Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
VERTICALLY ARRANGED WELL TEST BURNER SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/120231
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A well test burner system has a plurality of burner nozzles. Each burner nozzle has an air inlet, a well product inlet and an air/well product mixture outlet. At least three of the plurality of burner nozzles are arranged in a vertical column.

Inventors:
CODY, Trace Wayne (3340 Royal Lane, Dallas, Texas, 75229, US)
YOUNG, Timothy Mac (608 State Highway 46E, Boerne, Texas, 78006, US)
Application Number:
US2013/024266
Publication Date:
August 07, 2014
Filing Date:
February 01, 2013
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
CODY, Trace Wayne (3340 Royal Lane, Dallas, Texas, 75229, US)
YOUNG, Timothy Mac (608 State Highway 46E, Boerne, Texas, 78006, US)
International Classes:
F23D14/02; F23D14/46; F23D14/48
Foreign References:
US4348171A
US5993196A
US5096124A
JPH1122915A
US5464344A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GRISWOLD, Joshua A. et al. (Fish & Richardson P.C, P.O. Box 1022Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55440, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A well test burner system, comprising:

a plurality of burner nozzles, each comprising:

an air inlet;

a well product inlet; and

an air/well product mixture outlet,

at least three of the plurality of burner nozzles arranged in a vertical column.

2. The well test burner system of claim 1, where the at least three burner nozzles are oriented principally towards a common direction.

3. The well test burner system of claim 2, where at least one of the burner nozzles angles vertically away from another of the burner nozzles in an acute angle.

4. The well test burner system of claim 1, where the air/well product mixture outlets of the at least three burner nozzles are on a common vertical axis.

5. The well test burner system of claim 1 , where the air/well product mixture outlets of the at least three burner nozzles are arranged to expel a planar fan of air/well product mixture.

6. The well test burner system of claim 5, where the air/well product mixture outlets of the at least three burner nozzles are arranged to expel air/well product mixture in an overlapping pattern.

7. The well test burner system of claim 1 , where the at least three burner nozzles are affixed to a common, straight, vertical carrier.

8. The well test burner system of claim 7, where the carrier comprises an air supply tubing or a well product supply tubing.

9. The well test burner system of claim 1 , where the at least three of the plurality of burner nozzles comprises a first set of burner nozzles; and

where the well test burner system comprises a second set of at least three of the plurality of burner nozzles arranged substantially a second vertical column.

10. The well test burner system of claim 9, where the first and second set of burner nozzles are affixed to a common, straight, vertical carrier.

1 1. The well test burner system of claim 9, where the first and second set of burner nozzles comprises all of the burner nozzles of the well test burner system.

12. The well test burner system of claim 1, comprising a pilot burner comprising a pilot gas inlet and a pilot flame outlet, the pilot burner residing adjacent a vertically lowest burner nozzle.

13. The well test burner system of claim 12, where the pilot burner is vertically between the vertically lowest burner nozzle and an adjacent burner nozzle.

14. The well test burner system of claim 12, where the pilot flame outlet is oriented to direct a pilot flame transversely across the vertical column of burner nozzles.

15. The well test burner system of claim 9, comprising a plurality of pilot burners, each comprising a pilot gas inlet and a pilot flame outlet,

at least one of the pilot burners residing adjacent the vertically lowest burner nozzle in the first set of burner nozzles, flanking the burner nozzles, and oriented to direct a pilot flame transversely across the vertical column of the first set of burner nozzles toward the second set of burner nozzles.

16. A method, comprising:

receiving air and a well product in at least three burner nozzles of a well test burner system arranged in a vertical column;

expelling an air/well product mixture from the burner nozzles; and

burning the air/well product mixture.

17. The method of claim 16, where burning the air/well product mixture comprises: igniting air/well product mixture expelled from a vertically lowest burner nozzle with a pilot flame adjacent the vertically lowest burner nozzle; and

igniting air/well product mixture expelled from a burner nozzle above the vertically lowest burner nozzle using burning air/well product mixture from the vertically lowest burner nozzle.

18. The method of claim 16, where burning the air/well product mixture comprises

igniting air/well product mixture expelled from one of the burner nozzles using burning air/well product mixture from a lower burner nozzle.

19. A well product burning system, comprising:

a first air/well product mixture outlet;

a second air/well product mixture outlet above and aligned on a common vertical axis with the first air/well product mixture outlet; and

a third air/well product outlet above and aligned on a common vertical axis with the first and second air/well product mixture outlets.

20. The well product burning system of claim 19, where the first air/well product mixture outlet expels air/well product mixture that overlaps with air/well product mixture expelled by the second air/well product mixture outlet; and

where the second air/well product mixture outlet expels air/well product mixture that overlaps with air/well product mixture expelled by the third air/well product mixture outlet.

