Title:
DEVICE AND METHOD FOR FLOWING BACK WELLBORE FLUIDS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for heating flowing back wellbore fluids or heating fluids to treat wellbores or pipelines having a tubing string is disclosed. The wellbore will intersect a hydrocarbon reservoir. The method will include providing a diesel engine that produces heat as a result of its operation. The engine will in turn produce a gas exhaust, a water exhaust, and a hydraulic oil exhaust. The method would further include channeling the exhaust to a series of heat exchangers. The method may further include flowing a wellbore fluid into the heat exchangers and heating the wellbore fluid in the series of heat exchangers by heat transfer from the exhaust to the wellbore fluid.



Inventors:
Hebert, Jeff (Youngsville, LA, US)
Application Number:
12/715053
Publication Date:
01/13/2011
Filing Date:
03/01/2010
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E21B36/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUTCHINS, CATHLEEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GARVEY, SMITH & NEHRBASS, PATENT ATTORNEYS, L.L.C. (New Orleans, LA, US)
Claims:
1. A method of heating fluid flowing out of a wellbore comprising: providing an engine; producing a gas exhaust from said engine; producing a water exhaust from said engine; providing a hydraulic oil pump operatively connected to said engine; providing hydraulic oil to the hydraulic oil pump for pumping said hydraulic oil; channeling said gas exhaust to a gas exhaust heat exchanger; channeling said water exhaust to a water exhaust heat exchanger; providing a wellbore fluid; channeling said hydraulic oil to a hydraulic oil heat exchanger; injecting said wellbore fluid into said water exhaust heat exchanger, thereby heating said wellbore fluid; injecting said wellbore fluid into said hydraulic oil heat exchanger; and injecting said wellbore fluid into said gas exhaust heat exchanger got heating said wellbore fluid to a desired temperature.

2. The method in claim 1, wherein the engine is a diesel or other hydrocarbon fuel driven engine.

3. The method in claim 1, further comprising the step of providing an hydraulic oil back pressure controller, controlling the back pressure on an hydraulic oil pump outlet.

4. The method in claim 1 wherein the heated wellbore fluid is between 40° F. and 300° F.

5. The method in claim 1 wherein, the heated wellbore fluid breaks down emulsions formed due to the cooling of the fluid during flowback from the wellbore.

6. A method of heating fluid flowing out of a wellbore comprising the steps of: providing an engine; producing a gas exhaust from said engine; providing a hydraulic oil pump operatively connected to said engine; providing hydraulic oil to an hydraulic oil pump, pumping said hydraulic oil; providing hydraulic oil back pressure controller, thereby controlling the back pressure on the hydraulic oil pump outlet; channeling said gas exhaust to a gas exhaust heat exchanger; injecting said heating fluid into an hydraulic oil heat exchanger; injecting said heating fluid into said gas exhaust heat exchanger for heating said heating fluid; injecting the heated fluid into a heat exchanger whereby the heating fluid is the heating medium for the exchanger; and injecting the wellbore fluid into the exchanger of the previous step.

7. The method in claim 6, wherein the engine is a diesel or other hydrocarbon fuel driven engine.

8. The method in claim 6, further comprising the step of providing an hydraulic oil back pressure controller, controlling the back pressure on an hydraulic oil pump outlet.

9. The method in claim 6, wherein the heated wellbore fluid is between 40° F. and 300° F.

10. The method in claim 6, wherein the heated wellbore fluid breaks down emulsions formed due to the cooling of the fluid during flowback from the wellbore.

11. A method of heating fluid and treating a wellbore or pipeline with the heated fluid, comprising the steps of: providing an engine; producing a gas exhaust from said engine; channeling said gas exhaust to a gas exhaust heat exchanger; injecting said heating fluid into an hydraulic oil heat exchanger; injecting said heating fluid into said gas exhaust heat exchanger for heating said heating fluid; injecting the heated fluid into a heat exchanger whereby the heating fluid is the heating medium for the exchanger; and injecting the fluid into the exchanger of the previous step; and pumping the fluid into the wellbore for treating the wellbore, or pipeline for treating the pipeline.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Reference is made to U.S. Pat. No. 6,073,695, issued on Jun. 13, 2000, which is incorporated in its entirety by reference thereto herein.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

This invention relates to an apparatus and method for treating the flowback of wellbore fluids. This invention relates to an apparatus and method for heating the fluids flowing from a wellbore to break emulsions and gas hydrates or any obstructions that would have formed due to the cooling of the fluid as it flows from the wellbore. The invention also relates to an apparatus and method for treating the flowback of wellbore fluids as well as the treatment of pipelines and wellbores.

