Oil pump


Oil pump. Denver Basin, Colorado Rockies. The oil pump, known as a jack pump or a "nodding donkey" draws oil out of the ground through a series of non-return valves (not seen here). Newly drilled oil wells often contain oil at a high enough pressure to force the fluid out without needing to be pumped. As the oil is removed the pressure falls. For a time the pressure can be maintained by pumping water or air into the subterranean reservoir of oil. Eventually the pressure falls further and a jack pump is required to bring oil out at an economic rate. Even using jack pumps, generally only 30-50 percent of the oil can be extracted.

Credit: Lowell Georgia / Science Source

Model Release: No, but may not be necessary

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