Introducing Greasebook, the simplest, most cost-effective, fastest growing oil & gas production software the industry has ever seen.

GreaseBook powers the most profitable, operationally efficient producers in the oil patch today.

Generate a 6% lift in your net profit margins and approach your most operationally efficient oil & gas production company in 6 weeks or you don't pay.

•  AS SEEN ON  •               • AS SEEN ON  •               • AS SEEN ON  •               • AS SEEN ON  •            

A Lease Pumper’s Basic Guide to Plunger Lifts

Over the past decade, plunger lift use has grown drastically; which in turn, has created a boost in oil productivity. Other contributions have included: improved computers and technology, equipment reliability, and other service alternatives. Lease operators can find plunger lifts with simple straightforward arrangements to more complex computer operated options. To help understand a little more about these popular devices, check out these plunger lift essentials.

A Lease Pumper's Basic Guide to Plunger Lifts


The Fundamentals of Plunger Lift Mechanic

One of the most common initial questions about plunger lifts is ‘how do they work?’. While it may seem like a complex system, plunger lifts are pretty straight forward in their operations. On to top of the wellhead there is a wing valve control which closes the flow line to the tank battery, this allows the operator to stop the fluid flow through the tubing to the tank battery.

Also on the wellhead is a bumper housing and catcher used to release a free-falling gas lift plunger. This device uses the wellhead’s natural downward gravity to descend through the tubing. When the valve is open, the plunger allows fluids to pass through as it falls; gravity then continues the plunger’s plummet to the bottom of the well.

Once the gas lift plunger hits the bottom of the well, it will come into contact with a footpiece spring, and thus closes the valve. As the increase in downhole pressure steadily persists, it allows the water and oil to gather above the plunger. Then after either a specific tubing pressure or time frame is reached, the controller will open the flow line motor valve; thus allowing the accumulated fluids and gas within the tubing to again flow to the tank battery.

The pressure change differences throughout the plunger lift valve typically generate travel speeds of around 500 – 1,000 feet per minute. Each lift will vary in speed depending upon the various options for: bottomhole pressure, choke settings, and fluid loads. The plunger lift moves upward toward the surface fueled by the built-up formation pressure beneath it, and bringing the the fluid located above it as it returns.

However, for weak gas wells and/or oil wells, once the plunger arrives at the surface, a magnetically controlled sensor will automatically close the flow line motor valve, and thus conserving formation gas pressure and tubing for the next lift cycle. The catcher (located within the bumper housing) frees the plunger; and the plunger once again begins to fall and thus restarting the entire process again. The process is repeated as often (or as little) as the pressure and settings allow.

A Lease Pumper's Basic Guide to Plunger Lifts

Figure 1. Example of a Plunger Lift System (Production Control Services, Inc.)

The Price of Switching to Mechanical Lifts

After the well’s bottomhole pressure is no longer able to produce an adequate flow, the lease operator will have to decide whether it would be beneficial or not to equip a lift system. Two major factors in this are the significant initial upfront costs when using lift systems (even for minimal installation options), and the longevity (and therefore,  profitability) of the well. However, before a lease pumper rushes to make the transition from flowing to pumping well; they need to ensure they remember to meet the following requirements:

  • A Well Servicing Crew – These workers will be utilized to help rig the packer and remove it. They may also help to re-equip the tubing string, install the hold-down, and/or for setting up the rod string.
  • Purchase of Equipment – This includes: the downhole pump, the pumping unit, and string of rods.
  • Construct and Set-up a Base
  • Position and Install the Pumping Unit – This should be located on the base, and on top of the hole.
  • Remove the Current Christmas tree
  • Reconstruct the Wellhead (See Figure 2)
  • Supply Power to the Pump – This is typically accomplished by running electricity to the site or by using an engine. Electrical setups require automatic controls, and use an electric motor; while engine powered pumps usually operate on either stored fuels, or gas from the well.

