Executive Summary

Jennifer Miskimins, Colorado School of Mines

As I write this, I have just returned from the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. What a wonderful showcase for our industry, with slightly more than 8,000 people in attendance. During the conference, a luncheon was held to honor the Legends of Production and Operations, a new award that honors those who were pioneers in the areas of production and operation technology. The honorees included C.M. Hightower, H.R. Crawford, Harry O. McLeod Jr., James Brill, Joe Mach, Kermit Brown, Robert C. Earlougher Jr., and Robert S. Schechter. I wanted to mention and congratulate them in this edition, because many have made significant contributions to this journal and its predecessors. It is pioneering efforts such as theirs that add to the quality of the SPE Production & Operations journal and other peer-reviewed publications.

At the ATCE, we have annual Editor-In-Chief, Executive Editor, and Associate Editor meetings during which we discuss the various workings of all of the SPE journals. One focus point of these meetings is the window of time to get a paper peer-reviewed and published in the subject journal. I am pleased to say thatSPE Prod & Oper is continually improving in this area, driven by the efforts of the technical editing staff (Technical and Associate Editors), the efforts of the SPE publication staff, and the use of the new ScholarOne Manuscript Central submission system. It is our goal to bring the latest technology to you, the readers, in a timely manner. Although we are improving in this area, we will continue to work hard to shorten that time frame even further (while not compromising quality, of course). Along those lines, I would like to point out the "online first" option for peer-reviewed papers, where one can access the most recently edited papers on the SPE publications website before they appear in hard-copy print.

For this edition of SPE Prod & Oper, we have a wide range of topics covered by the included papers, which is the way it should be with the varied interests involved in the production and operations area. There are three papers from the area of artificial lift. Laboratory Testing of Downhole Gas Separatorsdiscusses the results of a series of laboratory tests taken in a full-scale wellbore and separator model system where flow behavior could be visually observed. The paper titled Pushing the Limit: High-Rate-Artificial-Lift Evaluation for a Sour, Heavy-Oil, Thermal EOR Project in Oman discusses the application of thermal-assisted gas/oil gravity drainage in an extremely harsh environment. Another case study paper, Use of Dynamic Simulation To Assist Commissioning and Operating a 65-km-Subsea-Tieback Gas Lift System, reviews the requirements and modeling of a unique gas lift system.

From the stimulation arena, there are five papers, all of which deal with hydraulic fracturing. Three papers deal with fracturing fluids, one with proppant transport, and one with the analysis of hydraulic-fracture half-lengths. In Volatile-Phosphorus-Free Gellants for Hydrocarbon-Based Fracturing Systems, the authors address the origin of a volatile phosphorus in hydrocarbon gellant and how a viable, ultralow volatile phosphorus solution for hydrocarbon gelling has been developed. A New Compositional Model for Hydraulic Fracturing With Energized Fluids discusses the development of a geomechanical model that incorporates phase behavior for energized-fracturing fluids. A new fracturing fluid consisting of a low-polymer loading carboxymethyl guar polymer and a zirconium-based crosslinker along with application case studies is the subject of Development and Field Application of a Low-pH, Efficient Fracturing Fluid for Tight Gas Fields in the Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming.

Prediction of Proppant Transport From Rheological Data compares the results of rheology tests of hydraulic-fracturing fluids using three different measurements methods, including a steady shear viscosity, a dynamic-oscillatory shear, and a slurry viscometer system. A discussion of the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of fracture modeling, pressure-transient analysis, production-data analysis, and numerical-reservoir modeling is provided in Resolving Created, Propped, and Effective Hydraulic-Fracture Length.

In the area of scale inhibition, laboratory analyses, sampling procedures, and field/well monitoring as they apply to minimum-inhibitor concentrations are the subject of Scale Squeeze Evaluation Through Improved Sample Preservation, Inhibitor Detection, and Minimum Inhibitor Concentration Monitoring. While the paper Inhibitor Selection for Iron-Scale Control in MEG Regeneration Process discusses the formation of iron-containing scale in a monoethylene glycol regeneration system.

The last four papers included in this edition of SPE Prod & Oper discuss water shutoff and conformance, distributed temperature and pressure analysis in horizontal wells, and hydrate-plug formation. The Cantarell field in Mexico is the subject of Successful Combination of an Organically Crosslinked Polymer System and a Rigid-Setting Material for Conformance Control in Mexico, which describes the application of two water-control systems in this naturally fractured carbonate reservoir. The effects of high salinity on microgel-treatment efficiency are the subject of Novel Insights Into Microgel Systems for Water Control.

A New Inversion Method To Interpret Flow Profiles From Distributed Temperature and Pressure Measurements in Horizontal Wells discusses the use of the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm in an inversion method to interpret distributed temperature and pressure data to obtain flow-rate profiles along horizontal wells. From the area of flow assurance, Predicting Hydrate-Plug Formation in a Subsea Tieback addresses the prediction of the correct timescale for formation of hydrate plugs in the Tommeliten gas condensate field.

As always, I and the numerous editors that contribute to SPE Prod & Oper hope you enjoy the papers presented in this edition and that you find something helpful to your daily practice.