A new blowout preventer (BOP) for all oil wells in the future

  by Wolfhart Willimczik

Abstract:

This flow controlling device is a self regulating, reusable blowout preventer (BOP) by limiting the flow in a pipe to a predetermined volume. It is specially designed for a new generation of blowout preventers for the gas and oil industry to avoid blow outs and oil gushers like the one in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Todayís BOPís are heavy, complicated and need human interference - and they are build for failures  - as reality shows.

This BOP consists mainly of a tapered compression spring in a pipe. The spring measures the dynamic pressure, get compressed by increasing dynamic pressure and closes the cross section for the flow. It closes automatically the pipe completely at a high pressure spike and opens up again after the pressure is normal again. This BOP can be placed deep in the casing of an oil well. It accommodates the drill stem and it works without any human interference.

A modified device can be used in any sort of pipe and any flow as a pressure spike preventer (PSP) and also as a smart pipe plug (SPP) manually operated or via remote control.

  

Advantages of this new BOP:

This blowout preventer or BOP works independent from human intervention, independent from the existence of electricity, hydraulic pressure or any other source of energy or information. It takes the information and the energy for operating directly out of the flow of fluid/gas in the pipe.

In can be placed not only on the well head, but also deep in any oil/gas well.

It can also accommodate a turning drill stem.

It is simple and fits in the inside of any pipe.

It can be permanently welded to the pipe or can be made removable.

It can also be pushed deep in an unprepared pipe of an out of control oil well against a strong flow of oil/gas with a self propelled crawler, arrest itself in the wall of the pipe and closes up the pipe.

It can operate autarkic or may remotely controlled.

After a pressure spike it can automatically open up the pipe again.

A modified device can be used in any pipe under cities to prevent high pressure spikes due to explosions, earthquake etc.

 

Description: 

This device consists mainly of a tapered compression spring, what fits in the pipe with its largest diameter. The pointed cone of the spring is directed against the flow. The tapered spring is able to make both, firstly take the information about the amount of the dynamic pressure directly out of the flow by getting compressed by a too high dynamic pressure and secondly closing the cross section for the flow gradually to zero if the dynamic pressure rises further to dangerous amounts. If the pressure falls again to the predetermined normal amount the spring will open up again allowing the normal predetermined flow.

High pressure spikes due to an explosion, a blow out or ďkickĒ will be stopped and never reach the surface of a well head or the end of a horizontal pipe line.

The spring is just as strong to withstand the dynamic pressure of a normal flow. (This can be adjusted by different materials for the spring and different cross sections of the wire.) If the dynamic pressure raises significantly due to an explosive event or a blow out etc the spring will be compressed and restrict simultaneously the cross section for the flow of fluid/gas. (A sensor for the dynamic pressure and the speed is a spring behind a body. In this case the body is very small or the spring itself, because it is build for strong flows causing high forces on the spring.)

This device works like an automated flow controller in a pipe limiting the flow of a fluid Ė gas mixture also at high pressure and high flow rates in big pipes. It is specially created for  the oil industry to prevent catastrophic oil spill, because it offers much more security than todayís BOPís.

In case of a pressure spike first the outer coils will be compressed Ė last the inner coils. This ensures that the closing itself is gradually in the millisecond area not generating another pressure spike in case of an fast explosive event. If the closing of the pipe would be too sharply it would generate an even higher pressure spike.

A damping device generates friction for the movement of the spring that it not start swinging and eventually generating a stationary pressure wave in the pipe in resonance with the natural frequency of the pipe.

The coils of the spring with a round wire touching each other and pushing each other also to the outside. In the closed phase they rest on stiff radial fins.

Than the forces are transmitted to the wall of the pipe. A strong connection to the wall can be made by the same locking device used by canons withstanding highest pressure spikes.

(For unprepared casings this BOP can arrest itself in the wall by 2 sets of sharp claws of movable legs opposing each other and transmitting the forces at a certain angle to the wall. They can also be tightened by a screw.)

You see it by my smart pipe plug website: http://www.wolfhartindustries.com/oilspill.htm

This BOP is able to accommodate a rotating drill stem in the center. A compression spring has always a hole in the center. (Only the outer diameter of the pipes from the drill stem must be always the same what is possible if the ends of the pipes get thicker to the inside instead to the outside.)

This BOP deep in the well can be removed for a change of the drill head etc; for instance by another pipe over the drill stem. This pipe works as a tool to turn this BOP in both direction and to push and pull by an interlocking device like a key. Or the drill stem itself has on different spots grooves, keyways and notches etc where a suitable counterpart on the BOP can lock in for a temporary rigid connection for removing and reinstalling the BOP.

There could be also several BOPíS deep in the oil well for extra security.

The profile of the spring wire can be adapted to the task. A rectangular  profile has better sealing capabilities, can be build overlapping to get a sealing area instead a sealing line by a round profile. It can also get out more force of a certain dynamic pressure to keep hardened steel for a wire material. I some cases may the spring too strong to get compressed by a certain amount of dynamic pressure.

A normal spring in steel will have some leakage. For a complete seal the spring can be coated with hard rubber or plastic materials. If the inner coils are still too strong to close up they can be made gradually thinner in axial direction. For a permanent seal of the pipe regardless of the pressure the spring can be compressed mechanically by a screw.

 

 

 

 

This SPP in Fig. 4 is made specially for an oil/gas well as a BOP deep in the casing 1a of the well. It is removable via a locking devise 16 well known by a canon. (This is not a thread, but sections on the circumference only.) It will hold against several thousands of PSI pressure. It can be removed for changing the drill head etc.

A number of massive fins 5d transmit the high forces (up to a million pound) from the spring 6a to the casing 1a. (It is build like a dome of a building.)

The fins 5c are guiding parts only. They are attached to a ring 19 which is attached to the smallest coil of the spring 6a sliding together with the spring along a cylindrical part of the body 2b. A strong inside snap ring provides friction for the spring and works as a shock absorber in case the spring has a tendency to swing. It can also snap in a groove in a compressed state to close the pipe permanently after a blow out in case this would be desired.

 

The elongated body 2 is hollow to accommodate the drill stem which can freely rotate inside the BOP. At an event like a kick or blowout a ring seal 19 will seal a worn gap between drill stem 18 and BOP.

A pipe 17 over the drill stem 18 will handle the installing and removable of the BOP. This pipe 17 has interlocking members (not shown) to the body 2 and hooks to turn the BOP in both directions and to push or to pull it out again.

 

Fig. 5 is the same BOP according to Fig 4, but with a compressed tapered spring 6a. The rectangular cross section of the spring provides a better sealing capability. Instead of a sealing line at a round profile is there a n extended sealing area.

Such a new BOP is simpler than todayís BOPís and can be placed deep in the well. They work without any interference from the outside and provide more security against blowouts. They will not destroy the drill stem and allow flow again if the pressure and flow are normal again. Several of such BOPís can be placed deep in any oil/gas well giving the oil/gas industry a new high of security.

 7/4/2010 Physicist Wolfhart Willimczik  seeking a manufacturer of this new BOP

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E-mail: Wolfhart@tampabay.rr.com

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