Research Intiative: Predicting Sucker Rod Fatigue Failure

Paul Bommer

Problem Statement

The life of beam lift sucker rods is difficult to predict because of the wide variety of operating conditions. This has an economic impact because the longer sucker rods can be kept in service the higher the profit from the well.


Using actual run time data it is possible to predict the life of sucker rods based on the accumulated stress history of the rods. This has been outlined and carried out for several trial data sets.

What is needed to carry out this research is nothing more than access to well records and the ability to extract the required data from the records.


  • Bommer, Paul M., "Predicting Sucker Rod Life," Southwestern Petroleum Short Course Proceedings, April 25-26, 2008, Lubbock, Tx, p.1-10.
  • Bommer, Paul M. and Podio, A.L., "The Beam Lift Handbook," PETEX, currently in final editing stage.


Paul Bommer
Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
1 University Station C0304
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78712-0228
Phone: (512) 471-1207 FAX: (512) 471-9605

See the Production Engineering page for information on related research.