Surface Machinery and Methods for Oil-Well Pumping Page: 97
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lifts were submerged 250 to 400 feet or about 33 per cent, and the
average air pressure used was about 180 pounds to the square inch.
Most of the installations were intended to exhaust the water entering
the wells. However, air lifts seemed to increase the water, and the
system was finally replaced by pumping on the beam at those wells
that produced large amounts of water with the oil.
More recently in the Blackwell district of the Dilworth oil field,
Oklahoma, attempts have been made to produce large amounts of
fluid by air lift, but results have been far from economical. The
Duluth Oil Co. pumped its wells in this field by air lift until July,
1921, using five large compressors, but the expense was too heavy and
the plant finally shut down. In the fall of 1921 the Kay-Kiowa Oil
Co. in the same field was using the air-lift system at two wells that
together produced about 150 barrels of oil and 3,500 barrels of water
In the Goose Creek oil field, Texas, some of the wells out in the
bay are pumped by air lifts using air pressures of 300 to 550 pounds.
The wells producing 800 to 900 barrels a day are readily pumped on
the beam, but those producing 1,500 to 2,000 barrels are best pumped
by the air lift. The wells using air lifts are about 3,900 feet deep,
and the fluid level is about 2,000 feet from the surface.
The air-lift system is expensive, as shown by the power costs of
the company operating the wells in the Goose Creek field. Power
consumption averages 201,204 kilowatts a month for three wells as
compared with 185,106 kilowatts a month for 56 wells pumping on
the beam in the same oil field. In other words, pumping the three
wells by air lift costs more than pumping 56 wells on the beam.
Leather, fabric, and rope belts are each used for some purpose in
Leather belts are made in one thickness of leather or in two or more
thicknesses, cemented together. Those of one thickness are most com-
mon. However, double-ply leather belts eliminate open laps and the
unequal stretch that often develops in single-ply belts and are better
suited to heavy service. For transmitting power in other industries,
leather belts have been used more than other kinds and have been
the standard against which all comparisons of value and efficiency
have been made. They are not well suited, however, to conditions
where they are exposed to the action of water, steam, oil, or heat,
hence they are not generally used in the oil fields. They are most
commonly seen at central power plants, where they drive generators,
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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/m1/126/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.