In order to heat these types of compounds, operators utilize an open or enclosed flame. However, government regulations have either banned or limited the use of open or enclosed flames on offshore locations and some land locations. Thus, there is a need for a thermal fluid unit that will treat a wellbore fluid without the need for having an open flame. There is also a need for a method of treating wellbore fluid with this heat

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A method of heating a fluid flowing from a wellbore and injecting heated fluid into a wellbore or pipeline having a tubing string is disclosed. The wellbore will intersect a hydrocarbon reservoir. The method will comprise providing a diesel engine that produces heat as a result of its operation. The engine will in turn produce a gas exhaust, a water exhaust, and a hydraulic oil exhaust. These three exhaust or any combination of the three can be used to transfer heat to a heat exchanger.

The invention also relates to an apparatus and method for treating the flowback of wellbore fluids as well as the treatment of pipelines and wellbores.

The method would further include channeling the gas exhaust to a gas exhaust heat exchanger. The method may also include producing a hydraulic oil exhaust from the diesel engine and channeling the hydraulic oil exhaust to a hydraulic oil heat exchanger. Next, the wellbore fluid is directed into the hydraulic oil heat exchanger, and the compound is heated in the hydraulic oil heat exchanger.

In this process, the water exchanger has been removed. The purpose of removing the water exchanger is to achieve higher temperature without overheating the engine. This provides a much more efficient unit.

The method may further comprise flowing the wellbore fluid into the gas exhaust heat exchanger and heating the wellbore fluid in the gas exhaust heat exchanger. The operator may then flow the wellbore fluid into their upstream facilities. Any combination of these three can be used to transfer heat from the diesel engine to the exchanger thus heating the wellbore fluid.

A second method for heating a fluid flowing from a wellbore and injecting heated fluid into a wellbore or pipeline having a tubing string is enclosed. The wellbore will intersect a hydrocarbon reservoir. The method will comprise providing a diesel engine that produces heat as a result of its operation. The method is similar to that of the first except the heat generated by the diesel engine is used to heat a fluid circulated from a reservoir on the unit. This heated, circulated fluid is then used to heat a separate heat exchanger. The purpose of this isolated heat exchange system is to provide the flowback operations with two barriers of protection before wellbore fluid is exposed to the extreme heat of the engine gas exchanger.

Also disclosed herein is an apparatus for heating a wellbore fluid flowing from an oil and gas wellbore and injecting heated fluid into a wellbore or pipeline. The apparatus comprises a diesel engine that produces a heat source while in operation. The engine has a gas exhaust line, and a gas heat exchanger means, operatively associated with the gas exhaust line, for exchanging the heat of the gas with a set of gas heat exchange coils.

Also included will be a wellbore fluid supply reservoir, with the wellbore fluid supply reservoir comprising a first fluid feed line means for supplying the fluid to the water heat exchanger means. Also included will be a second fluid feed line means for supplying the fluid to the gas heat exchanger means so that heat is transferred to the fluid.

The engine will also include a hydraulic oil line, and the apparatus further comprises a hydraulic oil heat exchanger means, operatively associated with the hydraulic oil line, for exchanging the heat of the hydraulic oil with a set of hydraulic oil heat exchange coils. The fluid supply reservoir further comprises a third fluid feed line means for supplying the fluid to the hydraulic oil heat exchanger means so that the fluid is transferred the heat.

In one embodiment, the gas exhaust line has operatively associated there with a catalytic converter member and the gas heat exchanger means has a gas output line containing a muffler to muffle the gas output.

The apparatus may also contain a hydraulic oil line that has operatively associated there with a hydraulic oil pump means for pumping hydraulic oil from the engine into the hydraulic oil heat exchanger and further associated therewith a hydraulic back pressure control means for controlling the back pressure of the engine.

