1887 Dahlstedt Road, Burlinaton, WA 98233.
The single cylinder, heavy duty gas engine is alive and well in
the Texas oil fields. They are much in evidence in the equipment
sales yards and at the wellheads throughout South Texas. On a
recent two day trip to the area in and around Alice, Texas, we saw
innumerable engines in the fifteen to fifty horsepower range. Most
are equipped to run on the natural gas available at the wellhead.
Natural gas collects in the well casing at pressures of 1000 PSI or
so. A regulator at the casing drops the pressure to around 100 PSI.
A second regulator at the engine drops the pressure to a few
ounces. The engine breathes this low pressure gas from a receiver
of several cubic foot capacity. The engines are equipped with
sensors to detect excessive speed, heat, or failure of the
lubricating system. All in all the engines provide a reliable and
economical method of pumping deep oil wells. Most engines are of
the Ajax, Arrow, or Witte brands. Don’t plan on running down to
Texas and adding one to your collection. Prices start at four to
five thousand dollars.