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Described here are 20 recent developments from 10 companies in four categories of artificial lift technology: sucker rod pumping (seven items); progressing-cavity pumping (PCP) (five); plunger lift (five) and gas lift (3) Part 2, coming in May, will present electrical submersible pumping (ESP), and other, miscellaneous artificial lift innovations.
Sucker rod pumping, now evolved from classic beam pumps to include tower type units, is the most widely used artificial lift, using the vertical rod motions, now also with cable, to operate a downhole reciprocating pump. PCP systems are based on a surface drive rotating a rod string, which drives a downhole pump rotor operating within an elastomeric stator. In plunger lift, a freely moving plunger falls through fluids in the tubing and is lifted back to surface with its slug of mostly liquids by higher-pressure, formation gas (or injected gas) from the tubing-casing annulus.
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