Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3105545 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date1 Oct 1963
Filing date21 Nov 1960
Priority date21 Nov 1960
Publication numberUS 3105545 A, US 3105545A, US-A-3105545, US3105545 A, US3105545A
InventorsMichael Prats, Russell Donald G
Original AssigneeShell Oil Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of heating underground formations
US 3105545 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 1, 1963 MPRA-rs ETAL 3,105,545

METHOD OF HEATING UNDERGROUND FORMATIONS Filed Nov. 2l, 19604 INVENTORS:

M. PRATS D. G. RUSSELL BWHHJQQW THEIR AGENT United States Patent O 3,105,545 METHOD OF HEATING UNDERGRGUND FRMATIONS Michael Prats, Houston, and Donald G. Russell, Bellaire,

Tex., assignors to Shell Oil Company, New York, NX.,

a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 21, 1960, Ser. No. 70,536 8 Claims. (Cl. 166-39) This invention relates to the heating of underground formations and pertains more particularly to the heating of hydrocarbon-bearing formations which are traversed by a plurality of wells.

ln many oil fields yand in most deposits of oil shales and tar sands, the oil or hydrocarbon present is often viscous or is so intimately Vheld by the sand particles or by the formation that it is impossible to produce the hydrocarbon materials merely by drilling wells through or into the deposits as is done with ordinary oil fields. Various methods have been employed in an attempt to recover certain viscous oils from underground formations with varying success being achieved with such methods as ooding with solvents, creating an underground combustion Zone, etc. Combustion of oil shale deposits has also been tried but the more general method has been to mine the shale, pulverize it and then recover the oil from the pulverized shale.

lt is an object of the present invention to provide a novel method of heating an underground formation surrounding a well borehole to some distance therefrom for reducing the viscosity of a heavy hydrocarbon so that it will be driven to and produced from another well.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a method of heating an underground formation in communication -with a hydrocarbon-bearing formation to provide partial distillation of the hydrocarbon to increase further the pressure in the formation.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a method for heating an underground formation in order to stimulate flow of oil `from depleted elds so that it will be driven to adjacent wells where it can be readily produced.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a method for heating an underground formation for reducing the viscosity of the oil present in the formation while at the same time providing partial gasification of the residual oil in the formation.

These and other objects of this invention will be understood from the following description taken with reference to the drawing, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view of a Well taken in cross-section wherein the hydrocarbon-producing for-mation has been fractured prior to installing the heating equipment;

FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic View of a longitudinal section of a well for producing fluids driven into the well from the heat-generating wells of FIGURES 1 and 3; and,

FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic view of a longitudinal section of another heating well wherein the producing formation has a plurality of directionally drilled holes in it.

Referring to FIGURE 1 of the drawing, a well is shown in which a well casing 11 has been installed which extends down into the hydrocarbon-producing formation 12. The portion of the Well casing 11 that extends into the producing formation 12 is provided .with a series of .perforations 13 which may extend through the wall of the casing in all directions or in only one direction. The top of the well casing 11 is closed by any suitable well closure means schematically represented by Ka plate 14. Extending downwardly through the plate closure 14 to a point within the producing for-mation 12 of the well are a pair of concenice tric pipe strings 15 and 16. The innermost pipe string 15 is open at the lower end thereof -wlhile the outermost pipe string 16 has a closed lower end. Thus, it will be seen that the concentric pipe strings 15 and 16 provide means whereby a heating fluid may be circulated down to the bottom of the well and up to the surface again. The circulation is preferably down through the annulus between the inner mid outer strings 15 and 16 with the flow of fluid returning up through the inner string 15 as indicated by the arrows. Thus, when hot water or another fluid is circulated through the pipe strings 15 and 16 a heater is provided in the well opposite the producing zone 12.

Prior to installing the pipe strings 15 and 16, the producing formation 12, was fractured in any manner well known to the art so as to provide a series of radiallyextending fractures 17 which extend into the producing ormation 12 some distance from the well. These fractures 17 may be either horizontal or vertical type fractures. After the fractures 17 4were opened, a iiuid containing particles of a highly heat-conductive material was pumped down the well and into the fracture 17. The particle-carrying liuid is 0f any suitable type which will pass readily into the producing formation 12 leaving the particles behind to lill the fracture 17. The amount of particle-carrying iiuid which is pumped into the fracture is preferably selected so that the particles |are packed together in intimate heat-transferring contact with each other. Freferably the carrying yfluid used is a hydrocarbon fluid, but water may be employed if desired. After the fractures 17 have been filled with the particles of heatconductive material, the heating apparatus comprising the pipe strings 15 and 16 are installed in the well. In a preferred arrangement a sufficient volume of additional heatconductive material is circulated or dumped down the well to fill the well, as :at 1S, preferably to at least the top of the producing formation 12 to be heated.

