connected thereto for conducting the well fluids from the tubing. The lower end of the tubing carries a well screen 16 which is coupled thereto, and a well packer 17, of any suitable construction, is mounted on the tubing above the screen. This packer is arranged to seal off the annular space between the well tubing and the well casing, whereby the lifting gas which is introduced into the well casing 10 cannot pass downwardly to the producing formation and also whereby the well fluids cannot flow upwardly in said casing but must flow into the tubing and upwardly therein.

The well packer is set below the normal standing liquid level and the well fluids thereabove are suitably removed, after which the liquid level in the casing cannot rise above said packer, with the result that the liquid level in the tubing rises to a higher point, which is indicated at L in Figure 1.

For controlling the admission of the lifting gas from the casing 10 into the liquid column standing in the tubing 14, an electrically operated valve A is connected in the tubing string.

The valve assembly includes an elongate tubular body 18 which is of substantially the same diameter as the tubing and this body is connected in the tubing by coupling collars 19. A cylindrical housing as cylinder 20 is mounted exteriorly of the body between an upper radial lug 21 and a lower radial extension 22, which parts are welded, or otherwise secured to the body. The upper end of the cylinder engages within an opening 21' formed in the lug 21, while the lower end of said cylinder is threaded into an opening 22' in the top of the extension. The housing or cylinder is preferably made in two sections which are connected together by screw threads, whereby assembly and mounting of the same is facilitated.

The upper end of the cylinder is closed by a plug 23 which is screw-threaded into the upper section. The lower end of the cylinder is provided with an axial port 24 which has its lower end communicating with a radially extending passage 25 formed in the extension 22. The inner end of the passage communicates with the bore of the body 18 and since said body is connected in the tubing string, communication is established between the bore 20' of the cylinder and the interior of the tubing. A radial port 26' is provided in the wall of the cylinder near its lower end and this nort establishes communication between the well casing 10 and the bore 20' of the cylinder, whereby the lifting gas may flow from the casing into the cylinder and then through the port 24 and passage 25 into the tubing.

For controlling the flow of lifting gas through the cylinder or housing 20, a valve plunger 26 is mounted to reciprocate within the cylinder.

The plunger is disposed axially within the cylinder and is slidable within a reduced portion 20a of the bore, said portion being formed by reducing the lLwer end of the bore of the upper section of the cylinder. The plunger is thus guided in its vertical movement. The lower end of the plunger is bevelled and is arranged to engage an annular valve seat 27 which surrounds the upper end of the port 24. The plunger is arranged to seat by gravity and when seated, closes the port 24 to shut off the flow from the interior of the cylinder into the port 24 and passage 25 and to the interior of the tubing. Obviously, when the valve plunger is raised, the port 24 is open and the lifting gas may flow, from the well casing 10 through said port 24 and the passage .25 and into the tubing, whereby the liquid column in said tubing is lifted or raised by the admitted lifting gas.

The valve plunger 26 is constructed of a material which is capable of being attracted by a magnetic force and the upper end of said plunger is slidable within the bore of a solenoid S. The solenoid is housed within the upper section of the cylinder 20 above the reduced portion 20a and rests upon the internal, annular shoulder 29 which is formed by said reduced portion. The solenoid is constructed in the usual manner and includes the insulating sleeve 28, around which the coil 28' is wound. The upper end of the valve plunger is slidable within the sleeve and, manifestly, when the solenoid is energized, the plunger is attracted by the magnetic force set up by such energization, with the result that the plunger is lifted and its lower bevelled end disengaged from the seat 27, whereby the lifting gas from the casing is admitted to the liquid column in the tubing. When the solenoid is de-energized, the plunger is released and falls by gravity to a seated position to close the port 24 and shut off the flow of the lifting gas to the tubing. The electrical current to the solenoid S is conducted thereto by lead wires 30a and 30b which are housed within an insulating cable 30, which has its lower end extending through an opening 31 formed in the plug 23. The lower ends of the lead wires are electrically connected to the solenoid.

