Abstract

By using advanced predictive methods, high strength rods, optimum pumping mode, and unit geometry, the depths from which beam and sucker rod pumping systems effectively lift fluid can be significantly increased. Following is a discussion of some of the factors involved.

Introduction

Reliable estimates have suggested that over 80% of the world's artificially lifted wells are produced by a beam and sucker rod system. Some of the factors contributing to the sustained use of this traditional pumping method are:

  1. its simplicity,

  2. reliability,

  3. efficiency,

  4. flexibility,

  5. economy,

  6. relatively low maintenance, and

  7. high resale value.

Besides these favorable considerations, recent forward strides have also been made in the design and manufacturing technology of the system's component parts.

For years, much of this popularity existed for shallow-to-medium depth applications, but when substantial volumes were to be lifted from deep wells, the historic beam system was often passed over in favor of more sophisticated, less passed over in favor of more sophisticated, less reliable and efficient artificial lift methods.

In the past, inability of sucker rod systems to produce high volumes from deep wells resulted from several factors:

  1. the components of the system were unable to transmit sufficient power to the bottomhole pump over sustained power to the bottomhole pump over sustained periods, without periodic failure;

  2. a lack periods, without periodic failure;

  3. a lack of understanding of the complex behavior of the sucker rod system, and the involved nature of the reservoir, its fluids, and their inflow performance; and

  4. attempting to superimpose performance; and

  5. attempting to superimpose a new beam and rod system design on the constraints of an existing application.

Because of its inherent reliability, economy (in an energy short world), improvements in technology, and better understanding of reservoir and system behavior - the beam and sucker rod system is, today, capable of producing ever greater volumes from deeper producing ever greater volumes from deeper and deeper wells. Properly designed and operated pumping systems are capable of producing the following: producing the following:DEPTH VOLUME(ft.) (B/D)

10,000 1,0009,000 1,0508,000 1,1507,000 1,2506,000 1,5005,000 1,850

Although not all of these maximum fluid volumes have necessarily been realized and documented, in field practice, some have, and current technology makes their attainment both feasible and practical.

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