The cost of electricity used by walking beam pumping units is a major expense in producing crude oil. However, only very limited information is available on the efficiency of beam pumping systems and less is known about the efficiency of the various components of the pumping unit.
This paper presents and discusses measurements that have been made on wells at several Shell locations and on a specially designed walking beam pump test stand at Lufkin Industries. These measurements were made in order to determine the overall system efficiency and efficiency of individual components.
The results of this work show that the overall beam pumping system efficiency is normally between 48 and 58 percent. This is primarily dependent on the motor size, motor type, gearbox size, system’s age, production, pump size, tubing size, and rod sizes. Typically the surface unit efficiency (including the motor) is between 60 and 75 percent and the subsurface equipment efficiency is between 70 and 85 percent for well designed systems.