Development of the Permian Basin beam pump failure database

Date

1999-12

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Abstract

Artificial Lift Energy Optimization Consortium (ALEOC) was formed by eleven oil companies operating in the Permian Basin with the primary goal of improving oil field operations through sharing experiences. Since the great majority of wells in the Permian Basin require some type of artificial lift method, the consortium focused mainly on artificial lift. Beam pumping system received special attention because of its overwhelming amount of usage and economic significance. The combined effort to optimize beam pumping systems called for the creation of a central database, which would hold beam pump related data from diverse sources and would offer ways to analyze the data to obtain valuable insight about the nature, magnitude and trend of beam pump failure. The database mentioned above has been created as part of this work. The database combines beam pump failure data from about 25,000 wells owned by different companies into a single, uniform and consistent format. Moreover, two front-end computer applications have been developed to interact with the database. These applications offer facilities for easy access to the database, to run queries, and to make plots form the query results, thus saving valuable engineering time that would have been necessary to master a relational database management system (RDBMS) software. One application is designed for desktop, while the other one is designed for the Internet. Both applications calculate failure frequencies of pump, rod, and tubing and summarize the results in various ways. They also store the plots and queries in spreadsheets for further analysis. Failure frequency Is used as the basis of performance comparison among the different companies and areas. Much useful information can be gathered from failure frequency comparison, such as the most vulnerable component in the system, the best and the worst performers, and the most troublesome operating area. Such information can be used for benchmarking performance, identifying best design/operational practices, and for estimating economic impact of failure rate increase or decrease. Thus a cross-company database has proven useful and constructive for identifying areas with room for improvement. Results from data analysis show that the pump has the highest probability of failure in a beam pumping system, followed by rod string and tubing string. The overall failure trend in the Permian Basin is downward, meaning a general improvement of performance of all companies.

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Keywords

Permian Basin (Tex. and N.M.), Oil wells -- Artificial lift -- Texas -- Permian Basin (Tex. and N.M.), Oil wells -- Artificial lift -- New Mexico -- Permian Basin (Tex. and N.M.), Oil well pumps -- Maintenance and repair -- Database, Oil well pumps -- Reliability -- Database

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