Reliability Improvement in Beam Pumps by Use of a Unique Methodology

Topics: Artificial lift
Fig. 1—Santos’ Cooper basin beam-pump parted-rod-failure frequency (2008 to 2013). Wells with automation installed have a lower failure frequency than wells with no automation.

This paper focuses on analysis of beam-pump-failure root causes and trends and how the operator has used these data combined with automated equipment to reduce failure frequency and operating cost. The paper also presents data and findings to support the benefits of a beam-pump-automation and -control program.


The operating company has operated a fleet of beam pumps in the Cooper basin in central Australia since 1985. The basin extends over 30 000 km2 in a remote, harsh, arid desert. Ambient air temperature can range from 0°C to greater than 50°C, and there is potential for flood events in the wet season. The remote location and variety of weather conditions present numerous operational challenges and technical constraints. Historically, the beam pumps have run in a traditional manual mode whereby production operators measure, record, and analyze operating parameters and monitor surface-equipment condition. The operator implemented an automation program in 2006 to help improve run life; increase production; and decrease environmental, health, and safety risk.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 171372, “Reliability Improvement in Beam Pumps by Use of a Unique Methodology Combining Real-Time Automation and Failure Analysis,” by Blair Gardner, SPE, Santos, prepared for the 2014 SPE Artificial Lift Conference and Exhibition—North America, Houston, 6–8 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Reliability Improvement in Beam Pumps by Use of a Unique Methodology

01 July 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 7


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