rThe particles of material which are packed around the outside of the lower end of the pipe string heater 16 and which fill the fractures 17 are preferably a fluid-transportable form of aluminum, copper, or some other metallic material which has a thermal conductivity greater than that of the formation which is to be heated. By extending the body of material of increased heat conductivity into the formation by means of the fractures 17, an increase in the rate of heat transfer from the heat source 16 into the formation 12 takes place. The amount of the increase that takes place in the rate at which heat is transferred to the formation, increases as larger amounts of metal are :inserted into the formation. lt is preferable but not essential that each portion of the metal be placed in intimate heat-transferring contact with the adjacent portions. Small flakes of metal foil or particles of soft metal which are pressed together as the .fractures subside are particularly effective. Relatively low-melting metallic materials which fuse together nat the temperatures of the 'heating operation are also particularly effective.

Fluid surrounding the well of FIGURE 1, when heated, would be driven to an adjacent producing well illustrated schematically in FIGURE 2 as comprising a well casing 21 having perforations 22 near the lower end thereof in the section of the casing that traverses the producing formation 12. Extending down through the casing 21 is a production tubing string 23 having a pump of any suitable type secured to the lower end thereof. The pump 24 may be actuated, as by a string of sucker rods 25 which is reciprocated by a conventional prime mover 26.

In another well installation in which the method of the present invention may be practiced, a well casing 31 (FIGURE 3) is shown as lining a well with -a pair of side windows 32 Iand 33 having been milled or otherwise 3 7 cut through fthe side Wall of the casing 31. Side holes 34 and 35 are then drilled through the milled holes 32 and 33 in a conventional manner so as to provide holes which extend into the producing formation 12 for a substantial distance from the well. These holes 34 and 35 are then lled with particles of a material of high conductivity in the same manner as described hereinabove with regard to FIGURE 1. However, if the angle of the holes 34 and 35 is sufficient, the granular or particulate material of high conductivity may be dumped down the well and into the side holes 34 and 35 rather than circulating it in place by means of a uid. ilf desired, however, a carrying fluid may be employed as described with regard to FIGURE 1.

Prior to or after the holes 34 and 3S have been filled with the particulate material of high conductivity, a suitable heater, for exmple an electric heater 37' is lowered down through the well casing 3l by means of a weight-supporting and current-transmitting cable S3, the heater 37 being suspended on its cable 3S from the top 39 of the well with the heater being positioned at the level of the producing formation 12. With the heater 37 in place the well casing can be filled with the heat-conductive material to a point above the heater 37. Power would be supplied to the heater through a power lead 4t?.

The well, arranged as shown in FIGURE 3, may be to heat the oil contained in the surrounding formation and drive the heated oil toward a producing well such as Ithe one shown in FIGURE 2. Alternatively, the well shown in FIGURE 3 may be perforated above the zone containing the heater and completed by installing a pump such as pump 24 (FIGURE 2) within the well opposite the upper perforated zone. In this latter arrangement, particularly where the temperatures employed are sufficient to pyrolyze the oil contained in the surrounding form-ation, the fluidized hydrocarbons are driven into the perforated zone of the Wall by the localized relatively high pressures which are thermally induced within the formation around the well.

The method for heating an underground oil-bearing formation described hereinabove gives an improved rate of heat transfer from a heat source to the formation where the heat transfer is accomplished by conduction through the formation. While the method has been illustrated with regard to fracturing or direotionally drilling the producing formation to create channels which extend outwardly from a well into the producing formation, it is to be understood that other types of fractures, crevices or holes may be employed including those which occur naturally so long as they extend laterally from the well into the producing formation.

We claim as our invention:

1. A method of heating `a hydrocarbon-bearing earth formation for the purpose of producing a hydrocarbon fluid therefrom, said method comprising the steps of establishing communication between the hydrocarbon-bearing formation and the ground `surface through at least one well provided with lateral openings extending into said hydrocarbon-bearing formation, transporting down said well and into the openings thereof a highly heatconductive material, depositing said material said well and said openings so that the material is in heattransferring proximity with said formation, said deposited material filling the well adjacent the hydrocarbon-bearing formation, and heating the material in the well to a temperature suicient to heat the surrounding hydrocarbon-bearing formation adjacent the well, said heating being carried out by positioning heating means in the Well in contact with the highly heat conductive material in the well whereby heat is conducted from said heating means through said heat conductive material to the hydrocarbon formation adjacent the well and is further oonducted through the material deposited within fractures or openings which extend laterally into said hydrooarbon formation.