The cable 30 extends upwardly through the well casing exteriorly of the tubing and projects through a suitable packing gland 32 in the top of the casing head 12. The upper end of the wire 30a is connected to a battery 33, or other source of electrical current supply, and said battery provides the current for energizing the solenoid S, as will be explained. The upper end of the wire 30b is connected to a contact blade 34 which has one end riding on the periphery of a commutator disk 35. The disk 35 is mounted on a shaft 31 which is driven through a gear train 37 by a spring motor 38, or other driving means. The driving means is arranged to rotate the disk at a predetermined constant speed, whereby said disk makes one revolution per predetermined length of time, as for example one revolution each four, eight, twelve or twenty-four hours.

The commutator disk is constructed of an electrical insulating material and provided with a plurality of electrical contacts 39 which are eaually spaced around the periphery thereof.

Eight contacts have been shown but more or less may be provided, as desired. Since the contacts are disposed on the periphery of the disk and since the blade 34 Is riding on said periphery of the disk, it is obvious that said blade engages each contact once during each revolution of the disk. The length of each contact. together with the speed of rotation of the disk determines the duration of time that said blade remains in engagement with the contact.

A contact ring 40 is mounted on one side of the disk 35 and each contact is connected with said ring by metallic strips or wires 41, whereby electrical current may be conducted from the ring to the contacts. Current is supplied to the ring 40 by a brush or wiper 42 which has one end riding on said ring. The opposite end of the 1C brush is mounted on an insulating block 42' and a supply wire 33a connects this end of the brush with the battery. Manifestly, electrical current is constantly supplied to the ring 40 and contacts 39 and when one of said contacts engages the brush 34, electrical current is conducted through the wire 30b downwardly to one side of the solenoid S. The other side of the solenoid is connected to the other side of the battery 33 through the wire 39a and, thus, each time the blade 34 engages one of the contacts 39, the circuit to the solenoid is completed, whereby said solenoid is energized to lift the valve plunger '26 to admit lifting gas to the tubing. Disengagement of the blade 34 from the contacts 39 breaks the circuit to de-energize the solenoid and permits seating of the valve plunger to shut off the admittance of the lifting gas to the liquid column in the tubing 14.

In operation, the valve A is connected in the tubing string 14 at a desired point therein and when the tubing is set within the well casing, said valve is located below the normal standing liquid level L in the tubing. The well packer 17 has, of course, been set below the valve to seal off the annular space between the well casing and the well tubing and, as has been explained, the well liquids cannot rise upwardly in the casing above said packer but must flow upwardly through the tubing. The location or elevation of the packer in the casing will control, to some extent, the level to which the well liquid will rise in the tubing for, obviously, when the packer is nearer the bottom of the bore, the well liquid is forced higher in the tubing. After the packer 17 is set, any well liquid thereabove is removed from the casing and the lifting gas, under a suitable pressure, is introduced into the casing above said packer, being admitted through the inlet pipe 13. During the setting of the packer and tubing string, the commutator disk 35 is not rotating and no electrical current is flowing to the solenoid S, with the result that said solenoid is de-energized and the valve plunger 26 is in a lowered position closing the port 24. The conditions of the well, such as the. approximate standing liquid level and the time required to reach such level, is known to the operator and the commutator disk 35 is constructed in accordance with such well conditions. For example, it may require three hours for the well liquids to rise to the level L in the tubing and, therefore, lifting gas should be admitted each three hours. Knowing the size of the gas admitting port 24 and passage 25, the operator can readily determine the volume of gas which must be admitted to efficiently raise the well liquid, above the valve A, to the surface and, therefore, the operator may ascertain the length of time that the valve plunger 26 shall remain unseated upon each operation to admit sufficient gas.

