North Dakota Patent of the Month – April 2022

Oil wells use many different methods to increase pressure and ease production. One such method uses sucker rods to create an artificial lift system. These devices are connected to the bottom hole pump at the bottom of the well production tubing. The system works well in practice but falls short when the well requires maintenance. Anytime the fluid or gas needs to be flushed down the tubing, the pump must be unseated and the rod needs to be removed and reinstalled. In other maintenance or repair processes, these sucker rods must be removed and reinstalled. This creates some extensive down time which really harms the productivity of the oil well. 

NewKota Services and Rentals, LLC has designed a rod jack which allows these maintenance and repairs to be performed while the sucker rod stays in place. The rod jack can be installed on site by temporarily hitching it to a crane which will lower it into place. Positioned over a wellhead, the rod jack is secure to the framework and connected to the sucker rod. Hydraulic cylinders are then used to maneuver the bottom hole pump systems, unseating and reseating it as needed, all while the sucker rod remains suspended.

With this design, any artificial lift well can be safely prepared for suspension without needing to remove the sucker rod. The entire system can be operated with just a two-person crew, leading to maintenance performed in a fraction of the time needed for a typical method. With fewer operators on site, productivity is improved and safety is increased. Ultimately, their design allows for easy transport, installation, and rig out while the increased efficiency is achieved by not needing to manipulate surface pumps or adjust wellheads.

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