2. A method of heating a hydrocarbon-bearing earth formation for the purpose of producing a hydrocarbon fluid therefrom, said method comprising the steps of establishing communication between the hydrocarbon-bearing formation and the ground surface through at least one well provided with lateral openings extending into said hydrocarbon-bearing formation, transporting down said well and into the openings thereof particles of a highly heat-'conductive material, depositing said particles in said well and said openings so that the particles are in heattransferring proximity with each other, said deposited particles filling the well adjacent the hydrocarbon-bearing formation, and heating the particulate material in the well to a temperature sufficient to heat the surrounding hydrocarbon-bearing formation adjacent the well, said heating being carried out by positioning heating mea-ns in the well in contact with the deposited particles in the well whereby heat is conducted from said heating means through said particulate material to the hydrocarbon formation adjacent the well and is further conducted through the particulate material deposited within the fractures or openings which extend laterally into said hydrocarbon formation.

3. A method of heating a hydrocrabon-bearing earth formation which is penetrated by at least two lwells for the purpose of producing a hydrocarbon uid therefrom, said method comprising the steps of establishing communication between the hydrocarbon-bearing formation and the ground surface through `at least two wells, one of said wells being provided with lateral openings extending into said hydrocarbon-bearing formation, transporting down `said well and into the openings thereof particles of a highly heat-conductive materia-l, depositing said particles in said well and said openings so that the particles are in heat-transferring Contact with each other, said deposited particles filling the well adjacent the hydrocarbon-bearing formation, and heating the particulate material in the Well to a temperature sufficient to heat the surrounding hydrocarbon-bearing formation adjacent the well, said heating being carried out by positioning heating means in the well in contact with the deposited particles in the well whereby heat is conducted from said heating means through said particulate material to the hydrocarbon formation adjacent the well and s further conducted through the particulate material deposited within the fractures or openings which extend laterally into said hydrocarbon formation.

4. A method of heating a hydrocarbon-bearing earth formation which is penetrated by at least two wells for the purpose of producing a hydrocarbon fluid therefrom, said method comprising the steps of establishing communication between the hydrocarbon-bearing formation and the ground surface through lat least two wells, one of said wells being provided with lateral openings extending into said hydrocarbon-bearing formation, pumping down said well and into the openings thereof a uid carrying particles of a highly heat-conductive material, depositing said particles in said well and said openings so that the particles are in heat-transferring contact with each other, said deposited particles filling the well adjacent the hydrocarbon-bearing formation, and heating the particulate material in the well to a temperature sufcient to heat Athe surrounding hydrocarbon-bearing formation adjacent the well, said heating being carried out by positioning heating means in the well in contact with the deposited particles in the well whereby heat is conducted from said heating means through said particulate material to the hydrocarbon formation adjacent the well and is lfurther conducted through the particulate material deposited within the fractures or openings which extend laterally into said hydrocarbon formation.

5. A method of heating a hydrocarbon-bearing earth formation which is penetrated by `at least two wells for the purpose of producing a hydrocarbon fluid therefrom, said method comprising the steps of establishing comareas/t munication between the hydrocarbon-bearing formation and the ground surface through at least two wells, creating lateral openings extending into said hydrocarbon-bearing formation in communication with one of said wells, transporting down said well and into the openings thereof particles of a highly heat-conductive material, depositing said particles in said well and said openings so that the particles are in heat-transferring contact with each other, said deposited particles filling the well adjacent the hydrocarbon-bearing formation, and heating the particulate material in the well to a temperature suflicient to heat the surrounding hydrocarbon-bearing formation adjacent the well, said heating being carried out by positioning heating means in the well in contact with the deposited particles in the well whereby heat is conducted from said heating means through said particulate material to the hydrocarbon formation adjacent the well and is further conducted through the particulate material deposited within the fractures or openings which extend laterally into said hydrocarbon form-ation.

6. A method -of heating a hydrocarbon-bearing earth formation which is penetrated by at least two -weils for the purpose of producing a hydrocarbon fluid therefrom, said method comprising the steps of establishing communication between the hydrocarbon-bearing formation and the ground surface through at least two wells, fracturing said hydrocarbon-bearing formation in communication with one of said wells'to create lateral yopenings therein, pumping down said well and into the openings thereof a uid carrying particles of a highly heat-conductive material, depositing said particles in said well and said openings so that the particles are in heatJtransferring contact with each other, said deposited particles filling the well adjacent the hydrocarbon-bearing formation, and heating the particulate material in the well to a temperature sufficient to heat the surrounding hydrocarbon-bearing formation `adjacent the well, said heating being carried out by positioning heating means in the well in contact with the depositedV particles in the well whereby heat is conducted from said heating means through said particulate material to the hydrocarbon formation adjacent the Wel-l and is further conducted through the particulate material deposited within the fractures or openings which extend laterally into said hydrocarbon formation.

