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Ameritube provides products that are used in oil and gas refineries, in sucker rod pumps and pump barrels, and in natural gas processing equipment. Given the ubiquity of heat transfer products in the oil industry, both heat exchangers and pressure vessels, Ameritube’s tubing can be found in equipment throughout the oil and gas industry. Maintaining a full product line, Ameritube sources and manufacturers copper, nickel, and steel alloys. Whether through long term relationships with other mills foreign and domestic, or through our own manufacturing at our 80,000 square foot facility in Hillsboro, TX, Ameritube, is able to meet your tube and pipe needs for equipment installation, retubing, or manufacturing.
Artificial lift refers to the use of artificial means to increase the flow of liquids, such as crude oil or water, from a production well. Generally this is achieved by the use of a mechanical device inside the well (known as pump or velocity string) or by decreasing the weight of the hydrostatic column by injecting gas into the liquid some distance down the well. Artificial lift is needed in wells when there is insufficient pressure in the reservoir to lift the produced fluids to the surface, but often used in naturally flowing wells (which do not technically need it) to increase the flow rate above what would flow naturally. The produced fluid can be oil, water or a mix of oil and water, typically mixed with some amount of gas.
Components Of Artificial Lift Systems
Rod pumps are long slender cylinders with both fixed and moveable elements inside. The pump is designed to be inserted inside the tubing of a well and its main purpose is to gather fluids from beneath it and lift them to the surface. The most important components are: the barrel, valves (traveling and fixed) and the piston. It also has another 18 to 30 components which are called “fittings”.
Every part of the pump is important for its correct operation. The most commonly used parts are described below:
Barrel: The barrel is a long cylinder, which can be from 10 to 36 feet (11 m) long, with a diameter of 1.25 inches (32 mm) to 3.75 inches (95 mm). After experience with several materials for its construction, the American Petroleum Institute (API) standardized the use of two materials or compositions for this part: carbon steel and brass, both with an inside coating of chrome. The advantage of brass against the harder carbon steel is its 100% resistance to corrosion.
Piston/Plunger: This is a nickel-metal sprayed steel cylinder that goes inside the barrel. Its main purpose is to create a sucking effect that lifts the fluids beneath it and then, with the help of the valves, take the fluids above it, progressively, out of the well. It achieves this with a reciprocating up and down movement.
Valves: The valves have two components – the seat and the ball – which create a complete seal when closed. The most commonly used seats are made of carbon nitride and the ball is often made of silicon nitride. In the past, balls of iron, ceramic and titanium were used. Titanium balls are still being used but only where crude oil is extremely dense and/or the quantity of fluid to be lifted is large. The most common configuration of a rod pump requires two valves, called the traveling valve and the fixed (or static or standing) valve.
Piston rod: This is a rod that connects the piston with the outside of the pump. Its main purpose is to transfer the up/down reciprocating energy produced by the “Nodding Donkey” (pumping unit) installed above ground.
Fittings: The rest of the parts of the pump are called fittings and are, basically, small pieces designed to keep everything held together in the right place. Most of these parts are designed to let the fluids pass uninterrupted.
Filter/Strainer: The job of the filter, as implied, is to stop large fragments of rock, rubber or any other garbage that might be loose in the well from being sucked into the pump. There are several types of filters, with the most common being an iron cylinder with enough holes in it to permit the entrance of the amount of fluid the pump needs.