A Lease Pumper's Basic Guide to Plunger Lifts

Figure 2. Two Examples Wellhead Designs Used for Wells with Plunger Lifts

The Bumper Housing and Catcher

The bumper housing and catcher carry out a variety of functions. For instance, the bumper offers a cushioned bumper to halt the plunger as it reaches the end of its journey and into the housing (where it receives lubrication for the next journey). Once there, the arrival unit will register the plunger has reached its topside destination; and will then either signal the controller, or control panel, to close the flowline valve.

Once completed, the lease pumper can then engage the catcher (allowing the plunger to catch the next time it arrives). The pumper can then remove the plunger to inspect, service, or replace the device to get back into operation at lease pumper’s discretion.

A Lease Pumper's Basic Guide to Plunger Lifts

Figure 3. Examples of Common Components Found in a Plunger Lift System – from right to left: a housing with lubricator and electronic sensor, bumper, plunger, and a controller. (Production Control Services, Inc.)


The majority of controllers (See Figure 4) have the ability to operate with either pressure cycles or time control. Timers can be utilized for specific shut-in times. They can also be used to operate using high/low pressure measurements using a differential pressure switch and the flow line throttle pilot pressure. By decreasing formation gas loss and having this available flexibility, controllers provide the most ideal method for a majority of wells (and lease pumpers).

A Lease Pumper's Basic Guide to Plunger Lifts

Figure 4. Example of an Electronic Controller (Production Control Services, Inc.)

The Perks of Using Plunger Lifts

There are many perks for transforming a minimally producing plowing well into well with a lift system. In many situation, there are significant benefits for choosing a plunger lift system over the other available options. These can include:

  • Avoids Gas-Locked Pump Issues
  • Conserves Formation Gas Pressure
  • Decreases Gas/Oil Ratios
  • Decreases Lifting Costs
  • Enhances the Ease of Operations
  • Improves Production
  • Lower Installation and Operating Costs
  • Produces with a Lower Casing Pressure
  • Prohibits Water Buildup
  • Scrape Tubing Paraffin
  • Utilizes Electronic or Pneumatic Controllers

However, it is important to remember when utilizing a plunger system, you should use a gauge ring (with the identical size as the mandrel planning to be used in the plunger lift system) to run down the well. This will help to pinpoint any issues that could arise, preventing the plunger from  being able to free-fall within the tubing.

Avoids Gas-Locked Pump Issues

When working with a high gas producing well, mechanical pumping units (unlike plunger lift systems) have a tendency for the pump to gas lock; thus preventing the well from producing.

Conserves Formation Gas Pressure

As soon as the plunger appears at the bumper housing on the surface, the well’s flow line is shut in, preventing any additional gas accumulation from flowing to the tank battery and gas system. Since the gas pressure is required for the well to continue to produce, conservation of formation gas is essential to the longevity of the well; and is therefore, one of the most outstanding perks of utilizing a plunger lift.

Decreases Gas/Oil Ratio

Depending upon the oil field, the production may be regulated by the amount of gas produced along with each barrel of oil. Due to this, it is essential to retain as much gas in the reservoir as possible. Plunger lifts are a great option for reducing gas production, and increasing oil allowables; which in turn dramatically extend both the oil production and the life to the reservoir.

Decreases Lifting Costs

Plunger lifts have one of the lowest lifting costs out of the various artificial lift systems. This is due to the well self-supplying the gas pressure required for operations; even the more complex electrical system options require very little power, and can easily be supplied using a solar panel.

Enhances the Ease of Operations

In general, plunger lift systems are very simple and basic to operate; and with new developments in technology, even the more complex systems are becoming easier and easier to operate. Technological advances in electronic miniaturization and personal computers have increased so dramatically, controllers are able to perform job functions almost to the point of making the decisions.

Improves Production

While productivity testing can vary due to a wide variety of parameters, plunger lifts are beneficial in determining the best production parameters to follow. For instance, often times by lowering the amount of fluid raised, and lifting more frequently; productivity can increase.

Lower Installation and Operating Costs

In most situations, plunger systems cost less to install, maintain, and operate than any other type of artificial lift systems.

