Surface Machinery and Methods for Oil-Well Pumping Page: 91
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pull from the disk or eccentric on the power to each of the wells
to be pumped, without butterflies and counterbalances. It often
happens, however, that difficult topography, poor grouping of the
wells to be pumped, or the probability that wells to be drilled later
will have to be pumped by the power prevent the location of the
power at this central location.
Some companies determine the power location by graphs. Each
well is given a load factor based on the depth of the well, the size
of the tubing, the gravity of the oil, and the length of stroke to be
used, and the power is located with reference to these load factors.
If the choice is between high ground or low ground and other
conditions are equal, high ground is generally the better site. Some
oil-field operators claim that if the wells are on lower ground than
the power the shackle lines will be taut at the beginning of the up
stroke and thus give the full length of stroke to the well. On the
other hand, if the power is on lower ground than the wells, the
shackle lines sag back toward the power and part of the stroke at
the well is often lost, especially if the wells are shallow.
A survey and map to scale, giving the location of all wells and
showing the topography by means of 10-foot contours, will greatly
aid in determining the most suitable location. Such a map is of
especial value in hilly and wooded areas and will greatly facilitate
the erection of shackle lines.
Plate XXV shows a plan of a number of pumping powers at
Kern River, Calif., where topography has greatly influenced location.
BALANCED LOADS FOR THE POWER.
A balanced load is important because it saves power and prolongs
the life of belts and machinery. If the power is centrally placed,
a direct connection to the nearest point of the disk in a one-disk
power may require little adjustment to give a balanced load. The
use of one counterbalance may give the quickest and easiest adjust-
ment. With a two or three disk power, the load should be balanced
on each disk as nearly as possible before a general trial.
Some properties have wells that produce much water and are
pumped with a long stroke all of the time; other properties have
wells that are pumped only a few hours daily; still others have
some wells that pump one hour, some that pump two hours, and some
that pump three hours, all to be pumped by one power. Wells of like
characteristics, such as pumping time,length of stroke, and size
of tubing, should be balanced for best results. Some oil companies
pump wells of like characteristics at the same time, then take those
wells off the power and put on other wells of like characteristics.
This practice is common in some of the eastern oil fields, where many
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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/m1/120/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.