7. A method of heating a hydrocarbon-bearing earth formation which is pene-trated by at least two wells for the purpose of producing a hydrocarbon fluid therefrom, said method comprising the steps of establishing communication between ithe hydrocarbon-bearing formation and the ground surface through at least two wells, direct5 tionally drilling lateral lopenings extending into said hydrocarbon-bearing formation in communication with one of said wells, pumping down said well and into the openings thereof a fluid carrying particles of a highly heatconductive material, depositing said particles in said well and said openings so that the particles are in heat-transferring contact with each other, said deposited particles filling the well adjacent the hydrocarbon-bearing formation, and heating the particulate material in the well to a temperature suicient to heat the surrounding hydrocarbon-bearing formation adjacent the well, said heating being carried out by positioning heating means in the well in contact with the deposited particles in the well whereby heat is conducted from said heating means through said particulate material lto the hydrocarbon formation adjacent the well and is further conducted through the particulate material deposited within the fractures or openings which `extend laterally into said hydrocarbon formation.

8. A method of heating a hydrocarbon-bearing earth formation `which is penetrated by at least two wells for the purpose of producing a hydrocarbon uid therefrom, said method comprising the steps of establishing communication between the hydrocarbon-bearing formation and the ground surface through at least two wells, creating lateral openings extending into said hydrocarbon-bearing formation in communication with one of said wells, pumping down said well and into the openings thereof a iiuid carrying particles of a highly heat-conductive material, depositing said particles in said well and said openings so that the particles are in heat-transferring Contact with each other, said deposited particles filling the well adjacent the hydrocarbon-bearing form-ation, installing heating means in the well in contact with the deposited particles in the well and in communication with a heat-generating power source at the top of the well, and heating the particulate material in the well to a temperature suf- -ticient to heat the surrounding hydrocarbon-bearing formation adjacent the well, said heat being conducted from said heating means through said particulate material to the hydrocarbon formation adjacent the well and is further conducted through the particulate material deposited within the fractures or openings which extend laterally into said hydrocarbon formation.