Produces with a Lower Casing Pressure

Most plunger lifts permit well flow production even with less than 100 pounds of casing pressure. The plunger remains at the bottom of the well until ample lifting pressure has built up; then a signal is sent through the casing pressure to the surface to open the flow line valve.

Prohibits Water Buildup

When the productivity of the well is generated by choke control and lifting pressure, the well flow is minimal to the point where the well barely flows. However, since water is heavier than oil; the gas and oil have a tendency to flow back down to the bottom of the well with the falling water. This water buildup can cause a well to become waterlogged, which requires the well to stop flowing until the water has either been blown or swabbed off. A plunger lift system does not have this water accumulation, as the plunger lifts the water along with the oil during every trip to the surface.

Scrape Tubing Paraffin

During each cycle as the plunger travels within the tubing, the plunger acts as an outstanding wiper for eliminating the paraffin clinging to the tubing. The paraffin vacates the formation suspended in oil; and as the temperature of the wellbore drops, the paraffin emerges from the solution and deposits into the tubing. The plunger is also great for removing any soft scale.

Utilizes Electronic or Pneumatic Controllers

Automated controls help to aid in a more precisely controlled pumping time for the well, thus allowing a more energy efficient option, and reducing the amount of lost gas.


Plunger Lift Options

In all, there are five key plunger options: brush, flexible (See Figure 5), metal pad, solid, and wobble washer.

A Lease Pumper’s Basic Guide to Plunger Lifts

Figure 5. Examples of Plunger Options Available (McLean & Sons, Inc.)


Brush plungers comprise of a brush segment (which depending upon the brush segment, has the possibility of being replaceable) and a mandrel; with the over-sized brush segment (in regards to the internal tubing diameter) creating a sealing mechanism. This type of plunger is a particular good choice for wells subject to tubing imperfections and/or sand flowback.

Cleanup Plungers

In Figure 5, there are a variety of plunger types pictured. Among these is a cleanup freefall plunger with fishing neck (the fishing neck allows for easier retrieval if the plunger gets stuck in the tubing). This type of plunger is utilized to handle formation sand, frac sand, scale, and other materials. Once the well has cleaned itself, the cleanup plunger is usually replaced by the expanding blade plunger.


One of the newest plungers to hit the market, this type of plunger has a flexible mandrel to help with  coiled tubing and deviated hole applications. This new feature is available for both articulated cups and blush plungers. Flexible plungers can be found in a wide range of sizes, typically between ¾ inch to 2 ⅞ inch. Often times flexible plungers are used in standard tubing string consisting with crimps (or bends) to help reduce the need for pull tubing.

Metal Pad

Unlike other types of plungers, metal pad plungers have multiple spring activated metal pads that adapt to fit the internal tubing diameter. This style of plunger can have one or several sets of these pads arranged into a variety of different patterns and designs. When properly sealed, metal pad plungers offer the highest quality mechanical seal.


Solid plungers are solid steel cylinders that have either a grooved or smooth surface. When gas tries to travel around the plunger during the upward decent, it will have to have a velocity far greater than both the liquid and plunger load; and as the gas travels along the plunger it wipes the tubing clean of any liquids, helping to diminish liquid fallback.

Wobble Washer

Wobble washer plungers were formulated to keep tubing free of salt, paraffin, and scale. These plungers consist of shifting steel rings or washers fastened along a solid mandrel. As the lift operates, the washers rub the tubing clean, getting rid of all the unwanted products before the possibility of crystallizing.


Configuring Plunger Lifts

Plunger lift systems can be arranged in a wide variety of ways to meet the needs and wants required for each individual well. By matching the specific components with the proper controller settings for the well conditions, the lease pumper can maximize the overall well efficiency.

As you can see in Figure 6, just below the oil well bumper housing, arrival unit, and catcher, is a full opening gate valve. This specific design used a solar panel for power (which was located to the right of the image, just out of sight of the picture). The casing valve contains a pressure gauge and a connection supplying pressure to the controller. The line that controls the shut-in of the flow line is located just off the right of the bumper housing.

