View of a jack pump at an oil well

View of a jack pump at an oil well

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Credit: CHRIS KNAPTON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Oil pump. View of a pump, known as a jack pump or a "nodding donkey", at an oil well. The pump 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 pumping. 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 per cent of the oil can be extracted. Photographed in Welton, Lincolnshire, England.

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Keywords: energy, fossil fuel, fuels, industry, jack, jack pump, nodding donkey, oil, oil extraction, oil pump, oil well, pump

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