Texas Patent of the Month – January 2024

Floway Innovations Inc., a pioneer in downhole fluid flow control, has been granted a patent for their autonomous flow control device which promises to revolutionize the oil and gas industry. This innovative invention addresses the dynamic nature of fluid compositions in hydrocarbon-bearing subterranean wells, offering a sophisticated solution for controlling production rates without the need for frequent interventions.

The heart of this invention lies in its intricate valve assembly, featuring at least one fluid inlet and outlet, and a valve element designed with both viscosity and inertia-dominant flow paths. The device intelligently adapts to changes in fluid viscosity, providing a dual resistance mechanism that responds autonomously to varying proportions of oil, water, and natural gas.

When the fluid has a high oil content, the device follows the viscosity-dominant path, offering minimal resistance and allowing for optimal oil production. Conversely, in the presence of water or natural gas dominance, the inertia-dominant path kicks in, imposing a higher resistance and effectively limiting the unwanted fluid’s production.

Floway’s invention is not limited to single-phase fluids; it intelligently interprets the viscosity of multiphase fluids, providing an effective solution for a wide range of production scenarios. The device operates seamlessly in different environments, making it suitable for various well conditions.

The predetermined viscosity levels, ranging from 1 to 10 centipoises for the viscosity-dominant path and 0.1 to 1 centipoises for the inertia-dominant path, ensure precise regulation. The device’s multistage valve element, featuring options like self-impinging, sinuous, waveform, and parallel paths, adds versatility to its functionality.

This autonomous flow control device finds its application in Floway’s flow control screens, creating a comprehensive solution for regulating production rates in hydrocarbon wells. The completion string, equipped with multiple screens and autonomous flow control devices, further extends the adaptability and effectiveness of Floway’s invention.

As the oil and gas industry evolves, Floway’s autonomous flow control device stands as a testament to innovation, providing a reliable, intervention-free solution for optimizing well productivity in the face of changing fluid compositions. This invention marks a significant stride toward sustainable and efficient hydrocarbon production.

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