Description:
Vertically Arranged Well Test Burner System

BACKGROUND

[0001] Prior to connecting a well to a production pipeline, a well test is performed where the well is produced and the production evaluated. The product collected from the well (e.g., crude oil and gas) must be disposed of. In certain instances, the product is separated and a portion of the product (e.g., substantially crude) is disposed of by burning using a surface well test burner system. For example, on an offshore drilling platform, the well test burner system is often mounted at the end of a boom that extends outward from the side of the platform. As the well is tested, the crude is piped out the boom to the well test burner system and burned. Well test burner systems are also sometimes used on land- based wells.

[0002] From an environmental standpoint, it is desirable to have efficient, complete combustion of the product with minimal smoke or oil fallout. If, while burning well product, one of the burner nozzles is extinguished by a gust of wind or otherwise, the burner nozzle will expel unburned well product (i.e., oil fallout).

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0003] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an example well test burner system.

[0004] FIG. 2A is side view of the example well test burner system showing the trajectory of the flames from each burner nozzle of the system. FIG. 2B is a front view of the example well test burner system showing the trajectory of the flames from each burner nozzle of the system.

[0005] Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0006] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an example well test burner system 10. The well test burner system 10 is of a type that could be used to burn product produced from a well (e.g., substantially crude oil), for example, during its test phase. In certain instances, the well test burner system 10 is mounted to a boom extending outward from the side of an offshore drilling platform. Alternately, the well test burner system 10 could be mounted to a skid for use with a land-based well.

[0007] The well test burner system 10 includes a frame 12 that carries the other components of the well test burner system 10 and is adapted to be mounted to a boom or a skid. The frame 12 is shown as being tubular and defining a substantially cubic rectangular shape, but could be other configurations.

[0008] The frame 12 carries one or more burner nozzles 14 adapted to receive air and well product, combine the air and well product, and expel an air/well product mixture for burning through an outlet 34. The burner nozzles 14 are carried on a common air inlet pipe 18 attached to the frame 12. In the vicinity of the burner nozzles, the inlet pipe 18 is straight and vertical. Each of the burner nozzles 14 has an air inlet 42 (FIG. 2B) coupled to receive air from the inlet pipe 18. Each of the burner nozzles 14 also has a well product inlet 36 (FIG. 2A) coupled to receive well product from a well product inlet pipe 16. In certain instances, the air inlet pipe 18 and the product inlet pipe 16 are rigid pipes (as opposed to flexible hose) and can be provided with a swivel joint to allow the burner nozzles 14 to move. The pipes are provided with flanges 22, 20, respectively, to couple to a line from an air compressor and a line providing the well product to be disposed of. In FIG. 1, the burner nozzles 14 are arranged in two vertical columns and the well product inlet pipe 16 splits, having a leg that feeds each column. In instances having only one column of burner nozzles 14, the well product inlet pipe 16 need not split. In instances having more than two columns of burner nozzles 14, the well product inlet pipe 16 can split to provide a leg for each column. In yet other instances, one central well product inlet pipe 16 can carry the burner nozzles 14, and the air inlet pipe 18 can be split to accommodate multiple columns. Yet other configurations are within the concepts herein.

[0009] FIG. 1 shows ten burner nozzles 14 arranged in two vertical columns, each column having a set of five burner nozzles 14. Fewer or more burner nozzles 14 could be provided, and they can be arranged in fewer (e.g., one) or more columns. Also, the number of burner nozzles 14 in each set does not need to be equal. In FIG. 1 , all of the burner nozzles 14 are arranged in columns. In other instances, the well test burner system 10 could be provided with additional burner nozzles 14 not arranged in a column.

[0010] As shown in the figures, the burner nozzles 14 can be arranged in a precise vertical column, within a reasonable manufacturing tolerance, with the outlet 34 of each on a common precise vertical line. In other instances, the arrangement can be not precisely vertical, for example, with the column being tilted yet more vertical than horizontal and/or the outlets 34 of some or all of the nozzles 14 not precisely on the same line.

[0011] The vertical column arrangement, whether precise or not, is adapted to facilitate vertical cross-lighting between adjacent burner nozzles 14 in that the nozzles 14 are positioned so the flame produced by a lower burner nozzle 14 tends to travel upward and light or maintain lit at least the immediately adjacent, higher burner nozzle 14. As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, each of the burner nozzles 14 expel air/well product mixture in a spray pattern 30 with a conical shape that, further from the nozzle 14, approaches a cylindrical shape. When burning, the flame substantially matches this pattern 30 and deviates upward tending to light (or maintain lit) the air/fuel mixture in the adjacent pattern 30. The nozzles 14 can be further arranged so that the patterns 30 of adjacent burner nozzles 14 overlap (zone of overlap 32) to promote cross-lighting. To further promote cross- lighting, the zone of overlap 32 can begin near the burner nozzles 14 where the pattern 30 is consolidated and where the mixture is consistent.

