The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

South of the Border:"Iron rod jerk lines: powering oil well pumps for nearly 150 years "


November 20, 2019

Rick Rice, owner and operator of Phoenix Energy in Oilmont, points to a wooden bushing on the arm of the 'dummy,' a 3000 pound block of concrete. The dummy is used to balance his rod line system that powers three oil well pumps from a single power source. Technically called iron rod jerk lines, the systems came to the Oilmont area, north of Shelby, in the 1920's and were widely used in the Kevin-Sunburst Oil Field. Rice owns three operable rod line powered fields, some of the few still standing.

Columnist's note: Travelers in north central Montana are used to seeing pumpjacks (oil wells) dotting the region. Around Oilmont on the way from Whitlash to the I-15 access north of Shelby (on S-343) we pass a sizeable area of small, older-looking oil wells. Some are pumping, others seem to be idle. There's also a lot of abandoned buildings and equipment that were used to produce oil and gas.

East of the town of Oilmont, about two and a half miles on the north side of the highway, there's a couple of metal buildings and some oil tanks. The smaller building has an above ground rod running o...

For access to this article please sign in or subscribe.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021

Rendered 01/09/2022 21:53