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Permian Basin - Well Doctor & Optimizer

Echometer Fluid Level Shot displayed as an acoustic trace | Downhole Diagnostic
A Downhole Pump Card with incomplete fillage and pounding fluid | Downhole Diagnostic
Downhole Diagnostic is represented by the Downhole Dyno (AKA the Dyno King).

Applying Fluid Level Shots & Dynamometer Surveys for Rod Pumping Optimization

Sec #2:  Introduction to Rod Pumping Systems & Components

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/Manager 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 oil & gas operators monitor, diagnose and optimize their Rod Pumping wells.  I do this by taking Fluid Level Shots & acquiring Dynamometer (Dyno) Surveys to determine what the downhole conditions in the well look like.  From these two tools I can determine:  how much liquid is above the downhole pump, how much gas is instantaneously producing up the backside, what the pump fillage is each stroke, if gas or solids are interfering with the pump, and (by means of a Valve Test) how worn the pump is. In addition to this I can also raise or drop rod strings (to either remove a pump tag or drop the rods if the pump is fighting gas interference).  I am also familiar with all POC's (Pump Off Controllers) and I can validate, correct, & calibrate the POC programming (i.e. verify the POC has the correct rod/tubing details input and ensure the POC control parameters are optimally programmed) to ensure the POC is drawing the correct cards and properly running the well to maximize production while minimizing the damage from Fluid Pound.   


In addition to all the above, I am a Professional Petroleum Engineer with a wealth of knowledge on all things Rod Pumping related.  What differentiates my services from others in the business is that I am 3-in-1: a Well Tech, an Engineering Consultant, and part-time Roustabout.  I will acquire Fluid Level & Dyno Survey on the well (Well Tech), interpret what operational or downhole equipment changes should be made to remedy/optimize the well under the current conditions (Engineering Analysis), and when necessary, I can raise or drop the rod string (Roustabout) right then and there and do a follow-up Dyno test to determine how the well reacts to moving the rods.  (I might actually be 4-in-1 if you consider the fact I can troubleshoot many common POC problems and at least diagnose them, if not fix them all).


I can guarantee I am the most knowledgeable Rod Pumping field hand you will ever have on your location.  I don't just send back reports that identify all the problems with your wells—I send back reports that diagnose your current well's status than recommend the most cost-effective solutions to remedy the situation.  I spent 5-years studying Rod Pumping systems by reading all the literature and boring white papers I could get my hands on; I have supervised countless pulling units and workover operations and so am knowledgeable in pulling operations; I spent the final 2-years with my former employer as the Production Manager and managed over 300+ wells and was able to cut our failure frequency almost in half; and since June, 2014, I have been helping other customers monitor and optimize their rod pumping wells with great success.  So I have a level of experience and insight that is unparalleled, and all the work I do is performed with the level of quality and dependability you would expect to receive from a Professional Engineer.

I write all of this to say that, better than any other hand out there—I can help you save money in your field operations by helping you to manage and optimize your producing leases.  There is nothing quite as expensive as making poor decisions due to having insufficient data or having to repeatedly pull wells for premature failures as a result of poor operating practices.  


Just like your beloved children have annual doctor exams, your wells should have at least an annual check-up with a Downhole Doctor to make sure the POC is up to date and properly controlling the well as desired.  


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 dyno cards and fillage Set Point, raise or drop the rods, increase/decrease the SPM, or verifying the continuous chemical treatment is properly working.


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 design; dropping the SN; modifying the downhole gas separation design; or maybe even changing the artificial lift design (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 non-intrusive 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 not maximizing production/revenue?

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

  • What are the best settings for the POC Control Parameters (Fillage Set Point, Down-Time, Number of Pump-Off Strokes, etc)?

  • If the well is Pumped Off, is it time to:  slow the SPM down, drop the SN below the perfs and/or downsize the pump to reduce 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 with “Destructive Pumping Practices” that are unnecessarily increasing the failure frequency, like Pounding Fluid, or chronically inefficient each stroke due to continuous Gas Interference, or does it have a hard pump tag each stroke?


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 in the oilfield.  Rig time, consultants, pump trucks, cleaning up oil spilled from stuffing box leaks, 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 was pumped off.  Or, maybe the whole time the well's production was limited by gas interference, so pulling the well to change the pump was nothing more than throwing money to the wind.  Making informed decisions is KEY to efficient operations, and keeping you informed on the downhole status of your pumping wells is my job.  


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.  Click on the "Services" tab to learn more about FL Shots and Dyno tests and scroll to the bottom of the page to find a sales brochure, and remember:


                “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

Side Note:  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. However, I was quickly disappointed at the lack of quality information I could find on the internet about petroleum industry topics, especially those relating to Rod Pumping.  So when I started Downhole Diagnostic, I decided I would to be part of the solution.  So take a look around on my website as you can find lots of good information about Echometer Fluid Level & Dynamometer Surveys and other Rod Pumping topics.  (I am only a one man show over here, yet sadly—I tend to have more helpful information posted on my website than you will find on the websites for the other big name companies in the Rod Pumping industry). 


Anyways, I have dreams of adding more information when time permits, but work and family life are busy so for now, I hope you find something of value on my site!  Any feedback or requests for additional information is highly welcomed.  Thanks again for visiting!   -Shawn  :^{P


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 Card Interpretation

Fluid Level Shots

Additional Rod Pumping References

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