A Lease Pumper’s Basic Guide to Plunger Lifts

Figure 6 – Example of a plunger lift wellhead showcasing the arrival unit, bumper housing, catcher, and controller. (McLean & Sons, Inc.)

Is your appetite for oil & gas operating knowledge insatiable like ours? 😀 If so, check out this related article, A Lease Pumper’s Basic Guide to Producing Flowing Wells – it will surely pump you up!!!

How CAN we guarantee you a 6% lift in profit margin in 6 weeks*?


*PLEASE NOTE: 6% is the AVERAGE result of producers who implement the app into their operations..... which means a full HALF of our clients do better 🤑

Centralized Repository

Get full production history, well files, commentary and the like in the hands of the people who need it (when they need it) and enable everyone in the field or office to do their best work.

Reduced Overhead

The height of cultivation runs to simplicity. With Greasebook, streamline your operations, automate back-office tasks all while eliminating any excess operational drag ❌ ⚙️

Reduced Downtime through Alerts

Gain timely detection of equipment malfunctions or other operational issues and prevent costly breakdowns. With Greasebook, alert your in-house team to issues in the field wherever they're at.

Increased Production

Catch a hole in the tubing or an engine issue immediately when a well begins to slip (not several weeks later when your purchaser statements come in…) 💸 Greasebook is the next best thing to 'sitting shotgun' with each pumper on every route. And because you'll have complete visibility of your assets and your field crew, you'll not only avoid significant expenses associated with repairs and oversights but you'll also produce more oil because of it.

Timely Reports

Weekly, monthly, or missed reports simply don’t cut it. Why? Because longer reporting intervals increase the risk of inaccuracies and discrepancies in your production data, which not only erodes trust in the reported figures but also makes it challenging to analyze trends or forecast future production 📉 With Greasebook, eliminate any excuse NOT to have your production data.

Full Accountability

Gain full transparency of your folks in the field and eliminate boiler housed reports and ‘Kitchen Table Pumping’ for good 🍳


From one-off wells to lengthy routes, no matter what form your pumping takes, GreaseBook keeps your pumpers focused on moving those production updates from field to office.


Easily gather everything that matters. Track tank levels, capture notes, administer well tests, submit photos of scanned run tickets. All from the field. All on your mobile device. All over the cellular network.


Connect with the people who help you get it all done. Communicate, collaborate, and share in real-time with your guys and gals in the field without ever leaving the GreaseBook.


Access fast, accurate gauge sheets. No need to re-key production or manipulate Excel. Just one click and your production is organized into a beautiful screen-friendly layout.



Streamline your operations and discover why the industry’s most effective operators rely on Greasebook to do their best work.

Everything in one place

The central place for everyone’s work. All the relevant content from well history to run ticket images, easily accessed.

Get paid your due

Compare a month's worth of oil sales tickets vs purchaser statements vs payments received (and find those inconsistencies!) in just seconds.

Knowledge discovery

GreaseBook acts as your operations watchdog, surfacing any unexpected drops in production, unplanned downtime, or incompetence in the oilfield.

Share Responsibility

Production data syncs across all pumpers who share the responsibility of a particular lease. That means no more calling, no more meeting up to trade-off books, and no more miscommunication.

Mobile Sync

Automatic sync means your production status is available the minute your pumper returns to coverage.

Offline Access

Pumpers retain access to historical production by making their work available even when a connection isn’t.


If you don’t TRIPLE your money in the form of profits from downtime reduction, increased production, lower overhead, and/or reduced time and redundancies in the back office during your 60 day trial – we’ll DOUBLE the amount money you paid for the app.

Voted New Technology Development of the Year.

bbls pumped to date
MCF flowed to date

Simple 8-minute Ramp Up

Average time to learn? 8 minutes (and yes, this goes for those pumpers who are 75 years old still tending wells…)

Custom Reports

Select one of our premade reports or build your own.