Assuming that 'the well conditions are such that the liquid level L is attained every three hours, it is desirable to actuate the valve. A every TO three hours to raise the liquid. In such instance, the commutator disk 35 is geared to the spring motor 38 so as to make one complete revolution every twenty-four hours. Eight equally spaced contacts 39 are provided on the disk and one of these contacts engages the con-tact blade 34 every three hours, whereby the electrical circuit to the solenoid S is completed periodically. Each time the circuit is completed, Sthe solenoid is energized to unseat the valve plunger 26, whereby the lifting gas is admitted to the liquid column in the tubing to lift said liquid to the surface. Therefore, the valve is actuated to admit gas, as needed, and since said valve is electrically operated, the pressure of the well liquid or of the lifting gas is not depended upon to operate the same. This is particularly desirable in low level wells which inherently lack a substantial bottom hole pressure.

SFrom the above, it will be seen that the spacing of the contacts 39 around the commutator disk control the operation of the plunger 26 to admit the gas. So long as any one contact remains in engagement with the contact blade 34, the electrical circuit to the solenoid S is complete, with the result that the plunger 26 remains raised or unseated as long as the solenoid is energized.

If the contact 39 is lengthened, the blade 34 remains in engagement therewith a longer duration of time, whereas if said contact is shortened, the duration of engagement between the blade and contact is also shortened. Thus, the length of each contact controls the length of time which the solenoid S is energized upon each operation .and since the solenoid operates the plunger 26, the length of the contact 39 controls the duration of time that said plunger is unseated. Obviously, if the plunger is unseated for only a short time, only a small volume of gas may enter the tubing but if the plunger remains unseated for a greater length of time, an increased volume of gas is admitted to the tubing. Therefore, by varying the length or size of the contacts 39 on the disk 35, the duration of time of engagement of said contacts with the blade 34 may be varied, with the result that the volume of gas admitted to the tubing may be accurately controlled. The spacing of said contacts around the disk controls the time of operation of the valve plunger 26, while the length or size of each contact controls the duration of time which the plunger remains unseated. This provides a means for admitting the gas, as needed, and in the proper volumes necessary for lifting the well liquids.

Although eight contacts have been shown on the disk 35, it is manifest that the number and spacing thereof will vary according to the particular conditions of each well. Also, the spring motor 38 is not essential to the invention as any suitable driving means may be employed. It is noted that although it is desirable to operate the valve A automatically by means of the disk 35 and blade 34, these parts could be eliminated and a hand switch for closing the electrical circuit to the solenoid substituted therefor; in such event, the operation of the valve A would be controlled manually.

The apparatus illustrated in Figure 1 is particularly adapted for use in wells having a relatively low standing liquid level and the single valve A functions as an intermitter to intermittently admit the lifting gas to the well tubing.

However, the valve A can be utilized as a flow valve which is controlled from the surface of the well and in Figure 4, this adaptation of the invention is illustrated. In this form of the invention, a plurality of the valves Al, A2 and A3 are connected in the tubing string 14 at spaced elevations therein. .The solenoid of each valve may be connected to a source of electrical current supply at the surface and said solenoids may be energized at any desired time and in any desired order, such energization being controlled by a hand switch, or other manually operated means (not shown), whereby a stage lift flow apparatus is provided.

However, it is desirable to control the various valves Al, A2 and A3 by the control means shown in Figure 4, wherein the commutator disk 35, driven at a constant speed by the motor 38, is employed. The switch blade 34 rides on the periphery of the disk and is arranged to engage the contacts 39 on the disk, as has been explained. Electrical current is supplied to the ring 40 on said disk by the wire 33a and brush 42 which lead from one side of the battery 33.

The lead wire 30b leads from the contact blade 34 and extends downwardly within the cable and has its lower end connected with one side of the solenoid S of the lowermost valve A3. The solenoids of the other valves Al and A2 have one side connected to the wire 30b by short wires 30c. The other side of the solenoids of the valves AI and A2 are electrically connected to the wire 30a by short wires 30d, while the lower end of the said wire 30a connects to the other side of the solenoid of the lowermost valve A3. The upper end of the wire 30a is, of course, connected to the battery 33, as has been explained. It is pointed out that the wire 30a could be directly connected to the well tubing 14 at the surface, in which event one side of the solenoids of the valves Al, A2 and 3 would be grounded to said tubing, which would act as the connection between the solenoids and wire 30a.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the valves Al, A2 and A3 are all connected to the switch blade 34 and when said switch blade engages one of the contacts 39 of the commutator disk 35, an electrical current will flow to the solenoids of the valves. If all of the windings of said solenoids are exactly the same, they will be actuated by the same amperage and will, therefore, operate simultaneously. However, it is desirable that each operate on a current amperage different from the others so that one or more valves may be actuated without affecting the others. For this reason, the windings of the solenoids in the valves are different.

