Mecusker, M.R., Member AIME, Kobe, Inc., Huntington Park, Calif.

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The combination of the basic hydraulic pump and innovations in the arrangement of the various components has produced a variety of pumping systems particularly adaptable as answers to today's lifting problems.

This paper presents a look at some of the pumping problems that have been commercially solved using properly applied hydraulic systems. Interesting among these are:

  1. Large volumes from small tubing strings.

  2. Multiple completions.

  3. Pumping from island drill sites.

  4. Special tubing arrangements.

  5. Producing viscous fluids.

  6. Bottom-hole pressure studies.


Hydraulic pumping, while relatively new, has been widely accepted and generally applied in pumping wells. The concept of supplying fluid, under pressure, thru fixed tubing strings to an engine and directly connected pump at the bottom of the hole allows considerable versatility in system design. Most production people are at least acquainted with the basic hydraulic pumping system. A power unit, usually located near the stock tanks, supplies crude oil., after it has been gravity separated, thru surface lines to the wellhead and down the hole to a production unit at the bottom [Fig. 1]. Two typical systems are employed; the "fixed" installation, where the pump is run on a macaroni string in the well tubing or casing, and the "free" system, where the pump is circulated to bottom in a parallel or concentric U-tube arrangement [Fig. 2].

With these basic systems we have the potential of meeting the needs of a wide variety of pumping requirements.


When producing wells are "put on the pump", many conditions affect the choice of equipment used. One particular requirement to be met is that the system must fit in the space provided. For obvious economic and practical reasons, well completions are usually made using relatively small casing and tubing strings. Most wells are equipped with casing ranging from 5 to 7 in. and have 2–3/8- or 2–7/8-in. tubing installed. As a result 2 and 2 1/2-in. pumping equipment has become the work horse of the "oil patch". Of course large equipment is available., but is used in relatively few applications.

Over the years these units have been adequate for most pumping needs. However, today there is an increasing demand to move larger volumes of fluid. Depletion requirements involving the production of large amounts of water from both natural and artificial drives have created the need for equipment capable of larger displacement. It is obviously desirable to obtain this increased volume without going to larger tubing strings.

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