:: Beam Lift Handbook review by Dr. Sam Gibbs

Book Review: The Beam Lift Handbook

By S. G. Gibbs, PhD

Simply stated, this text contains between two covers more information about beam pumping than any other publication known to this reviewer. The authors are distinguished faculty members of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and are known to be innovators of technology, as well as practitioners and teachers of the material they write about.

To paraphrase the book, the stated goal of beam lift is to produce all of the oil and gas that a reservoir can flow into the well on a continuous basis without abusing the lift equipment or damaging the reservoir. All segments of the book pursue the stated goal in logical fashion. The text contains chapters devoted to prime movers, pumping units, rods, downhole pumps, and well (reservoir) behavior. Chapter 2 presents diagnostic methods for troubleshooting problems, avoiding overloads, and maintaining production. The multiphase flow material in Chapter 4 will be increasingly helpful in maximizing production from horizontal completions. Chapter 11 describes dynamometer and fluid level instruments for facilitating the monitoring and analysis functions of Chapter 2. The design methods described in Chapter 12 will help to obtain the stated goal in new wells and wells responding to secondary and tertiary recovery efforts. Computerized wave equation methods are highlighted, but manual methods of the past are also included to provide a sense of history.

The book also contains nitty-gritty details. A novice won’t have to find out the hard way that slim-hole couplings are required on 7/8-inch rods inside 2 3/8-inch tubing. In addition, the jargon of rod pumping is extensive, and students and new employees need to learn the language of rod pumping. The glossary will help to fill this need.

The book is published by the Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX™), a Division of Continuing and Innovative Education at The University of Texas at Austin. It incorporates the authors’ vision to have both a Handbook (the bound volume) and a Tool Box of electronic information to implement the methods described in the Handbook. For continuing study and problem solving, tools from the Tool Box are available for download, and with continuing help from industry, the Tool Box will evolve with time. An e-book version of The Beam Lift Handbook is also available for those who prefer it.

A brief glance at the table and figure credits identifies many individuals and firms who have made investments in this monumental work. They are to be commended for freely sharing their proprietary information.