Title:
ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAINMENT AND PROTECTION SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A containment and protection system for wells in the oil and gas industry may solve the problem of crude oil, salt water and chemicals from absorbing into the ground and contaminating the ground, water and animals. The system may provide safety for landowners, workers and livestock. The system may attach around a wellhead and flowline. The system may be dug into the ground so that it is below the surface casing and then sealed and secured thereto. A lid of the system may close overtop of the well to make it secure and leak proof. The lid may also be insulated to hold in warmth, thereby reducing the need to insulate the wellhead. The system may provide safeguards that may shut down the pump driver or close valves to stop flow from the well and flowline under certain conditions.



Inventors:
Thompson, Timothy Dale (Medicine Hat, CA)
Application Number:
12/892573
Publication Date:
03/31/2011
Filing Date:
09/28/2010
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/71
International Classes:
E21B41/00; E04H5/02
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BASHIR, MARWAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TIMOTHY THOMPSON (ALBERTA, CA)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A containment and protection system comprising: a split base having a first base member and a second base member, the first and second base members adapted to join together; a split floor, having a first floor member and a second floor member, the split floor resting on a lip formed about a perimeter of the split base; and a split enclosure, having a first enclosure half and a second enclosure half, the split enclosure adapted to hingedly attach to the split base.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the split base has at least one cut-out adapted to permit a wellhead to fit through the cut-out and into an inside of the split enclosure.

3. The system of claim 2, further comprising at least one wellhead flange adapted to sealingly fit about the wellhead.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the split floor is formed as a grate.

5. The system of claim 1, further comprising an inspection window allowing a user to view inside the enclosure from outside the enclosure.

6. The system of claim 1, further comprising latches for securing the first enclosure half to the second enclosure half in a closed position.

7. The system of claim 1, further comprising a high level detector for determining the presence of fluid inside the split base, wherein the high level detector takes action to prevent accumulation of additional fluid when the fluid inside the split base reaches a predetermined level.

8. A containment and protection system for a wellhead, comprising: a split base having a first base member and a second base member, the first and second base members adapted to join together; a split floor, having a first floor member and a second floor member, the split floor resting on a lip formed about a perimeter of the split base; a split enclosure, having a first enclosure half and a second enclosure half, the split enclosure adapted to hingedly attach to the split base; at least one wellhead flange adapted to sealingly fit about the wellhead; and an inspection window allowing a user to view inside the enclosure from outside the enclosure, wherein the split base has at least one cut-out adapted to permit a wellhead to fit through the cut-out and into an inside of the split enclosure.

9. The system of claim 8, further comprising latches for securing the first enclosure half to the second enclosure half in a closed position.

10. The system of claim 8, further comprising a high level detector for determining the presence of fluid inside the split base, wherein the high level detector takes action to prevent accumulation of additional fluid when the fluid inside the split base reaches a predetermined level.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional patent application No. 61/246,234, filed Sep. 28, 2009, which is herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to containment systems and, more particularly, to environmental containment and protection systems for oil well wellheads, water injection and gas wellheads, and fuel and chemical storage systems.

Conventional wells do not have closed containment around them to prevent leaking fluids from hitting the ground and getting into the air. The produced water and oil from the wells may be hard on soil contamination and on the environment.

As can be seen, there is a need for a containment system for wells that may prevent contamination to soil, air and groundwater.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, a containment and protection system comprises a split base having a first base member and a second base member, the first and second base members adapted to join together; a split floor, having a first floor member and a second floor member, the split floor resting on a lip formed about a perimeter of the split base; and a split enclosure, having a first enclosure half and a second enclosure half, the split enclosure adapted to hingedly attach to the split base.

In another aspect of the present invention, a containment and protection system for a wellhead comprises a split base having a first base member and a second base member, the first and second base members adapted to join together; a split floor, having a first floor member and a second floor member, the split floor resting on a lip formed about a perimeter of the split base; a split enclosure, having a first enclosure half and a second enclosure half, the split enclosure adapted to hingedly attach to the split base; at least one wellhead flange adapted to sealingly fit about the wellhead; and an inspection window allowing a user to view inside the enclosure from outside the enclosure, wherein the split base has at least one cut-out adapted to permit a wellhead to fit through the cut-out and into an inside of the split enclosure.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a containment and protection system (CAPS) according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the CAPS of FIG. 1 in an open configuration;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the CAPS of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the base of the CAPS of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Various inventive features are described below that can each be used independently of one another or in combination with other features.