Jenks Nov. 27, 1956 Dixon Dec. 3l, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2771954 *29 Apr 195327 Nov 1956Exxon Research Engineering CoTreatment of petroleum production wells
US2818118 *19 Dec 195531 Dec 1957Phillips Petroleum CoProduction of oil by in situ combustion
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3227211 *17 Dec 19624 Jan 1966Phillips Petroleum CoHeat stimulation of fractured wells
US3284281 *31 Aug 19648 Nov 1966Phillips Petroleum CoProduction of oil from oil shale through fractures
US3361202 *5 Aug 19652 Jan 1968Phillips Petroleum CoProcess and apparatus for producing crude oil from separate strata
US4886118 *17 Feb 198812 Dec 1989Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis; enhanced oil recovery
US5255742 *12 Jun 199226 Oct 1993Shell Oil CompanyHeat injection process
US5297626 *12 Jun 199229 Mar 1994Shell Oil CompanyOil recovery process
US658168424 Apr 200124 Jun 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn Situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce sulfur containing formation fluids
US658850424 Apr 20018 Jul 2003Shell Oil CompanyConversion of hydrocarbons to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or novel product streams from underground coal formations; pyrolysis
US659190624 Apr 200115 Jul 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected oxygen content
US659190724 Apr 200115 Jul 2003Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis
US660703324 Apr 200119 Aug 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn Situ thermal processing of a coal formation to produce a condensate
US660957024 Apr 200126 Aug 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation and ammonia production
US668838724 Apr 200110 Feb 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a hydrocarbon condensate
US669851524 Apr 20012 Mar 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a relatively slow heating rate
US670201624 Apr 20019 Mar 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with heat sources located at an edge of a formation layer
US670875824 Apr 200123 Mar 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation leaving one or more selected unprocessed areas
US671213524 Apr 200130 Mar 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation in reducing environment
US671213624 Apr 200130 Mar 2004Shell Oil CompanyProviding heat to the formation; controlling the heat from the heat source such that an average temperature within at least a majority of the selected section of the formation is less than about 375 degrees c.
US671213724 Apr 200130 Mar 2004Shell Oil CompanyHeat exchanging to superimpose heat
US671554624 Apr 20016 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyChemical and/or physical properties of hydrocarbon material within a subterranean formation may need to be changed to allow hydrocarbon material to be more easily removed
US671554724 Apr 20016 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to form a substantially uniform, high permeability formation
US671554824 Apr 20016 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyElectrical heaters may be used to heat the subterranean formation by radiation and/or conduction
US671554924 Apr 20016 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected atomic oxygen to carbon ratio
US671904724 Apr 200113 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation in a hydrogen-rich environment
US672242924 Apr 200120 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation leaving one or more selected unprocessed areas
US672243024 Apr 200120 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected oxygen content and/or selected O/C ratio
US672243124 Apr 200120 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of hydrocarbons within a relatively permeable formation
US672592024 Apr 200127 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to convert a selected amount of total organic carbon into hydrocarbon products
US672592124 Apr 200127 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation by controlling a pressure of the formation
US672592824 Apr 200127 Apr 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a distributed combustor
US672939524 Apr 20014 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected ratio of heat sources to production wells
US672939624 Apr 20014 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range
US672939724 Apr 20014 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected vitrinite reflectance
US672940124 Apr 20014 May 2004Shell Oil CompanySynthesis gas may be produced from the formation. synthesis gas may be used as a feed stream in an ammonia synthesis process. ammonia may be used as a feed stream in a urea synthesis process.
US673279424 Apr 200111 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a mixture with a selected hydrogen content
US673279524 Apr 200111 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyProviding heat from one or more heat sources to at least one portion of formation; allowing heat to transfer from the one or more heat sources to a selected section of the formation; controlling the heat; producing a mixture from the formation
US673279624 Apr 200111 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyHeating section of formation with heat sources to temperature allowing generation of synthesis gas, providing synthesis gas generating fluid to section, removing synthesis gas generated, repeating for second section, blending for desired ratio
US673621524 Apr 200118 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation, in situ production of synthesis gas, and carbon dioxide sequestration
US673939324 Apr 200125 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation and tuning production
US673939424 Apr 200125 May 2004Shell Oil CompanyProviding heat and a synthesis gas generating fluid to the section to generate synthesis gas
US674258724 Apr 20011 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation to form a substantially uniform, relatively high permeable formation
US674258824 Apr 20011 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce formation fluids having a relatively low olefin content
US674258924 Apr 20011 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using repeating triangular patterns of heat sources
US674259324 Apr 20011 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using heat transfer from a heat transfer fluid to heat the formation
US674583124 Apr 20018 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanyMixture of hydrocarbons, h2, and/or other formation fluids may be produced from the formation. heat may be applied to the formation to raise a temperature of a portion of the formation to a pyrolysis temperature.
