Surface Machinery and Methods for Oil-Well Pumping Page: 90
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90 SURFACE MACHINERY AND METHODS FOR OIL-WELL PUMPING.
ADAPTABILITY OF THE POWER SYSTEM OF PUMPING.
In the oil fields of the eastern United States most of the wells are
pumped by group drive, which is generally of the " power " type.
In most of the Mid-Continent, Wyoming, and California oil fields
the shallower and older wells are pumped in this way. In general
this system is suited for wells: 1, That are shallow; 2, that produce
oils of lighter gravity; 3, that are free from loose sand and need
few pulling and cleaning jobs; 4, that produce little water; 5, that
have little gas pressure; 6, that are in groups; 7, that have a settled
production; 8, that produce not more than 5 barrels of oil an hour;
9, that pump only a few hours a day or week; and 10, that have a low
economic limit. As a result of the work done in the last 5 or 6 years,
however, this system of pumping is being used for a greater range
of service, as methods of operation are improved and heavier and
better equipment is available. Some oil fields have both shallow and
deep producing oil sands within the same area, with different wells
drilled to handle the production from each sand. To see the deep
wells, equipped with derricks, pumped on the beam, and shallow
wells, without derricks, pumped by a central power is common.
This is the practice at Eldorado, Kans., and at Big Muddy, Wyo.
Plate XXVI, C (p. 110), shows an example in the latter field.
Some of the heaviest and best made central-power pumping equip-
ment in the United States is in California, where, in a rough and
rugged country, heavy gravity oil is pumped from a depth of 2,000
feet, as at Coalinga, or from shallower depths from wells producing
some sand and water, as at Kern River. In some of the Gulf Coast
oil fields of Texas wells as deep as 3,500 feet, producing 260 B. oil,
are successfully pumped by this method.
Some of this heavy central-power pumping equipment, including
all changes and additions necessary for installing this system to
replace beam pumping, such as power, power building, shackle lines,
shackle-line supports, jacks, foundations, and labor, several years
ago under the high prices then prevalent and under difficult con-
ditions of installation, cost as much as $2,000 per well served. At
present, installations of this type ordinarily cost $700 to $1,000 per
well served, the cost depending on the conditions of topography
and location. For shallow wells and easy service, costs are much
less, especially in some of the Mid-Continent and most of the eastern
oil fields where topographic conditions are favorable or where
second-hand material is available.
LOCATION OF POWER OR JACK PLANT.
The geographical center of a group of wells is usually the logical
place for the power, so that the load can be balanced by a straight
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George, H. C. Surface Machinery and Methods for Oil-Well Pumping, report, 1925; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12407/m1/119/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.