Broadly, an embodiment of the present invention provides a containment and protection system for wells in the oil and gas industry which may solve the problem of crude oil, salt water and chemicals from absorbing into the ground and contaminating the ground, water and animals. The system may provide safety for landowners, workers and livestock. The system may attach around a wellhead and flow line. The system may be dug into the ground so that it is below the surface casing and then sealed and secured thereto. A lid of the system may close overtop of the well to make it secure and leak proof. The lid may also be insulated to hold in warmth, thereby reducing the need to insulate the wellhead. The system may provide safeguards that may shut down the pump driver or close valves to stop flow from the well and flow line under certain conditions.

Referring to FIGS. 1 through 6, a containment and protection system 10 (also referred to as CAPS 10) may include a split base 12 formed of a first base member 14 and a second base member 16. The first and second base members 14, 16 may join together with bolts, for example (not shown), through at least one flange 18 in each of the base members 14, 16. A flange 30 may be used to form the split base 12 with the base members 14, 16 fluidly sealed together. The flange may be, for example, a 3-inch flange running down the center and on the outside of the split base 12. The base members 14, 16 may be formed with a double-wall steel construction. In some embodiments, the base members 14, 16 are adapted to be used below the ground surface around the well.

A joining side 20 of the base members 14, 16 may have cut-outs 22 for the wellheads (not shown). Wellhead flanges 32 may be attached, for example, by welding, to the base members 14, 16. The wellhead flanges 32 may be adapted to fit around the wellheads and flow line. The wellhead flanges 32 may hold tie downs and seal for around the wellhead and flow line. The seal may be, for example, a 4-inch rubber belt wrapped around a casing. The wellhead flanges 32 may tighten around the casing of the seal to seal the wellheads. The base members 14, 16 may be designed and assembled around the wellhead and flow line such that any leakage from either will be contained within the base members and not leak outside of the CAPS 10.

First and second floor members 24, 26 may have a shape similar to the first and second base members 14, 16. The floor members 24, 26 may rest on a lip 28 formed on an inside perimeter of the base members 14, 16. In some embodiments, the lip 28 may be 3-inch angle iron. In some embodiments, the floor members 24, 26 may be grating to allow a worker to see the floor of the base members 14, 16.

Within each of the base members 14, 16, a high fluid level detector 34 may be present to shut down the well (for example, by shutting down a pump or closing valves) if fluid gathers up to a predetermined height inside the CAPS 10. The fluid level detector 34 may use a 2-inch tee for installation. A truck out pipe, such as a 3-inch pipe, may be installed to suck out fluid from inside the CAPS 10.

An enclosure may be formed from a first enclosure half 36 and a second enclosure half 38. Each enclosure half 36, 38 may be attached with one or more hinges 40 to the base members 14, 16. Hinge pins 42 may be used to allow the enclosure halves 36, 38 to be removed from the base members 14, 16. Clips (not shown) may hold the hinge pins 42 in place once installed. The enclosure halves 36, 38 may be formed from steel ridged insulated panels. The enclosure halves 36, 38 may be framed with 1-inch square tubing with a U-channel 44 on the bottom of the enclosure halves 36, 38 to be set down overtop of the base members 14, 16. This design may contain fluid run off within the CAPS 10. The enclosure halves 36, 38 may have a coated applied thereto for rust and corrosion protection. The enclosure halves 36, 38 may be insulated by, for example, a spray-on insulation.

A inspection window 46 may be present in one of the enclosure halves, for example, in enclosure half 36. The inspection window 46 may be a 4-inch by 4-inch door for checking lower explosive limit (LEL) inside the CAPS 10 before opening the enclosure halves 36, 38. The inspection window 46 may be formed of break resistant glass for looking inside at gages without opening the CAPS 10.

Latches 48 may be disposed on each enclosure half 36, 38 for securing the CAPS 10 in a closed position as shown in FIG. 1. Releasing the latches 48 may allow the CAPS 10 to open, as shown in FIG. 2.

To install the CAPS 10, the ground around the well would be dug out around the wellhead for a distance of about 100″ long, 30″ wide on each side of wellhead and about 16″ deep. The ground may be leveled and packed with sand and gravel to make a solid base. The base members 14, 16 would be bolted together with a rubber seal, then the wellhead seal head would be installed and then the pipeline seal head would be installed and tightened down with rubber seal. The hinged enclosure 36, 38 would be installed with pins and the CAPS 10 would then be closed up with latches 48.

While the above description describes use for the oil and gas industry, the CAPS 10 may be used for storage containment for 500-1000 gallon fuel or chemical tanks. In this design, the center area that would attach to the wellhead casing and flow line, a tank saddle and cradle may be built for the tanks to be bolted down. Solar panels can be mounted on the enclosure to provide power for a fuel pump or a chemical pump. The CAPS 10 can also be used for around water wells on farms, will not blow apart in a tornado and may be anchored to the well casing. A pump and pressure tank may be disposed inside the CAPS 10.

It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.