An advantage of the present invention includes that it effectively heats fluids flowing from a wellbore this heat will break emulsions and gas hydrates that occur from cooling of the fluid. Another advantage is that fluids are heated in a single pass with continuous flow at temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit up to and exceeding 300 degrees Fahrenheit without the aid of an open or enclosed flame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

For a further understanding of the nature, objects, and advantages of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, read in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic illustration of the prior art which covers the subject matter of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a first embodiment of the present invention in schematic illustration;

FIG. 3 is a second embodiment of the system of the present invention in schematic illustration;

FIG. 4 illustrates a diagram of the fluids flowing back from a wellbore; and

FIG. 5 illustrates a diagram of heating a fluid and injecting it into a pipeline or wellbore.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Prior to a discussion of the system of the present invention, reference is made to the prior art, which is disclosed in FIG. 1 herein. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the system 10 in the prior art of the type of systems related to the present invention. As seen in FIG. 1, the fluid (Arrow 12) to be heated is fed into a 4 inch by 3 inch centrifugal pump 14 and pumped through a 2 inch line 16 into the water heat exchanger 18. The water heat exchanger 18 is heated by water from the diesel engine 20. Heat is generated as a function of the engines operation and the heat is transferred to water, thereby cooling the engine 20. The water is then pumped from engine 20 by a water pump 22 into the water heat exchanger 18 where the water comes in contact with tubes in the exchanger for carrying the fluid to be heated, and transfers the heat from the water to the tubes, thereby heating the fluid. The engine water then exits the exchanger 18 and encounters a temperature control valve 24 which can either send the water to the engine 20, if it is cool enough, or divert it to a radiator 26 to remove more heat from the water and render it cooler.

The fluid to be heated then exits the water exchanger 18 and enters the hydraulic oil exchanger 28. The hydraulic oil exchanger 28 is heated by oil kept in a hydraulic oil tank 30. The oil is then pumped by a hydraulic oil pump 32, which shears the oil and increases the temperature in the oil, into the heat exchanger 28. The oil comes in contact with tubes in the exchanger 28 (carrying the fluid to be heated) and transfers the heat to the tubes, thereby heating the fluid. The hydraulic oil then exits the exchanger 28 and encounters a temperature control valve 34 which can either send the oil to the tank 30, if it is cool enough, or divert it to an additional heat exchanger 36 to lose additional heat and be rendered cooler before entering the tank 30.

The fluid to be heated then exits the oil exchanger 28 and enters the engine exhaust exchanger 38. The engine exhaust exchanger 38 is heated by exhaust gas from the diesel engine 20. Heat is generated as a function of the engines operation and is discharged into the engine exhaust heat exchanger 38. The gas comes in contact with tubes in the exchanger 38 (carrying the fluid to be heated) and transfers the heat to the tubes, thereby heating the fluid. The engine gas exhaust then exits the exchanger 38 and is vented to the atmosphere at 40. The heated process fluid then exits the unit 10.

FIG. 2 illustrates a first embodiment of the system of the present of the present invention by the numeral 100. As seen in FIG. 2, the fluid to be heated is fed into a 4 inch by 3 inch centrifugal pump 114 and pumped through a 2 inch line 112 into the hydraulic oil exchanger 118. The hydraulic oil exchanger 118 is heated by oil kept in a hydraulic oil tank 120. The oil is then pumped by a hydraulic oil pump 122, which shears the oil and increases the temperature in the oil, into the heat exchanger 118. The oil comes in contact with tubes in the exchanger 118, while carrying the fluid to be heated, and transfers the heat to the tubes, thereby heating the fluid to a temperature of between 40 and 300 degrees F. The hydraulic oil then exits the exchanger 118 and encounters a temperature control valve 124 which can either send the oil to the tank 120, if it is sufficiently cool, or divert it to a second heat exchanger 126 to lose additional heat and be rendered cooler, before entering the tank 120.

The fluid to be heated then exits the oil exchanger 118 and enters the engine exhaust exchanger 128. The engine exhaust exchanger 128 is heated by exhaust gas from the diesel engine 130. Heat is generated as a function of the engines operation and is discharged into the engine exhaust heat exchanger 128. The gas comes in contact with tubes in the exchanger 128 (carrying the fluid to be heated) and transfers the heat to the tubes, thereby heating the fluid. The engine gas exhaust then exits the exchanger 128 and is vented to the atmosphere at 132 at a temperature of between 40 and 300 degrees F. The heated process fluid then exits the unit 100.