Alarm Alerts

Whether it’s a full tank or well is offline, we’ll text or email anyone you want if there’s an issue.

Production Graphs

See the big picture with beautiful production displays which render perfectly on any device.

Field Data Collection

Enter run tickets, BS&W draws, water hauls, track dual product tanks, conduct well tests all via the Greasebook. Now, your real-time monitoring shows right alongside those manual pumper gauges.


Real-time production is worthless if you don’t have the contextual information to complement it. Tag or search pumper comments by lease, well, or injector/SWD – letting the whole team know precisely what’s going on in the field.

Well Testing and Allocation Engine

Robust well testing and allocation engines to satisfy even the most complex gathering system.

Downtime Tracker

Which wells are down? How long they been down for? Why are they down? Now, you’ll know at a moment’s glance.

State & Government Auto-Report Filer

Yes, you read that right. We’ll produce your State and Government production reports enabling your back office to catch their breath.

Scheduled Reports

Want a report with your coffee every morning at 5AM? Got a WI partner who won’t quit calling to ‘get the numbers’? Set’em up on an automated report and watch the daily minutiae disappear.

Well History Files

A single place for your downhole and surface equipment PDFs, Word Docs, and the like – accessible in both the field and office.

Pumper GPS Tracker

Wanna know how many times your pumper is showing up each month? When was the last time someone set foot on a particular lease? No more “he said, she said” – with GPS tracker, now you’ll know the full story.

Custom Variables

Track any variable at any lease no matter how obscure.

Custom Logic

Components of a production system don’t operate in a vacuum. We make complex math simple so you can focus on analysis NOT spreadsheet jockeying.

Partner/Investor Permissions

Maintain transparency by giving special partners and investors access to their production (and ONLY their production!)

Read-Only Permissions

Giving certain users the ability to ‘look but don’t touch’.

Privacy and security. Keep what’s private pri****.

Bring the most advanced security of any device to your operations. The GreaseBook comes with built-in protections against malware and viruses, and given our open API it gives you the freedom to choose what you share and how you share it. So no matter what you’re doing (or where you’re doing it), GreaseBook helps your private information stay that way.

(just a few of) the products we integrate with


“If you’re unsatisfied for any reason during your 6-week trial, we'll either work with you until it's right or refund 200% of what you paid for the app. How can we do this? We're just that good. But don't take it from me. Check out what our clients are saying below......"
Greg Archbald
Perpetual Student of the Oilfield
Founder of GreaseBook


Ask us anything


Not really. Simply share with us your Excel reports, paper gauge sheets, or the login to your existing legacy production software and we’ll take care of the rest.

Our petroleum engineers turn-key your entire setup, we’ll reach out once we’re done. Bada bing.

You’re right. And, because no one leaves their house without their phone (and because our app works offline), we eliminate any excuse for your pumpers NOT to send you their data. See, we told you this would be easy.

In addition to both Android and Apple smartphones, the Greasebook also works on any tablet, laptop, or desktop.

While Greasebook has been implemented in many of the country’s largest publicly traded production companies operating thousands of wells, Greasebook is focused on serving the small and mid-sized independent US-based oil & gas operators.

Anywhere, anytime, on any device (phone, tablet, desktop or laptop).

The beauty of the app is once your pumpers start submitting their production via the Greasebook – anyone on your team can access production reports, graphs and well files from any device at any time.

It’s sorta like a centralized place from which everyone on your team can work, without all the calls, text messages and emails that would go on otherwise.

Absolutely. As your pumpers continue to add tickets, comments, pressures, well tests and any other relevant information, your investors will have guest access to as much (or as little) information as you’d like.

Of course, they’ll only see production info for the wells in which they participate.

