The complete design of a sucker rod pumping system is an involved trial and error process. An "optimum" design requires that the engineer specify pump size and type; rod string size, taper, and material; surface unit type and size, gear box rating, beam rating, and stroke length; and prime mover type and size. The procedure requires that the engineer first assume an appropriate combination of pump, rod, unit, and prime mover and then perform calculations which lead to refining that initial assumption. This paper is intended to be a review of the several techniques commonly used to solve the problem. The author has taken the liberty to introduce several improvements to these techniques that have become apparent over the past several years.

As a minimum, the following information is required to start the design procedure:1 

  1. Fluid level

  2. Pump depth

  3. Pumping speed

  4. Length of stroke

  5. Pump plunger diameter

  6. Fluid specific gravity

  7. Tubing size and whether anchored or not

  8. Sucker rod size and design

  9. Unit geometry

The next step of the design procedure requires, as a minimum, the determination of the following operating characteristics of the design selection:

  1. Plunger stroke

  2. Pump displacement

  3. Peak polished rod load

  4. Minimum polish rod load

  5. Peak Torque

  6. Polished rod horsepower

  7. Counterbalance effect

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