US674583224 Apr 20018 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanySitu thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to control product composition
US674583724 Apr 20018 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a controlled heating rate
US674902124 Apr 200115 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis
US675221024 Apr 200122 Jun 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using heat sources positioned within open wellbores
US675826824 Apr 20016 Jul 2004Shell Oil CompanyHeat exchanging, pyrolysis; monitoring temperature
US676121624 Apr 200113 Jul 2004Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis temperature
US676388624 Apr 200120 Jul 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with carbon dioxide sequestration
US676948324 Apr 20013 Aug 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using conductor in conduit heat sources
US676948524 Apr 20013 Aug 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ production of synthesis gas from a coal formation through a heat source wellbore
US678962524 Apr 200114 Sep 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using exposed metal heat sources
US680519524 Apr 200119 Oct 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce hydrocarbon fluids and synthesis gas
US682068824 Apr 200123 Nov 2004Shell Oil CompanyHeat exchanging after pyrolyzation to support synthesis gas generation
US686609724 Apr 200115 Mar 2005Shell Oil CompanySuperpositioning of heaters for pyrolysis to form mixture of hydrocarbons and hydrogen; controlling pressure; heat exchanging
US687170724 Apr 200129 Mar 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with carbon dioxide sequestration
US687755424 Apr 200112 Apr 2005Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis
US687755524 Apr 200212 Apr 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation while inhibiting coking
US688063324 Apr 200219 Apr 2005Shell Oil CompanyIncludes shutting-in an in situ treatment process in an oil shale formation may include terminating heating from heat sources providing heat to a portion of the formation; hydrocarbon vapor may be produced
US688063524 Apr 200119 Apr 2005Shell Oil CompanyMethods and systems for production of hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or other products from underground coal formations
US688976924 Apr 200110 May 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected moisture content
US689605324 Apr 200124 May 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using repeating triangular patterns of heat sources
US690200324 Apr 20017 Jun 2005Shell Oil CompanyAllowing heat to transfer from heaters to a formation selected for heating using a total organic matter weight percentage of > 5% and recirculating hydrogen
US690200424 Apr 20017 Jun 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a movable heating element
US691053624 Apr 200128 Jun 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a natural distributed combustor
US691307824 Apr 20015 Jul 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn Situ thermal processing of hydrocarbons within a relatively impermeable formation
US691585024 Apr 200212 Jul 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation having permeable and impermeable sections
US691844224 Apr 200219 Jul 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ conversion of hydrocarbons to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or novel product streams from underground oil shale formations
US691844324 Apr 200219 Jul 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range
US692325724 Apr 20022 Aug 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation to produce a condensate
US692325812 Jun 20032 Aug 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processsing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a mixture with a selected hydrogen content
US692906724 Apr 200216 Aug 2005Shell Oil CompanyHeat sources with conductive material for in situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation
US693215524 Oct 200223 Aug 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation via backproducing through a heater well
US694856224 Apr 200227 Sep 2005Shell Oil CompanyProduction of a blending agent using an in situ thermal process in a relatively permeable formation
US694856324 Apr 200127 Sep 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected hydrogen content
US695124724 Apr 20024 Oct 2005Shell Oil CompanyControl the heat exchanging, pyrolyzing hydrocarbons, enhancing oil recovery
US695308724 Apr 200111 Oct 2005Shell Oil CompanyThermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to increase a permeability of the formation
US695976124 Apr 20011 Nov 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected ratio of heat sources to production wells
US696430024 Apr 200215 Nov 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with backproduction through a heater wellbore
US696637224 Apr 200122 Nov 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce oxygen containing formation fluids
US696637424 Apr 200222 Nov 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation using gas to increase mobility
US696912324 Oct 200229 Nov 2005Shell Oil CompanyUpgrading and mining of coal
US697396724 Apr 200113 Dec 2005Shell Oil Companyhydrocarbons within a coal formation are converted in situ within the formation to yield a mixture of relatively high quality hydrocarbon products, hydrogen, and other products; the coal is heated to to temperatures that allow pyrolysis
US698154824 Apr 20023 Jan 2006Shell Oil Companyheating and pyrolysis of heavy hydrocarbon sections in subterranean wells to produce light hydrocarbons; reduced viscosity improves movement; fluid removal in liquid and/or vapor phase
US699103124 Apr 200131 Jan 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation to convert a selected total organic carbon content into hydrocarbon products
US699103224 Apr 200231 Jan 2006Shell Oil CompanyHeat sources positioned within the formation in a selected pattern raise a temperature of a portion of the formation to a pyrolysis temperature.
US699103324 Apr 200231 Jan 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing while controlling pressure in an oil shale formation
US699103624 Apr 200231 Jan 2006Shell Oil CompanyThermal processing of a relatively permeable formation
US699104524 Oct 200231 Jan 2006Shell Oil CompanyForming openings in a hydrocarbon containing formation using magnetic tracking
US699416024 Apr 20017 Feb 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range
US699416124 Apr 20017 Feb 2006Kevin Albert MaherIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected moisture content
