The rapid increase of water troubles in the Mid-Continent oil fields iscausing much alarm. Troubles occur at Towanda, Eldorado, Augusta, Cushing, Blackwell, and Healdton, although they had not been acute in the Mid-Continentfield until about two years ago, when the unusual conditions in the deeper oilfields were first encountered. California faced the same situation, but, thanksto aggressive measures, has largely overcome the dangers.

The following analysis of water trouble may throw some light on the subject andbe of assistance in solving the problems involved.

Water Troubles Classified

The presence of water in large quantities in oil sands has the following results:

  1. Diminishes oil production.

  2. Diminishes casing-head gasoline production:

    • By curtailing the gas flow.

    • By making the use of vacuum pumps unsuccessful.

  3. Increases lifting costs:

    • By making it necessary to pump large quantities of water, which requires afast motion and long stroke (third hole).

    • By requiring the use of compressors for air lift.

    • By causing break-downs and delays due to the high speed necessary to pumpwater.

    • By making it necessary to treat ?cut? or emulsified oil.

Oil production is seriously curtailed by the presence of large quantities ofwater. Lease records show that wells are shut down 40 to 60 per cent of thepumping time where serious water trouble occurs. While a small quantity of saltwater may cut the paraffin and keep the oil moving, several hundred feet, or ahole full of water, effectually ?kills? the oil and gas. The quick return ofwells to production, once the water is shut off, shows how wells have beenaffected.

AIME 061–51

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