Surface Machinery and Methods for Oil-Well Pumping Page: 4
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4 SURFACE MACHINERY AND METHODS FOR OIL-WELL PUMPING.
In oil fields producing both from shallow and deep sands many
of the shallow wells are pumped from power or jack plants and
the deep wells are pumped individually, as in the Eldorado field,
Kansas, and Big Muddy field, Wyoming.
If the fluid level in a well is high and the daily production avail-
able is greater than can be handled by ordinary pumping methods,
conditions may warrant blowing the well with air lift to obtain the
maximum production. However, this is costly and requires the in-
stallation of an air compressor.
Heavy surface equipment is usually required if the oil has high
viscosity or high specific gravity, if it comes from deep sands with
a low fluid level, or if the amount of emulsion or the amount of water
or sand in suspension is great.
Development and operation in most of the older oil fields tended
to standardize pumping methods and to diversify pumping equip-
ment. The present tendency is toward standardization of equipment
used for similar purposes, and diversity of pumping methods to meet
the conditions existing at individual wells. This difference is well
illustrated at the Salt Creek oil field, Wyoming, where most of the
wells have been flowing up to the present time. Now the operators
are giving serious consideration to the methods of pumping that will
be used and the types of power plant to be installed for power needs
when the production can no longer be obtained by flowing. In that
field different wells produce from different sands.
CONDITIONS IN THE GIVEN AREA AS A FACTOR.
If much natural gas occurs with the oil, enough fuel will be avail-
able on the operating property to supply a power plant. If, how-
ever, the natural-gas supply has become so depleted that it does not
meet the needs, then the use of crude oil or fuel oil is considered.
In oil fields of low economic limit, such as those of Pennsylvania
which have available coal or wood supply, after the natural-gas sup-
ply has become exhausted wood or coal is often cheaper than the
high-grade crude oil produced.
With poor living conditions,' especially when climatic conditions
are not of the best, it is difficult to obtain and retain high-class labor
and to introduce and run modern machinery. Poor living conditions
usually accompany poor methods of operation. However, under the
most adverse conditions many oil companies provide good quarters
for their men, and modern equipment.
Plate I, A, illustrates an oil-field camp, which though in an arid
region has good living conditions. Plate I, B, shows an oil-field ma-
1 Bowie, C. P., Oil-camp sanitation: Tech. Paper 261, Bureau of Mlines 1921 32 pp.
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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/m1/12/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.