How Do Pump Jacks Work?

December 14, 2021

If you’ve been around an oil field or a water well, you’ve been around pump jacks. Both above-ground pump jacks and water well pump jacks operate similarly in Carlsbad, NM. They mechanically lift liquid out of the ground so that it can be used for other purposes.

While JB Electric LLC specializes in oil field pump jack installation, we’re happy to install water well pump jacks, too. Read on to learn more about how they work; then call us for your next installation project.

What are pump jacks, and how do they work?

Pump jacks power about 96 percent of oil wells on the planet. You’ve probably seen them when you pass an oil field: They’re the hammer-like mechanical devices that nod up and down to pump oil out of the wells.

Pump jacks are outfitted with a gas or electrical engine and a counterweight. An arm (attached to a pivoting beam, a rod and the counterweight) moves the arm up and down. When the rod descends, a hollow chamber with a simple valve opens up. When the rod lifts, the valve closes and lifts the oil (or water) up the ground’s surface. The water or oil is pumped into a holding tank for use or to take to an oil refinery.

Typically, a pump jack can complete about 20 strokes per minute, and the fastest, largest versions can bring up more than five barrels per minute. The deeper the well, the more powerful the pump jack needs to be, as the oil’s viscosity is much lower the deeper it is underground. It takes significant force to lift the oil out of the ground.

You may have seen water well pump jacks in Carlsbad, NM too. If you’ve ever encountered a hand-pumped water well, they rely on the same type of mechanical technology that electrical or gas-powered pump jacks use. While they might not have the same kind of pumping capacity that above-ground pump jacks have, they’re quite effective for small-scale operations.

Why oil fields use pump jacks

Pump jacks are the most efficient way to draw oil (whatever its viscosity) out of the ground. Pressure and suction work together to siphon out the crude oil, even when it’s thick and unwieldy. The pump jacks can be adjusted for different well sizes and depths in order to reach every last drop of oil underground. This makes the machinery quite versatile. They’re also simple to install and set up, and replacement parts are easy to acquire. All of these features make pump jacks a necessary part of oil field production.

Above-ground pump jacks in Carlsbad, NM

JB Electric LLC specializes in above-ground pump jack installation for clients in the greater Carlsbad, NM area. When your pump jacks operate on electricity, you need a skilled team to take over the technical issues. Let the team at JB Electric LLC help. Get in touch with us today to discuss our pump jack installation services, as well as our other commercial and residential electrical offerings.

Categorised in:

JB Electric LLC