[0012] The burner nozzles 14 in a column can be arranged to produce patterns 30 that extend substantially parallel to each other. Alternately, as shown in FIG. 2A, the burner nozzles 14 can be arranged to produce patterns 30 that fan vertically outward, with each column producing a vertical, flat fan of air/well product mixture, and thus, a flat fan of flame. Arranging the burner nozzles 14 to fan outward enables the nozzles 14 to nest closely together in a space efficient manner, yet produce a widening flame that draws in a large amount of the surrounding air for complete and clean combustion.

[0013] The flat flame produced by the burner nozzles 14 arranged in a column, whether fanned or having parallel flames, has a smaller surface area visible to the platform than a shape that projects more laterally. Therefore, the flat flame radiates less heat toward the boom and other components of the platform. The frame 12 further carries one or more heat shields to reduce transmission of heat from the burning product to components of the burner system 10, as well as to the boom and other components of the platform. For example, the frame 12 can include a primary heat shield 26 that spans substantially the entire front surface of the frame 12. In a configuration where the frame 12 is a cubic rectangular shape, the larger dimension of the rectangle can be aligned with the height of the flat flame. The resulting primary heat shield 26 can then block a larger portion of the radiative heat emitted from the flat flame toward the platform. The frame 12 can also include one or more secondary heat shields to further protect other components of the burner system 10. For example, a secondary heat shield 28 is shown surrounding a control box of the burner system 10. Fewer or more heat shields can be provided.

[0014] The frame 12 carries one or more pilot burners 24 that are coupled to and receive a supply of pilot gas. In certain instances, the pilot burners 24 are mounted together with the burner nozzles 14 to move with the burner nozzles 14. The pilot burners 24 burn the pilot gas to maintain a pilot flame that lights the air/product mixture expelled from burner nozzles 14. In certain instances, the pilot gas is not a gas collected from the well, but rather a separate supply of clean gas. Two pilot burners 24 are shown flanking the columns of burner nozzles 14. Each pilot burner 24 is positioned vertically between the vertically lowest burner nozzle 14 and an adjacent burner nozzle 14. The pilot burners 24 each have a pilot gas inlet 38 (FIG. 2 A) and a pilot flame outlet 40. In the configuration of FIG. 1, the outlets 40 of the pilot burners 24 are oriented to produce a horizontal pilot flame directed inward, transversely across the vertical column of burner nozzles 14, such that the pilot burner 24 on one side produces a flame directed toward the opposite pilot burner 24. In certain instances, the columns of burner nozzles 14 can be slightly vertically offset from one another such that a pilot burner 24 positioned between the vertically lowest and its adjacent burner nozzle 14 of one column will produce a flame that is vertically aligned with the outlet 34 of a burner nozzle 14 in the adjacent column. Therefore, each of the pilot burners 24 produce a flame positioned to light two burner nozzles 14 in the adjacent column, and in certain instances, also light a burner nozzle 14 of the opposite column. The horizontally firing pilot burners 24 facilitates lighting the burner nozzles 14 arranged in columns, because no matter which direction the wind blows the flame from the pilot burner 24, the flame always crosses a burner nozzle 14. For example, in a cross wind, the pilot flame of the upwind pilot burner 24 will remain positioned to light two burner nozzles 14 in the adjacent column, and if so configured, a burner nozzle 14. of the opposite column. A gust with a vertical upward or downward component may redirect the pilot flame, but the flame will continue to cross (and thus light) a burner nozzle 14. Also, because the burner nozzles 14 are arranged to cross-light, only one pilot burner 24 is needed for each column to light the lowest or the lower two most burner nozzles 14. The lowest or second lowest will, in turn, light the adjacent burner nozzle 14, which will light its adjacent burner nozzle, until all burner nozzles 14 in a column are burning.

[0015] In operation, if fewer than all of the burner nozzles 14 are used to burn air/well product mixture, using the lowest burner nozzles 14 enables readily igniting vertically higher burner nozzles 14 if the vertically higher nozzles 14 are later needed to be used. Also, because the burner nozzles 14 are arranged to cross-light, if one is extinguished an adjacent burner nozzle 14 or the pilot burner 24 will automatically relight it. [0016] A number of embodiments have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.