Why Do We Counterbalance Sucker Rod Pumping Units?

A good understanding of counterbalance is vital to the successful operation of surface sucker rod pumping units.  Poor counterbalance practices can cause early failure of the gear reducer gearing and will result in excessive energy cost.

Non-counterbalanced lever system:

The up-stroke:

The figure above represents a simple non-counterbalanced lever system. On the up-stroke, by pulling down on the end of a beam, a man is lifting a bucket full of water having a combined weight of 150 lbs.

Note that the upstroke effort of the man is a substantial 150 lbs.

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Beam Pumping Unit Principles and Components

Beam pumping Unit Principles:

A beam pumping unit is a machine for translating rotary motion from a crankshaft to linear reciprocating motion for the purpose of transferring mechanical power to a down-hole pump.

The purpose, simply stated, of the basic system is to transmit energy from the surface to the downhole pump.  The resulting configuration has been referred to as a Sucker Rod Pumping System.

Beam pumping Unit Components:

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Why Rod Lift?

Rod Pumping System is a system of artificial lift using a surface pumping unit to impart reciprocating motion to a string of rods. Rod string then extends to a positive displacement pump placed in well near producing formation. In other words, the primary function of a rod pumping system is to convert the energy supplied at the prime mover into the reciprocating motion of the pumping unit required to transmit energy through the rod pumping to the downhole pump in order to artificially lift the reservoir.

Rod Pumping System:

The rod pumping system is made up of three components:

  • The surface pumping unit: which provides the means of turning the rotating power and motion of the motor into the reciprocating motion at the correct speed needed at the pump.
  • The rod string: that connects the surface unit to the pump and provides the force at the pump to lift the fluid to the surface.
  • The pump: which pumps the fluid to the surface.

The integrity of this pumping system is only as good as each of the links or components.

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