“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Borger in Hutchinson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

The Huber Paraffin Scraper

An innovative oil field invention by a Borger native

The Huber Paraffin Scraper Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 7, 2022
1. The Huber Paraffin Scraper Marker
Inscription.  In 1941, Earl Blackburn, Vice President of J.M. Huber Corporation's Oil and Gas Division, solved a long-standing problem in Panhandle oil field production when he invented the Huber steel-bladed paraffin scraper. Before this device became a standard component of oil pumping equipment, paraffin wax dissolved in crude oil would precipitate and congeal on the inside surface of a well's tubing through which oil was pumped to the surface. When accumulation of the wax became excessive, oil stopped flowing completely. To solve this problem, thousands of feet of rods and tubing had to be pulled from the well and cleaned with steam, caustic or chemicals to remove the paraffin. Once this messy, costly cleaning process was completed, the tubing and rods were reinstalled in the well and pumping could resume.

Blackburn's prototype device was three feet long and welded to the rods. It was used with a rod rotator, another device invented by Blackburn. As the rod string went up and down, the entire string with the scrapers attached, also rotated which allowed the scrapers to shave off accumulated paraffin from the inside of the tubing. Wax shavings
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were then carried to the surface in the tubing by the unobstructed flow of oil.

Blackburn tested his invention in 1941 on a Huber well which pumped for two years without paraffin trouble. Not having to pull rods and tubing regularly for cleaning greatly increased production. Word of this miracle spread around the Panhandle oil field and other oil companies rushed to buy Earl's invention, but the scrapers were not for sale. In 1946, after World War II ended, the scrapers were made available to other companies. The design of the scrapers was revised to three to four inches in length and were installed at regular intervals along each rod. Even today, Blackburn's invention is a key component to successful oil production in the Panhandle field and are still being sold.

How a Pumpjack Works
Upstroke pumps oil up the well bore
Downstroke returns the pump to the bottom of the well

How an Oil Well Works
A large electric motor (1) turns a v-belt (2) which rotates a gearbox (3). The gearbox greatly multiplies the power of the motor. The cranks (4) have heavy counterweights (5) attached to them. The cranks are also attached to Pitman arms (6) that are attached by the tail bearing (7) to the walking beam (8). The walking beam pivots on the saddle bearing (9). At the other end of the walking beam is the mulehead (10). The bridle (11)
The Huber Paraffin Scraper and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 7, 2022
2. The Huber Paraffin Scraper and Marker
is attached to the mulehead above and polish rod (12) below. The polish rod passes through the scraper rotating box (13) and connects the sucker rods (15) to the pump (16) at the bottom of the well. As the walking beam and mulehead are raised and lowered, the pump is raised and the sucker rods with the Huber scrapers attached, rotate when actuated by a cable which is attached to the beam. Each time the pump is raised (jacked), it picks up a small quantity of oil and lifts it to the surface through the tubing. As the Huber Scrapers (14) rotate, they scrape the accumulated paraffin from the inside wall of the tubing. The shavings are lifted with the oil to the surface, and pumped to tanks for storage and circulation through a heater/treater which removes salt water, gas and other impurities from the oil before it is transported to storage or a refinery.

How the Huber Scraper Works
As the sucker rods are raised and lowered by the pumpjack, the entire length of the rod string also rotates 1/4 turn on each stroke. This action scrapes the paraffin from the inside surface of the tubing, which makes the well more productive by decreasing the amount of service it needs and for increasing the amount time it can stay in service continually pumping oil.

Upper Left: Earl Blackburn with samples of the paraffin scrapers be
The view of the Huber Paraffin Scraper and Marker in the courtyard image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 7, 2022
3. The view of the Huber Paraffin Scraper and Marker in the courtyard
invented in 1941.

Erected by Hutchinson County Historical Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1941.
Location. 35° 40.359′ N, 101° 23.377′ W. Marker is in Borger, Texas, in Hutchinson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Main Street and East 7th Street. The marker is located in the courtyard north of the Hutchinson County Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 618 North Main Street, Borger TX 79007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Allis-Chalmers/Cooper Winch Tractor (here, next to this marker); Bessemer Gas Engine (here, next to this marker); Auxiliary Equipment from the Early Borger Oil Field (here, next to this marker); LeRoi Motor-Generator Set (here, next to this marker); Boomtown (here, next to this marker); 1950 GMC Winch Truck (a few steps from this marker); Nitro Storage Safe & Do-It-Yourself Drilling Rig (a few steps from this marker); The Panhandle Oil Boom & the Borger Field (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Borger.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 142 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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May. 20, 2024