SPE Production & Operations Executive Summary

Norman R. Warpinski, Pinnacle Technologies

This will be my last summary as the executive editor of SPE Production & Operations Journal. What an interesting job this has turned out to be! It is amazing how much new technology one can get exposed to when it is necessary to peruse hundreds of papers each year, with many of them outside of your area of expertise.

The main thing that I want to do this issue is to thank the various people who have worked with me over the last two years. Special thanks go to the review chairpersons, soon to be renamed associate editors. As I have said many times, the review chairs are the ones who perform the really difficult tasks of distributing papers to technical editors for review and then compiling reviews and formulating initial decisions on what we should do with each paper. Often, they also act as reviewers, usually on the tough papers, where declining or accepting the paper is a relatively grey issue.

The review chairs who have worked with me the last two years include Ian Collins, Dean Wehunt, Harold Brannon, Ali Ghalambor, Jennifer Miskimins, Liang-Biao Ouyang , and Joseph Smith. They have done yeoman work, and I am deeply grateful. I would also like to congratulate Jennifer Miskimins, as she will be taking over as the SPEPO executive editor for the next two years. There will also be some changes to the review chairs during her term, but I will let her tell you about that in the next issue.

The technical editors also deserve special thanks. There are some wonderful technical editors out there who review the papers. Some review many papers each year; others give incredibly thoughtful reviews; still, others lend us their perspective on the novelty or application of a technology. As long as the technical editors provide detailed comments, their reviews serve a valuable purpose. Even if we do not follow the decision that they recommend, we still can use their comments to improve papers going to publication or to feed them back to the authors so they may produce better papers in the future. The best reviewers have always been those who provide clear, detailed comments, whether good or bad.

I know that there are a number of changes coming to the journals, and that is good because the technology is definitely changing. For example, it used to be that 95% or more of the papers could be pigeon-holed into one on the journals. Lately, however, we have begun to see many more cross-discipline papers that really will require that we figure out new ways to review them adequately.

In this issue, we have 15 papers covering the usual breadth of production and operations technologies. We start with papers dealing with field-wide optimization and control of production. Case Study: The Use of Downhole Control Valves to Sustain Oil Production From the First Maximum Reservoir Contact, Multilateral, and Smart Completion Well in Ghawar Field is a discussion of the planning, completion, testing, and production of a trilateral selective producer with a surface-controlled, variable, multipositional hydraulic-control system in the world’s largest known oil field. Analyzing Underperformance of Tortuous Horizontal Wells: Validation With Field Data is an assessment of the performance of three wells to evaluate distributed temperature-sensing data and smart-well completions for optimizing production from long, complicated horizontal wells in Brunei. In Maximum-Reservoir-Contact-Wells Performance Update: Shaybah Field, Saudi Arabia, the performance of 25 mostly trilateral MRC wells is described, along with the value of smart completions and the application of expandable liners in recompletions.Haradh-III: Industry’s Largest Field Development With Maximum-Reservoir-Contact Wells, Smart-Well Completions, and the iField Concept further develops some management and modeling aspects of advanced technology applications in the southern end of the Ghawar field for MRC wells. The paper titled A New Rate-Allocation-Optimization Framework is a field-management approach that is incorporated into a finite-difference reservoir simulator and applied to both synthetic and field cases to demonstrate applicability.

The next two papers deal with liquids in the wellbore. An Improved Model for the Liquid-Loading Process in Gas Wells uses more detailed modeling of the production/injection interval to obtain an improved estimate of liquid-loading behavior. In IPO Gas Lift Design With Valve Performance, the incorporation of gas-lift-valve performance correlations based on actual valve testing is factored into the design process to obtain improved design conditions.

Oilfield chemistry topics are dealt with in the next two papers. In Managing Formation-Damage Risk from Scale-Inhibitor Squeeze Treatments in Deepwater, Subsea Fields in the Campos Basin, core studies are used to optimize bullhead scale-inhibitor treatments and assess and manage hydrate and formation-damage issues. Plugging of Fractures in Chalk Reservoirs by Enzyme-Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation is primarily a laboratory study of modified concepts for precipitation of calcium carbonate plugging materials to seal conductive paths intercepted in injection wells.

There is one paper on acidization in this issue. Effect of Droplet Size, Emulsifier Concentration, and Acid Volume Fraction on the Rheological Properties and Stability of Emulsified Acids is a laboratory study that focuses on the correlation between the droplet size of the dispersed acid phase to the viscosity and stability of emulsified acids to evaluate how the rheological properties of the emulsified acids vary with acid volume fraction, emulsifier concentration, and droplet size distribution.

There are two papers dealing with hydraulic fracturing. In Designing Hydraulic Fractures in Russian Oil and Gas Fields to Accommodate Non-Darcy and Multiphase Flow, the authors use both modeling and case studies to demonstrate the importance of these mechanisms for a whole suite of well conditions commonly found in Russian oil and gas wells. Nanotechnology Applications in Viscoelastic Surfactant Stimulation Fluids gives the rationale and provides laboratory data to support the use of 35-nm inorganic crystal nanoparticles for improved performance and viscous breaking of VES fluids.

Near-wellbore flow and stability issues are discussed in the next two papers. Computation of Sand Production in Water Injectors is a theoretical study of sanding in water-injection wells, including a parametric analysis of the important parameters. In Injectivity Decline From Produced-Water Reinjection: New Insights on In-Depth Particle-Deposition Mechanisms, an experimental and theoretical analysis of surface particle deposition is conducted, and the results highlight both convection/diffusion and hydrodynamic deposition mechanisms, depending on the conditions.

Finally, Successful Control of High-Pressure Gas Well by Use of a Crosslinked Gel During Coiled-Tubing Fishing is a detailed case study of the various fishing and workover operations needed to retrieve stuck tools in a gas well by use of coiled tubing and a crosslinked gel kill fluid.

Thank you, and goodbye.