For the purposes of this description, it will be assumed that the solenoid of the valve Al is constructed so that it will operate on five amperes, the solenoid of valve A2 will operate on ten amperes and the solenoid of valve A3 will operate on fifteen amperes. Thus, if five amperes current is flowing through the wire 30b only the valve Al actuates, the remaining valves being inactive. Ten amperes of current will operate both valves Al and A2, without affecting valve A3, while fifteen amperes will actuate all three valves. In this manner, the valves may be operated in order from the top to the bottom of the tubing string and such arrangement makes it possible to substantially locate the liquid level in the tubing. For example, if the level is at L in Figure 4 between valves Al and A2, five amperes current may be conducted over the wire 30b and this causes the valve Al to operate tc admit lifting gas. By observing the effluent at the surface of the tubing, the operator can note that only gas is flowing from the tubing and is thus advised that the valve Al is above the liquid level. By increasing the current amperage the next below valve A2 is operated to admit gas to the liquid column and since the level is above the valve A2, the liquid will be lifted to the surface and the operator is advised that the level is 0o between the valves Al and A2. Since the location of the valves is known, the liquid level may be approximated.

For varying the amperage of the current flowing over the wire 30b, a variable resistance 50 is IA connected in the wire 33a between the battery 33 and the brush 42. This resistance may be of any desired construction and has contact points I, 2 and 3 thereon, said points corresponding to the amperage necessary to operate the various valves. When the movable contact arm 51 of the resistance is on point I, the current has only sufficient amperage to actuate valve AI. Movement of the arm to point 2 decreases the resistance to increase the amperage sufficient to operate valves Al and A2, and further movement of the arm to point 3 further decreases the resistance so that all the valves will be actuated.

In this manner, operation of the valves may be controlled by manually adjusting the resistance. It is pointed out that although the variable resistance has been found suitable, any other suitable means for controlling the amperage may be employed. Also, the invention is not to be limited to the particular order of operation of the valves, as illustrated and described, for by varying the windings of the solenoids, the valves may be operated in any desired sequence.

Further, a cut-out switch could be provided for each valve, whereby said valve could be disconnected from the circuit at any desired time.

SThis arrangement is illustrated at Fig. 5. The commutator 35 and its associated parts are arranged as previously described, including the wire 30b leading from the contact blade 34 to one side of the solenoids of the various valves Al-A2-A3. The other side of the solenoids of the respective valves are connected by wires 30dl-30d2--30d3 to one side of cut-out switches 601--40~--03 which are accessible at the surface, and the other side of the cut-out switches are connected to the wire 30a which leads to the battery 33. By this arrangement, any desired bne or more of the cut-out switches may be closed, for selecting only the corresponding one or more valves for operation.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory thereof and various changes in the size, shape and materials, as well as in the details of the illustrated construction may be made, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is: 1. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of electrically operated valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and the exterior of the well tubing, an electrical circuit for the valves, means in said circuit at the surface of the well for controlling flow of electrical current in said circuit, said valves being adapted for operation by different amperage of said electrical current, and means for varying said amperage.

2. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and the exterior of the well tubing, operating means controlling alternate opening and closing of the respective valves, means controlled from the surface and operable while the valves are in the well for selecting only any desired one or more of the operating means for operation, and a common means at the surface controlling operation of the selected one or more operating means so that the corresponding one or more valves alternately open and close.

3. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in the bore of a well and defining passageways for fluids surrounding one another in said bore, a plurality of valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between said passageways, operating means for the respective valves, means controlled from the surface and operable while the valves are in the well and independently of said fluids for select-, ing only any desired one or more of the operating means for operation, and a common means at the surface controlling operation of the selected one or more operating means so as to operate the corresponding one or more valves.

4. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in the bore of a well and defining passageways for fluids surrounding one another in said bore, a plurality of valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between said passageways, operating means in the well controlling alternate opening and closing of the respective valves, means controlled from the surface and operable while the valves and the operating means are in the well and independently of said fluids for selecting only any desired one or more of the operating means for operation, and a common means at the surface automatically controlling operation of the selected one or more operating means so that the corresponding on'e or more valves alternately open and close.

5. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and the exterior of the well tubing, operating means controlling alternate opening and closing of the respective valves, means controlled from the surface and operable while the valves are in the well for selecting only any desired one or more of the operating means for operation, a common means at the surface automatically controlling operation of the selected one or more operating means so that the corresponding one or more valves alternately open and close, and means for adjusting said common means for varying the timing of the alternate opening and closing of the selected one or more valves.

6. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of electrically operated valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and the exterior of the well tubing, an electrical circuit for the valves, and a single movable member in said circuit at the surface of the well for controlling flow of electrical current in said circuit, for controlling operation of the valves.

7. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of electrically operated valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and the exterior of the well tubing, an electrical circuit for the valves, a single control member in said circuit at the surface of the well for automatically controlling flow of electrical current in said circuit, and means for operating the valves in predetermined order by said electrical current.

8. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of electrically operated valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and the exterior of the well tubing, an electrical circuit for the valves, means in said circuit at the surface of the well for controlling flow of electrical current in said circuit, the valves being operated by different amperage of said electrical current, and means for varying said amperage for operating the desired valve or valves.

9. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of electrically operated valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and the exterior of the well tubing, an electrical circuit for the valves, means in said circuit at the surface of the well for controlling flow of electrical current in said circuit, the valves being operated by different amperage of said electrical current, and a variable resistance in said electrical circuit for varying said electrical current, whereby the valves may be operated in predetermined order.

10. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and exterior of the well tubing, operating means for the respective valves, means accessible at the surface and operable while the valves are in the well for selecting only any desired one or more of the operating means for operation, and a common means at the surface controlling operation of the selected one or more operating means so as to operate only the corresponding one or more valves.

11. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and exterior of the well tubing, operating means in the well controlling alternate opening and closing of the respective valves, means accessible at the surface and operable while the valves and the operating means are in the well for selecting only any desired one or more of the operating means for operation, and a common means at the surface 05 automatically controlling operation of the selected one or more operating means so that only the corresponding one or more "valves alternately open and close.

12. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of valves at different elevatioqs in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and exterior of the well tubing, electrical operating means in the well for the respective valves, an electrical circuit for each operating means, said circuits extending to the surface, a switch in each circuit accessible at the surface for selecting and closing the switch of only any'desired one or more of the electrical circuits, and a common means at the surface for energizing the one or more electrical circuits in which the switch has been closed, so as to energize the corresponding one or more operating means for operating only the corresponding one or more valves.

13. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and exterior of the well tubing, electrical operating means in the well controlling alternate opening and closing of the respective valves, an electrical circuit for each operating means, said. circuits extending to the surface, a switch in each circuit accessible at the surface for selecting and closing the switch of only any desired one or more of the electrical circuits, and a common means at the surface for automatically alternately energizing and deenergizing the one or more electrical circuits in which the switch has been closed, for alternately energizing and deenergizing the corresponding one or more operating means so that only the corresponding one or more valves alternately open and tlose.

14. A well producing apparatus including, well tubing in a well, a plurality of valves at different elevations in the well, each valve controlling flow of fluid between the interior and exterior of the well tubing, electrical operating means in the well for the respective valves, an electrical circuit. for the plurality of operating means, said circuit extending to the surface, means at the surface for controlling flow of electrical current in said circuit, and means in said circuit and controllable from the surface for energizing the operating means in predetermined order by electrical current in said circuit.

CHARLES S. CRICKMER.