FIG. 3 illustrates a second embodiment of the system of the present of the present invention by the number 200. As seen in FIG. 3, the circulating fluid to be heated is fed from a heating fluid holding tank 202 into a 4 inch by 3 inch centrifugal pump 204 and pumped through a 2 inch line 204 and enters the hydraulic oil exchanger 206. The hydraulic oil exchanger 206 is heated by oil kept in a hydraulic oil tank 208. The oil is then pumped by a hydraulic oil pump 210, which shears the oil and increases the temperature in the oil, into the heat exchanger 206. The oil comes in contact with tubes in the exchanger 206, which is carrying the fluid to be heated, and transfers the heat to the tubes, thereby heating the fluid. The hydraulic oil then exits the exchanger 206 and encounters a temperature control valve 212 which can either send the oil to the tank 208, if it is sufficiently cool, or divert it to a heat exchanger 214 to lose additional heat and cool off before entering the tank 208.

The circulating fluid to be heated then exits the oil exchanger 206 and enters the engine exhaust exchanger 216. The engine exhaust exchanger 216 is heated by exhaust gas from the diesel engine 218. Heat is generated as a function of the engines operation and is discharged into the engine exhaust heat exchanger 216. The gas comes in contact with tubes in the exchanger 216 (carrying the fluid to be heated) and transfers the heat to the tubes, thereby heating the fluid. The engine gas exhaust then exits the exchanger and is vented to the atmosphere at 218.

The heated circulating fluid then enters the process fluid heat exchanger 220. The process fluid exchanger 220 is heated by the circulating fluid exiting from the exhaust box 216. The heated circulating fluid comes in contact with tubes in the exchanger 220 (carrying the fluid to be heated) and transfers the heat to the tubes, thereby heating the fluid. The circulating fluid then exits the exchanger 220 and returns to the heated fluid holding tank 202.

The process fluid enters the unit and is pumped by a centrifugal pump 222 to the process fluid heat exchanger 220. The fluid passes through the tubes in the exchanger 220 which has been heated.

FIG. 4 illustrates the steps in the process of flowing the fluids back from the wellbore 230. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the fluid (Arrow 232) flows from a hydrocarbon reservoir 234. The fluid 232 then flows through a set of tubulars 236 located in the wellbore 230 and exits through a wellhead 238. The wellbore fluid 232 flows into the thermal unit 240 where it is heated.

FIG. 5 illustrates next the heating of the fluid 232, and injecting it into a pipeline or wellbore 230. The fluid 232 is pumped from a tank 242 into the thermal unit 240 where it is heated. The fluid 232 is then pumped through a wellhead 238 into the wellbore 230 containing the tubulars 236. The heated fluid 232 is then used to treat a wellbore or pipe line. The fluid heated by the thermal unit 240 is heated to a temperature of between 40 and 300 degrees F. The wellbore is intersected by a hydrocarbon reservoir 244.

The following is a list of parts and materials suitable for use in the present invention.

PARTS LIST
Part NumberDescription
10system/unit
12arrow
14centrifugal pump
16line
18water heat exchanger
20diesel engine
22water pump
24temperature control valve
26radiator
28hydraulic oil exchanger
30hydraulic oil tank
32hydraulic oil pump
34temperature control valve
36additional heat exchanger
38engine exhaust exchanger
40atmosphere
100system/unit
114centrifugal pump
118hydraulic oil exchanger
120hydraulic oil tank
122hydraulic pump
124temperature control valve
126second heat exchanger
128engine exhaust exchanger
130diesel engine
132atmosphere
200system/unit
202holding tank
204centrifugal pump
206hydraulic oil exchanger
208hydraulic oil tank
210hydraulic oil pump
212temperature control valve
214heat exchanger
216engine exhaust heat exchanger/box
218diesel engine
220fluid heat exchanger
222centrifugal pump

All measurements disclosed herein are at standard temperature and pressure, at sea level on Earth, unless indicated otherwise. All materials used or intended to be used in a human being are biocompatible, unless indicated otherwise.

The foregoing embodiments are presented by way of example only; the scope of the present invention is to be limited only by the following claims.