Pump jack is a reciprocating piston pump in an oil well. It is known by various names such as nodding donkey, horsehead pump, rocking horse, beam pump, and oil jack in the oil industry. Subsurface fluids (i.e. oil and water) cannot reach to the surface if there is insufficient bottom-hole pressure in an oil well. Pump jack is used for mechanically lifting the oil from an oil well in such a scenario. Pump jack converts the rotary motion of the motor into the vertical reciprocating motion, which drives the pump shaft. Modern day pump jacks are powered by an IC engine known as prime mover. Some pump jacks are powered by electric motors. Pump jacks installed at remote location are also powered by natural gas.
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Pump jack comprises a long, heavy beam that is moved by prime mover. The prime mover runs the set of pullies, which then drive a pair of crank shaft. This causes the up and down movement of the pump head. This pump head is connected to a sucker rod pump, which is installed at the bottom of the well. The reciprocating motion creates artificial lift, which increases the pressure within an oil well. This causes the oil to reach the surface. Pump jacks are used in vertical and horizontal oil wells.
Pump jack are low-cost, low-maintenance pumps vis-à-vis ESP and PCP systems. They are used more in low oil producing field, as they ensure that running cost does not outweigh the oil production cost. The output capacity of a pump jack varies due to various factors; however, the typical range is between 5 liters of liquid per stroke to 40 liters of liquid per stroke. The capacity of a pump jack is also dependent upon the well depth and reservoir fluid characteristics.
Increase in global demand for crude oil is the major factor driving the pump jack market. Renewable energy sources are used in a wide range of applications; however, conventional fossil fuels are still preferred over renewable energy sources. Rise in number of brown or mature oilfields around the world is another factor driving the pump jack market. Most of the existing oilfields are in the mature stage of oil production. It is difficult for primary and secondary oil recovery techniques to extract oil from such mature fields. Pump jack is an easy and low-cost option for such fields. Currently, around two-third of the oil wells in the world employ pump jack systems. However, the pump jack market has certain limitations. Pump jacks are not applicable for deep to ultra-deep wells. Furthermore, they are not generally considered applicable for offshore applications. These limitations are expected to hamper the pump jack market.
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The global pump jack market is anticipated to expand during the forecast period. Low oil prices in the recent past have adversely affected the revenue of operator companies, thus compelling them to withdraw every barrel of oil through the mature oil fields. North America and Middle East & Africa are likely to dominate the pump jack market in the near future. Middle East & Africa has many mature oilfields. Economies in the region are dependent on oil production. North America region is rising as key exporter of crude oil due to the recent developments of shale oil in the region.
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