Free 6-Page Sucker Rod Pumping Short-Course!

Permian Basin's Premier Diagnostic Well Analyst

Applying Fluid Level Shots & Dynamometer Surveys for Rod Pumping Optimization

Howdy friend!  Thank you for visiting my site.  This is Shawn Dawsey and I am the Owner, Operator, Senior Engineer, Accountant, Web “Master”, Legal Counsel, and sole employee here at Downhole Diagnostic, LLC.  I graduated from Texas A&M in 2009 and worked as a Petroleum Engineer for 5-years for a Midland, TX, based oil company before breaking away and founding Downhole Diagnostic in 2014.


To get straight to the point….Downhole Diagnostic is your Downhole Doctor & Lease Nanny! 


I help smaller operators monitor, diagnose and optimize their Rod Pumping wells.  By acquiring Fluid Level & Dynamometer (Dyno) Surveys the downhole producing conditions (the fluid level and rod/pump performance) can be determined.  Then interpreting this data in context of the well’s downhole equipment design/placement (along with the producing & failure history)—more informed decisions can be made on how to best optimize the well to achieve maximum profitability.  (And maximizing the profitability is what I like to call "Dyno-Might"!)


The Fluid Level/Dyno data is crucial for making both decisions NOW and in the FUTURE.  For example:

Now Decisions:  adjust the run-time, recalibrate the POC's fillage Set Point, raise or drop the rods, increase/decrease the SPM, or open up the casing choke and/or increase the tubing back-pressure.


Future Decisions (these typically fall under the category of planning on what changes to make the next time the well is pulled), including:  changing the pump size or type; dropping the SN; modifying the downhole gas separation design; or maybe even installing an ESP (for example, if you cannot pump the well down).


Simply put, Fluid Level & Dyno Surveys are nothing more than a means of acquiring FEEDBACK from your well (...and feedback is the Breakfast of Champions).  Both tools allow you to determine the downhole producing conditions in a nonintrusive manner (i.e. no equipment is lowered into the well) while being very cost effective compared to the alternatives (e.g. pulling the pump to see how worn it is, or pulling the rods/pump to run a wireline deployed pressure gauge down the tubing to determine the bottomhole pressure, etc.).


Here are a few questions I can help you answer using the diagnostic data from the FL Gun + Dyno:


  • Are we pumping the well too hard (causing Fluid Pound or creating excessive Gas Interference by overrunning the downhole gas separation capacity)?  Or are we not pumping it hard enough, holding a high fluid level, and thus loosing production/revenue?

  • Is the Run Timer (or POC) properly calibrated so the pumping unit turns off when the pump ceases to be completely full of fluids?

  • If the well is Pumped Off, is it time to:  drop the SN below the perfs, slow the unit down, or downsize the pump to reduce the rod loading?

  • Is the new downhole gas separation design working adequately?  If not, what are the possible remedies to relieve the inefficiency and improve the pump fillage?

  • What is the cause of the well continually loosing Pump Action?  Is it due to the well being pumped-off, gas interference, or trash in the pump valves?  Or is the pump so worn that it cannot effectively displace the fluids?

  • Is the well operating under the influence of “Destructive Pumping Practices” that are unnecessarily increasing the failure frequency, like fluid-pound or a hard pump tag?


With my experience and knowledge of rod pumping systems, I can help you answer these questions plus many more.  In a similar way that “drilling blind” (when you lose all returns while drilling) can be a Drilling Engineers worst nightmare, in an economic senseI think the same can be said of “operating blind” for the Production Engineer/Foreman. 


Nothing is cheap out here in the oilfield.  Rig time, consultants, pump trucks, etc. all add up very quickly.  Also, when you pull the well for a tubing leak and you miss the opportunity to upgrade the downhole gas separation design (because you had assumed it was working just fine)—this is also a lost opportunity that is very costly.  When a well's production is down and it is assumed the pump is worn and thus a pump change is performed, you might just find out the same production inefficiencies exist with the new pump because the real cause of the lack of production was that the well is pumped off.  Or, the inefficient gas separation design is the problem.  Or maybe you should have ran a pump with double-valves (or a specialty sand pump) back in because problem ultimately rests on the fact that solids are interfering with proper valve action.  Making informed decisions is KEY to efficient operations, and keeping you informed on the status of your pumping wells is my job.  


But more than keeping you informed, I will help you think the problem through, lay out some of the options you have to remedy the situation, and give you my best recommendations on how to proceed.  When you get me out on your location you get much more than a well trained field handyou get a knowledgeable licensed Professional Petroleum Engineer on your location.  I don't just report back with problems I find:  i report back with the problems I find + the potential solutions to remedy the problem.


When you call Downhole Diagnostic, you will be speaking and working with me.  Due to my technical engineering background (and love for all things rod pumping!) I guarantee you will be more than satisfied with the quality of my work and the value of the insights I return back to you.  So give me a call and let me know how I can help.  And don't forget...


                “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”   -Benjamin Franklin


Best regards,

Shawn Dawsey, P.E.

West Texas Well Tech:  Fluid Level Shots & Dynamometers for the oilfield in Midland, Texas
Downhole Diagnostic Puts Downhole Interpretation into Context for West Texas

Website Resources


When I was a fresh whipper-snapper coming straight out of college I was hungry to learn and apply myself as quickly as possible—but I was quickly disappointed by the lack of quality Rod Pumping resources I could find on the internet.  When I started my company, I decided I would try to be part of the solution and create some valuable content.  I hope you enjoy and please send me any comments you have about the website or content (especially if you disagree with anything).
       Cheers and I wish you the best of Pump Action!   


You can find lots of helpful reference information on my site.  Here are a few links to get you started:

Downhole Diagnostic – Service & Price Sheet

Free 6-Page Rod Pumping Reference:  Sucker Rod Pumping Short Course

Dynamometers & Dyno Cards

Fluid Level Shots

Additional Rod Pumping References

More to come (soon)…