The generation of high pressure steam and the corresponding temperature so essential to the adequate heating of the deeper producing zones is accomplished by the Lawler Model 100-A steam generator. This generator is an entirely different design than any other boiler or steam generator available for commercial use. It is a high pressure, closed system, dry steam generator similar in design to the modern generators used in steam plants to generate electrical power. It is fully automatic in operation. The unit is not to be confused with the common types of circular coil heaters or low pressure boilers.
The heating of the well is accomplished by allowing pressure from the steam generator to create a natural downward flow to the bottom of the closed heat exchange system and return upward to the make-up tank for re-use.
Conduction then carries the heat brought through the heat exchange system to the surrounding free oil and into the producing formation.
The action of these natural principles eliminates the necessity for oil well circulation pumps, thus materially reducing maintenance and operating costs.
The automatic controls are activated by a standard 6 or 12 volt battery or by a standard 110 volt A. C. electrical service.
Boiler feed (injection) pumps require no extra motive power as they are activated by the walking beam or vertical pumping, unit, when used with a pumping unit.
No special knowledge, training, or licensing of the field operator is required. Original instruction of the manufacturer's representative is sufficient. The unit is certified for unattended operation, meets required safety orders and is certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers No. 3632.
In addition to bottom hole heating, the Lawler dry steam generator is used exclusively to operate the Lawler steam driven pumping unit described in a later section. Steam for oil storage tank heating also is available whenever this system is employed.
Bottom hole heating of oil wells represents a great potential for increased production and secondary recovery in those situations where heavy crudes are presenting production problems or have fallen below economic returns.
Production problems which arise with paraffins, asphalts, and wax in some lighter gravity crudes also are solved by thorough application of heat to the well.