Sucker rods ensure that well production continues long after completions. However, the grade of steel that is used to manufacture a sucker rod is highly prone to corrosion. In fact, about one-half of reported failures were determined to be due to corrosion. Whether pumpers use these rods onshore or offshore, as a core component in the rig, protecting them during transport, storage, and installation are a vital part of keeping every well operational. Below, MSI Pipe Protection Technologies discusses the importance of this vital oil country tubular good.
Functional Application of Sucker Rods in the Oilfield Industry
Sucker rods usually come in lengths of between 25 and 30 feet. The rods connect to make a rod string by threading them together at the ends. Based on the specific well requirements, manufacturers produce different grades of tensile strengths for the rods. The most common types are grade C and D, while grade K provides the most corrosion protection. The American Petroleum Institute (API) standards determine the graded strengths of the rods.
The rods connect the mechanical lift to the downhole of the well, where a plunger extracts fluid via the rods to the surface using the oscillating motion of a prime mover. With the help of a walking beam, pitman arm, Samson post, and saddle bearing, the operator ensures vertical lift of the rod string at all times.
Vital in Oil Production
Wells may flow naturally for a while after completion, but as production continues, the flow will decrease over time. To keep wells operational, a mechanical lift connected to a pump in the downpipe continues the yield for much longer than is naturally possible.
Sucker rods communicate the prime mover’s kinetic energy down the well, where a pump allows extraction of the oil. The design of the string depends on well depth and the volume of subterranean fluid that it will extract. When in operation for some time, they can stretch or experience other downgrades, meaning operators need to pull, inspect, service, and run back into the well. Overall, operators must run the rods back in the exact order they pulled them.
Sucker Rod Protection Essentials
Due to the stresses involved in the rod string’s operational states, ensuring their integrity is of critical importance. Rod threads should seal consistently between sections. However, any thread defect can quickly spread erosion, cause a parting between them, or a break in the shank. In this case, operators will fish out the rod, being careful not to unseat the pump or part any portion of the tube.
Made from high-density polyethylene, sucker rod caps are easy to install and work to ensure complete protection of your rod threads during every part of the operation. Non-threaded plugs also protect against debris and corrosion, as well as damage during storage or transport.
For more information about protecting rods and preventing costly downtimes, contact MSI Pipe Protection Technologies today at 877-276-9208.