Stripper Wells Keep Pumping

While stripper wells with low volumes of oil should be expected to fail due to the price slump, operators are proving to be very resilient. Stripper wells pump less than 15 barrels per day (many much less) and many are run by small family-owned businesses. Stripper wells “produce over a tenth of U.S. oil output, enough to affect the market supply-demand balance and prices.” Wells are operated on a very low budget and some are kept pumping just to maintain leases. Strategies include; reducing staff, tightening the budget, delaying maintenance, shutting in some wells, and pumping wells just enough days to maintain the lease. Stripper well operators can operate on as little as $18-$30 per barrel recovery cost, much less than larger operators.