US6994168 *24 Apr 20017 Feb 2006Scott Lee WellingtonIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected hydrogen to carbon ratio
US699416924 Apr 20027 Feb 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation with a selected property
US699725524 Apr 200114 Feb 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation in a reducing environment
US699751824 Apr 200214 Feb 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and solution mining of an oil shale formation
US700424724 Apr 200228 Feb 2006Shell Oil CompanyConductor-in-conduit heat sources for in situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation
US700425124 Apr 200228 Feb 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and remediation of an oil shale formation
US701115424 Oct 200214 Mar 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a kerogen and liquid hydrocarbon containing formation
US701397224 Apr 200221 Mar 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a natural distributed combustor
US701766124 Apr 200128 Mar 2006Shell Oil CompanyProduction of synthesis gas from a coal formation
US7032660 *24 Apr 200225 Apr 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and inhibiting migration of fluids into or out of an in situ oil shale formation
US703658324 Sep 20012 May 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to increase a porosity of the formation
US704039824 Apr 20029 May 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation in a reducing environment
US704039924 Apr 20029 May 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a controlled heating rate
US704040024 Apr 20029 May 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively impermeable formation using an open wellbore
US705180724 Apr 200230 May 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with quality control
US705180824 Oct 200230 May 2006Shell Oil CompanySeismic monitoring of in situ conversion in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US705181124 Apr 200230 May 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing through an open wellbore in an oil shale formation
US705560024 Apr 20026 Jun 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with controlled production rate
US706314524 Oct 200220 Jun 2006Shell Oil CompanyMethods and systems for heating a hydrocarbon containing formation in situ with an opening contacting the earth's surface at two locations
US706625424 Oct 200227 Jun 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a tar sands formation
US706625724 Oct 200227 Jun 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from lean and rich zones in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US707357824 Oct 200311 Jul 2006Shell Oil CompanyStaged and/or patterned heating during in situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation
US707719824 Oct 200218 Jul 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation using barriers
US707719924 Oct 200218 Jul 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil reservoir formation
US708646524 Oct 20028 Aug 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ production of a blending agent from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US708646824 Apr 20018 Aug 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using heat sources positioned within open wellbores
US709001324 Oct 200215 Aug 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce heated fluids
US709694124 Apr 200129 Aug 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with heat sources located at an edge of a coal layer
US709694224 Apr 200229 Aug 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation while controlling pressure
US709695324 Apr 200129 Aug 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a movable heating element
US710099424 Oct 20025 Sep 2006Shell Oil Companyinjecting a heated fluid into the well bore, producing a second fluid from the formation, conducting an in situ conversion process in the selected section.
US710431924 Oct 200212 Sep 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a heavy oil diatomite formation
US711456624 Oct 20023 Oct 2006Shell Oil CompanyHeat treatment using natural distributed combustor; oxidation of hydrocarbons to generate heat; pyrolysis
US712134124 Oct 200317 Oct 2006Shell Oil CompanyConductor-in-conduit temperature limited heaters
US712134223 Apr 200417 Oct 2006Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US712815324 Oct 200231 Oct 2006Shell Oil CompanyTreatment of a hydrocarbon containing formation after heating
US715617624 Oct 20022 Jan 2007Shell Oil CompanyInstallation and use of removable heaters in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US716561524 Oct 200223 Jan 2007Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation using conductor-in-conduit heat sources with an electrically conductive material in the overburden
US721973424 Oct 200322 May 2007Shell Oil CompanyInhibiting wellbore deformation during in situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation
US722586631 Jan 20065 Jun 2007Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a pattern of heat sources
US732036422 Apr 200522 Jan 2008Shell Oil CompanyInhibiting reflux in a heated well of an in situ conversion system
US735387222 Apr 20058 Apr 2008Shell Oil CompanyStart-up of temperature limited heaters using direct current (DC)
US735718022 Apr 200515 Apr 2008Shell Oil CompanyInhibiting effects of sloughing in wellbores
US736058817 Oct 200622 Apr 2008Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US737070422 Apr 200513 May 2008Shell Oil CompanyTriaxial temperature limited heater
US738387722 Apr 200510 Jun 2008Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters with thermally conductive fluid used to heat subsurface formations
US742491522 Apr 200516 Sep 2008Shell Oil CompanyVacuum pumping of conductor-in-conduit heaters
US743107622 Apr 20057 Oct 2008Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters using modulated DC power
US743503721 Apr 200614 Oct 2008Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature barriers with heat interceptor wells for in situ processes
US746169123 Jan 20079 Dec 2008Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US748127422 Apr 200527 Jan 2009Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters with relatively constant current
US749066522 Apr 200517 Feb 2009Shell Oil CompanyVariable frequency temperature limited heaters
US750052821 Apr 200610 Mar 2009Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature barrier wellbores formed using water flushing
US751000022 Apr 200531 Mar 2009Shell Oil CompanyReducing viscosity of oil for production from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US752709421 Apr 20065 May 2009Shell Oil CompanyDouble barrier system for an in situ conversion process
