Redesigned Hydraulic Jet Pumps Deliver
For well more than 100 years, the image of a pumpjack against the backdrop of a desert sunset has typified every oil field in the world. Over the last 10 years or so, however, shale plays have rewritten the playbook not only for completions but for production.
Below those topside images, today’s wells feature 90-degree turns, long laterals and copious amounts of abrasives such as frac fluid and sand. This is hardly conducive to the mechanics of the pumpjack, which feature long rodstrings and mechanical downhole pumps. Irregular holes lead to rod and casing wear. This combines with pump damage from sand to require multiple costly workovers, lost production and loss of profits.
A successful lift method for shale plays must eliminate as many moving parts as possible, both in the tubing and in the pump itself, while being reliable and cost-efficient, especially with today’s wild price dives.
One option gaining traction is the jet pump—with an important caveat. Today’s redesigned jet pumps, with more reliable surface power sources, are vastly more efficient and economical than those that met limited success in the 1980s and 1990s.