Photos of oil and gas well heads or wellheads.
These oilwell photos were taken near Midland, Texas in the Permian Basin
The images below are of well heads, where oil or gas comes out of the ground. Ones at the bottom, not connected to a pumpjack are sometimes called "Christmas Trees". Many people think the term refers to oil rigs, lit up at night with lights, but instead it refers to the well head and valves that are installed after the well has been drilled.
Well heads hooked up to a pump jack contain a "stuffing box" which can leak over time, coating them with oil. The oilfield gauger or "pumper" who takes care of the wells daily may have to adjust the tension on the rubbers to keep oil from leaking out by adjusting screws located near the top of the well head.
The pump rod enters the well through the stuffing box and goes hundreds or thousands of feet to the bottom of the well to a downhole pump where it draws up oil with every stroke. Other wells flow freely and do not require pumping.
Typically a new well, or wildcat well, in an area where no other oil or gas wells have been drilled will flow freely until the bottom hole pressure subsides. At the bottom of the page is a free flowing oil / gas well. It is free flowing and output is measured by an electronic meter which you can see some distance from the wellhead with a solar panel and radio transmitter. This automatic meter transmits up to the minute production data to a central office. If something causes the flow to diminish, such as water building up or "loading up" in the tubing of the well and holding the gas back, a "pumper" or gauger, will be dispatched to drop sticks of chemical "soap" down the well to cause the water to have less surface tension and bubble out of the hole with the gas.
Most of these photos are of wells in the Permian Basin of West Texas
and have been producing for over 40 years. As returns diminish, oil companies
may do a "re-entry" into the well. A hole or "window" would be drilled out the
side of the well's casing and then they can use directional drilling equipment
to drill another well bore, out horizontally for up to a thousand feet or more.
This opens up more surface area of oil and gas bearing rock which in turn allows
more oil to flow into the original well bore and be pumped up hole. In addition
the oil company may stimulate the rock formation with carbon dioxide gas, under
pressure, which expands many times and forces the oil out of the small fissures
in the formation.
well head #400
well head, 402 Gas
Well head and meter,
Gas well head
Pumpjack well head #400 Clean well head, 402
Gas Well head and meter, Gas well head