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Strippin' For a Livin'

No, not that kind of strippin,' this kind of strippin...'

In rod lift, down hole pumps often get stuck in the tubing. That can happen for a number of reasons but most of the time it is because formation solids, like sand, or paraffin, or frac sand, can not be lifted completely out of the hole and stuff falls back. Rods won't move up and down and that's all she wrote.

When the pump will not unseat from the tubing and the rods can't be pulled, the only way to get the pump out is to strip it out. Since there is crap above the pump the tubing is almost always full of fluid so stripping jobs pretty much go hand and hand with pulling wet strings. Shit happens in the oilfield and when it does its almost always expensive and stressful. Stripping jobs will ruin an operators day faster than a $3 drop in oil prices or dope prices going over $300 a bucket.

The stripping process involves blindly backing-off rods downhole by turning to the left at the surface and hoping they unscrew down low. You pull what rods you can, then pull tubing until you find the top of the backed off rod, do another blind back off...rinse and repeat multiple times until you get to pump out of the hole and on the bank. 5/8ths inch rods can sometimes be pulled out the tubing, like the ones in the video, 3/4 and 7/8ths rods have to be hack-sawed out. Lots of times rods are left in joints of tubing full of formation, or frac sand and must be replaced. The make good fence posts. The big boys will perforate tubing to keep from pulling wet strings (weenies) but that can add tens of thousands of dollars to the work over...stripper well operators (use to making money, not spending money) just pull wet strings. When the fluid in the tubing is oil, and gassy, it's a nasty son of a bitch, particularly in August when its 109 degrees in the shade. Afterward, everything has to be cleaned up, washed down, vacuumed up, pressure washed, the soil re-mediated, and all evidence otherwise removed from the crime scene.

If you are a roughneck having to strip rods out the hole and pull a wet, oily string of tubing you will work your ass plum off. Oil will fill up your boots, will get all over your skin, on your teeth, in your hair and behind your eyelids.

But if this stuff works good on little ducks you should see what it does for hands that are covered head to toe in oil. Use a jug of Dawn, find some warm, produced water to rinse off with, or a stock or frac pond to jump in, and a fella has a 50-50 chance of his wife letting him in the house when he gets home from work.

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