US753371920 Apr 200719 May 2009Shell Oil CompanyWellhead with non-ferromagnetic materials
US754032419 Oct 20072 Jun 2009Shell Oil CompanyHeating hydrocarbon containing formations in a checkerboard pattern staged process
US754687321 Apr 200616 Jun 2009Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature barriers for use with in situ processes
US755609520 Oct 20067 Jul 2009Shell Oil CompanySolution mining dawsonite from hydrocarbon containing formations with a chelating agent
US755609620 Oct 20067 Jul 2009Shell Oil CompanyVarying heating in dawsonite zones in hydrocarbon containing formations
US755936720 Oct 200614 Jul 2009Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heater with a conduit substantially electrically isolated from the formation
US755936820 Oct 200614 Jul 2009Shell Oil CompanySolution mining systems and methods for treating hydrocarbon containing formations
US756270620 Oct 200621 Jul 2009Shell Oil CompanySystems and methods for producing hydrocarbons from tar sands formations
US756270719 Oct 200721 Jul 2009Shell Oil CompanyHeating hydrocarbon containing formations in a line drive staged process
US757505221 Apr 200618 Aug 2009Shell Oil CompanyIn situ conversion process utilizing a closed loop heating system
US757505321 Apr 200618 Aug 2009Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature monitoring system for subsurface barriers
US758158920 Oct 20061 Sep 2009Shell Oil CompanyMethods of producing alkylated hydrocarbons from an in situ heat treatment process liquid
US759714720 Apr 20076 Oct 2009Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters using phase transformation of ferromagnetic material
US763168920 Apr 200715 Dec 2009Shell Oil CompanySulfur barrier for use with in situ processes for treating formations
US763169019 Oct 200715 Dec 2009Shell Oil CompanyHeating hydrocarbon containing formations in a spiral startup staged sequence
US763502320 Apr 200722 Dec 2009Shell Oil CompanyTime sequenced heating of multiple layers in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US763502419 Oct 200722 Dec 2009Shell Oil CompanyHeating tar sands formations to visbreaking temperatures
US763502520 Oct 200622 Dec 2009Shell Oil CompanyCogeneration systems and processes for treating hydrocarbon containing formations
US764476519 Oct 200712 Jan 2010Shell Oil CompanyHeating tar sands formations while controlling pressure
US767368119 Oct 20079 Mar 2010Shell Oil CompanyTreating tar sands formations with karsted zones
US767378620 Apr 20079 Mar 2010Shell Oil CompanyWelding shield for coupling heaters
US767731019 Oct 200716 Mar 2010Shell Oil CompanyCreating and maintaining a gas cap in tar sands formations
US767731419 Oct 200716 Mar 2010Shell Oil CompanyMethod of condensing vaporized water in situ to treat tar sands formations
US768164719 Oct 200723 Mar 2010Shell Oil CompanyMethod of producing drive fluid in situ in tar sands formations
US768329620 Apr 200723 Mar 2010Shell Oil CompanyAdjusting alloy compositions for selected properties in temperature limited heaters
US771717119 Oct 200718 May 2010Shell Oil CompanyMoving hydrocarbons through portions of tar sands formations with a fluid
US773094519 Oct 20078 Jun 2010Shell Oil CompanyUsing geothermal energy to heat a portion of a formation for an in situ heat treatment process
US773094619 Oct 20078 Jun 2010Shell Oil CompanyTreating tar sands formations with dolomite
US773094719 Oct 20078 Jun 2010Shell Oil CompanyCreating fluid injectivity in tar sands formations
US77359351 Jun 200715 Jun 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation containing carbonate minerals
US778542720 Apr 200731 Aug 2010Shell Oil CompanyChromium, nickel, copper; niobium, iron manganese, nitrogen; nanonitrides; system for heating a subterranean formation;
US779372220 Apr 200714 Sep 2010Shell Oil CompanyNon-ferromagnetic overburden casing
US779822018 Apr 200821 Sep 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ heat treatment of a tar sands formation after drive process treatment
US779822131 May 200721 Sep 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US783113421 Apr 20069 Nov 2010Shell Oil CompanyGrouped exposed metal heaters
US784140119 Oct 200730 Nov 2010Shell Oil CompanyGas injection to inhibit migration during an in situ heat treatment process
US784140818 Apr 200830 Nov 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ heat treatment from multiple layers of a tar sands formation
US784142518 Apr 200830 Nov 2010Shell Oil CompanyDrilling subsurface wellbores with cutting structures
US784541119 Oct 20077 Dec 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ heat treatment process utilizing a closed loop heating system
US784992218 Apr 200814 Dec 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from residually heated sections in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US786037721 Apr 200628 Dec 2010Shell Oil CompanySubsurface connection methods for subsurface heaters
US791235820 Apr 200722 Mar 2011Shell Oil CompanyAlternate energy source usage for in situ heat treatment processes
US795045318 Apr 200831 May 2011Shell Oil CompanyDownhole burner systems and methods for heating subsurface formations
US798686921 Apr 200626 Jul 2011Shell Oil CompanyVarying properties along lengths of temperature limited heaters
US802757121 Apr 200627 Sep 2011Shell Oil CompanyIn situ conversion process systems utilizing wellbores in at least two regions of a formation
US808381320 Apr 200727 Dec 2011Shell Oil CompanyMethods of producing transportation fuel
US81518809 Dec 201010 Apr 2012Shell Oil CompanyMethods of making transportation fuel
US819163028 Apr 20105 Jun 2012Shell Oil CompanyCreating fluid injectivity in tar sands formations
US819268226 Apr 20105 Jun 2012Shell Oil CompanyHigh strength alloys
US822416324 Oct 200317 Jul 2012Shell Oil CompanyVariable frequency temperature limited heaters
US822416424 Oct 200317 Jul 2012Shell Oil CompanyInsulated conductor temperature limited heaters
US822586621 Jul 201024 Jul 2012Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US823873024 Oct 20037 Aug 2012Shell Oil CompanyHigh voltage temperature limited heaters
US832768118 Apr 200811 Dec 2012Shell Oil CompanyWellbore manufacturing processes for in situ heat treatment processes
US835562322 Apr 200515 Jan 2013Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters with high power factors
US860609120 Oct 200610 Dec 2013Shell Oil CompanySubsurface heaters with low sulfidation rates
US860824926 Apr 201017 Dec 2013Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation
USRE35696 *28 Sep 199523 Dec 1997Shell Oil CompanyHeat injection process
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/302
International ClassificationE21B36/00, E21B36/02
Cooperative ClassificationE21B36/02
European ClassificationE21B36/02