Stripper Wells, the Ecosense Oil of Today!
While the success and growing popularity of “fracking” seems to be grabbing all the headlines in the petroleum industry today, an often overlooked segment of the oil business, stripper well oil production, is flourishing with new technological advancements.
Why Stripper Wells?
Across the United States today, nearly 80% of all existing oil wells fall into the stripper well category. The common definition of a stripper well is one that has a production of 10 barrels of oil a day or less. While that may not seem like a lot of oil, when you consider the fact that there are nearly 400,000 of these oil wells and they currently produce over 260 million barrels of oil a year, then you begin to understand the impact these low producing wells can have on oil production today.
While the price of oil today has sparked a boom in fracking it has also increased the economic viability of reviving oil wells of yesterday. In fact for smaller independent producers, not having to go the major expense of drilling new holes, but increasing oil recovery from existing wells can be a much less risky and more profitable solution. Drilling fewer holes also means a smaller impact on the environment with less hassle and money spent trying to keep up with EPA demands.
So What’s New with Stripper Well Oil Production?
The Department of Energy has recognized the value in increasing production of stripper wells and is currently working with organizations like the Stripper Well Consortium a research group who is working in conjunction with Penn State University. This group is working with independent oil producers and operators to develop new technologies to reduce the cost of oil recovery from stripper wells. Beyond this group, many oil producing states have their own groups who work closely with entrepreneurs to develop new solutions to old problems.
Some of these creations are newer, lighter, more efficient pumps to go down well, new chemicals to increase production and unconventional equipment to replace the nearly 100 year old technology of the pump jack.
One of the more unique inventions that has been field tested for the past 10 years and is now being quickly ramped up for mass oil field implementation is the Oil Hound Lift Unit by Liftek, Inc. This is an oil lifting system that can eliminate the need for costly work overs necessitated by paraffin and sand. Its ability to be mobile, go from arrival to production in an hour and reduce the amount of salt water produced from a well bore make it a very cost effective alternative for stripper well producers.
Inventions like this have made it possible for many operators and producers to re-open temporarily abandoned oil wells and begin profitable production from existing wells that were deemed unsuitable for production just a few short years ago. New technologies like this on the oil side and others like Ferguson/Beauregard’s plunger system for removing liquid from gas wells on the gas side are spurring on a revitalization of existing oil and gas fields that is good for the country and good for the environment.