Oil & gas companies who run Legacy oil and gas software systems expose themselves to major risks (and minor annoyances…)

The complexity of traditional oil & gas production systems is twofold:

  1. Software Problem: Legacy software systems are expensive, outdated, clunky and have extremely complex interfaces. In fact, because of all the support and manual interventions required, continuing to use outdated software can often be more costly than simply upgrading.
  2. People Problem: Legacy software systems take an enormous amount of time to familiarize oneself with. And, anytime an employee quits, retires, or is let go the amount of training required for new employees can be significantly higher than for newer, more user-friendly software.


This is a lose/lose. What’s more, given all the set-up fees, training fees, support fees and the like the projected ‘savings’ never materialize and now your forced to contend with fluctuating hydrocarbon prices AND a bloated monthly OPEX.

Talk about getting stuck in the muck!

With Greasebook, office users are 99% proficient with the platform in about 20 minutes.

Within 2 seconds – FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE – you’ll have your answer to any question regarding production, allocations, performance, well history files, commentary, run ticket reconciliation, Custom Reports, State reports, and more – all sliced and diced and customized at the Company, Operator, Battery, Well, State, County, Section, Township, Range, Acquisition, or even Supervisor level…

We’ve been at this for awhile. Greasebook was established in 2012 and now supports more than 400+ oil and gas operators (small ma & pops and publicly traded companies alike) across 20 States and is the fastest growing production software in the patch.

The Greasebook corporate outpost is proudly located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 🤠📍

The Greasebook helpdesk is staffed by Petroleum Engineers, Geologists, and Completions Experts Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM CST. 

We have a real-time chat through which most questions are answered in 2 minutes or less.

Naturally, some questions are more complex and you’ll want to speak to someone over the phone. In this case, we aim to complete all callbacks within two hours of scheduling.👌

Of course, your Dashboard and Reports are available to you 24/7.

We don’t blame them.

Pumpers have been burned by Legacy Production Systems in the past. 😵

However, given how much upside you stand to gain in the form of time savings and profit, DO NOT make the mistake of letting the tail wag the dog, folks!! 💸

Real talk: the average pumper takes about 8 minutes to learn Greasebook (and that goes for guys in their 80s still tending wells…)

Give us two days and we’ll make believers out of your entire pumping crew….

Still not convinced? Check out Greasebook’s “Pumper Wall of Love” by clicking here and let the pumpers tell you themselves 😘

Let us help you help yourself. Simply send us your existing production info, and we’ll assign a production engineer to turn-key your entire setup for you.

We’ll build your wells, your tank straps, your users and anything else you require.

Finally, once everything has been reviewed by your team, we’ll roll out your pumpers and either train them for you or with you while you focus on more important stuff.

That’s not a question, but actually no.

The average pumper demands anywhere from $125 to $400 per month.

And depending on what you require, Greasebook is priced anywhere from $5-15 well/mo.

So, given how much more you’ll get out of your pumpers, how much we’ll streamline your operations, and how quickly we’ll get this all done for you, we’re actually kind of a bargain.

Our guarantee is two-pronged…

First, run the app for full 6 weeks in your operations. If you’re not completely satisfied, let us know and we’ll DOUBLE your money back.

Second, if for any reason you’d like your money back in first 30 days after paying simply let us know and it’s yours. 🤝

However, if you’re anything like our other 400+ operators you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do this 6 months ago…

We’re ready when you are. Take the quiz and schedule a call here – depending how many operators we have in front of you, there’s a chance we can get you up and running by the end of next week.

GreaseBook in the News

Check out the latest!

Oil and Gas Data Management Software

Why Your Oil and Gas Data Management Strategy Sucks (and what to do about it...)

Digital Oilfield Management System

The Secret to a (Highly Profitable) Digital Oil Field Management System

Oil and Gas Production Software

New Oil and Gas Production Software (Makes it Hurt So Good)

Oil and Gas Apps

APP-celeration for Oilfield Operators

The ‘Perfect’ Oil Production Report

The Magic of (Proper) Pumper Management

Field Data Capture

The secret of the most effective, cost-efficient Oil Producers in the game today...

Oilfield Pumper Jobs

Now, Oil Field Lease Operator Jobs Come Easy...

GreaseBook Privacy Policy

Click here to review