Sucker Rod Pumping Speed Calculation

Sucker-rod pumping units can be operated over a range of pumping speeds. It is expressed in Strokes per Minute (SPM). Obviously, this assumed that the up and down stroke of a unit forms one complete stroke cycle.
Sucker rod pumping speed can be calculated manually using a stopwatch or automatically by the mean of a pump-off controller (POC). This article will detail the manually pumping speed calculation procedure.

Manually Pumping Speed Calculation Procedure:

  • Start the stopwatch at the bottom of the stroke and measure the time it takes for the unit to complete 10 strokes.
  • Stop the stopwatch at the end of the 10 strokes when the PU is back at the bottom of the stroke. Make a note of the number of seconds it took.
  • Convert the number of seconds into minutes (divide by 60).
  • Divide 10 (the number of strokes) by the time in minutes to obtain the pumping speed expressed in strokes per minute (SPM).

Exercise: Calculate the pumping speed of this PU.


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Rod Rotator extends the life of rod-pumped wells






The constant up-and-down movement of a sucker rod creates excessive friction between rods and tubing which can result in premature rod and tubing failures due to excessive wear. If left unchecked, this generally requires a costly intervention to make repairs.

To extend the sucker rod run life, one of the widely used techniques is the use of rod rotators. A rod rotator is a mechanical device installed on the polished rod between the carrier and the polished rod clamp. It incrementally rotates the rod with each stroke. A rotating mechanism with an actuator lever arm is connected to the walking beam with a metal string. As the surface unit moves up and down, it pulls and releases this metal string so that, moves the actuator lever arm up and down. The rotation mechanism is activated and this slowly rotates the polished rod and the rod string below.

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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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