Executive Summary

Dean Wehunt, Chevron

First, I bid a fond farewell to some outgoing editors. It has been a great privilege to work with Curtis Cheatham (SPEDC), Tony Kovscek (SPEJ), and Frank Koch (SPEEM) during their final year as Executive Editors. I have greatly admired their dedication, professionalism, and passion for our society’s peer-reviewed literature.

Next, here are some important messages from Shauna Noonan, the SPE Technical Director for Production & Operations:

  • Petrowiki.spe.org – SPE members are invited to use and also contribute to the "wiki" implementation of SPE's Petroleum Engineering Handbook. The initial content is limited to selected chapters related to drilling, completions, and production engineering, but more P&O-related chapters will be transferred into Petrowiki throughout 2013.
  • There will be four P&O-related webinars during 2013, addressing enhanced productivity, enhanced operations, asset surveillance & optimization, and production chemistry & metallurgy.
  • The P&O On-line Community will launch in 2013 Q1, incorporating all the P&O-related discussion boards, and serving as a connection point for P&O technical content, event information, and much more.

Watch for more information on the above and other P&O topics in this column and also at the P&O discipline web page.

Most of us understand that commerce and capital fuel our industry, and advertising is part of that; however, commercialism has no place in our technical literature. Here are some thoughts about the importance of avoiding commercialism in SPE technical literature from long-serving SPEPO Associate Editor Madelyn Holtzclaw:

"SPE has a policy for publication that says a paper "must avoid commercialism and plagiarism" and "there are no commercial references." Sometimes as a reviewer this is easy to spot and to correct as it is a matter of just removing the vendor name. There are cases where it is more difficult for the author to comply since they may be writing about a proprietary chemical, process, or piece of equipment that they would like to avoid describing in generic terms at that time.

I have had people ask why this is important. If we suddenly allowed it we could end up with written commercials for various products in all our journals. What would happen if someone incorrectly did an experiment or several jobs failed as a result of their planning and they wrote about it referring to the product by name in a derogatory manner? Since SPE owns the copyright this might suddenly involve SPE in a lawsuit and themselves and their employer. But avoiding a lawsuit is not the reason that this policy was started more than 75 years ago. It was then and now part of being professional. If the idea is presented well and the data reported accurately with the methodology so that others could repeat it, the results and the conclusions should support the findings. We then can give the same consideration to a product or design by an individual as to one by a mega corporation; the technology through the authors speaks for itself. A company with a new product will still benefit from a generic description rather than its product code name because you and I as consumers are always interested in new things that work. It isn’t hard to tell that if the authors are from Halliburton that it is likely a paper about a Halliburton product and you and I as consumers can call them up and request more information.

We should keep this commerciality issue in mind in our presentations at local meetings and at our topical conferences as well. The same professionalism should apply to a presentation as to a written paper. We have all attended a presentation at least once where it was just the latest sales talk and the product is referred to by name throughout the talk. Consider how uncomfortable and unfair that was for the competitive company to have to sit through? As program chairman it is our responsibility to make sure that we apply the rules fairly for all members. Sometimes this is difficult as you don’t always have the presentations in advance of the talk or even the paper. You can however always convey your expectations to speakers before they agree to present and again ask them in your follow-up before the meeting if they are sure they have not included company names or product logos.

If we stick to this policy our organization will remain what I believe to be the best technical association in the industry but without it we will most certainly lose much of our professional nature."

And finally--as Curtis Cheatham was fond of saying--"to the papers." This edition has four well stimulation papers, and five papers under the broad flow assurance category.


The authors of Impacts of Diverse Fluvial Depositional Environments on Hydraulic Fracture Growth in Tight Gas Reservoirs use hypothetical wells set within a complex geologic model to demonstrate how fracture growth will change due to changes in formation characteristics, and also due to differential depletion of the layers within the formation. In Mechanically Induced Fracture-Face Skin--Insights from Laboratory Testing and Modeling Approaches, the authors evaluate how well performance will be affected by changes in the mechanical loading on the proppant during the life cycle of the well. The authors of Selecting Candidate Wells for Refracturing Using Production Data have developed a new algorithm for selecting re-fracturing candidates based on five dimensionless parameter groups including one that considers the impact of stress re-orientation, and they showed that using their method would have resulted in a 35% performance improvement vs. previous methods in an example field. In the last well stimulation paper for this issue, Effect of Acid Spending on Etching and Acid Fracture Conductivity, the authors showed that the strongest acids studied created the most etching, but the more spent acids resulted in greater retained conductivity.

Flow Assurance

Our crossover paper for this issue addresses both well stimulation and also flow assurance, although it is listed under Flow Assurance in the table of contents. In Squimulation: Simultaneous Well Stimulation and Scale Squeeze Treatments in Deep Water, West Africa, the authors analyze field results from using scale inhibitor as part of the post-flush for matrix acid jobs in four wells. The authors of Field Study of the Physical and Chemical Factors Affecting Downhole Scale Deposition in the North Dakota Bakken Formation1 examine trends in scale occurrence and scale prevention for the Bakken play. A Thermally-Actuated Gas Lift Safety Valve describes the development and prototype testing of a passive gas lift safety valve that relies on an unexpected temperature change to trigger the closing of the valve. In First Application of Progressing Cavity Pumps for Appraisal Well Testing in the Ugandan Albertine Graben Basin, the authors provide an interesting case study of how they approached artificial lift for appraisal well testing in viscous, high-gravity, and low reservoir energy applications. And finally,Sand Prediction: A Practical Finite-Element 3D Approach for Real Field Applications, the authors describe their approach to modeling the onset of sanding and the spatial distribution of rock failure around the wellbore, and they promise that their model can be “straightforwardly extended” to provide volumetric sanding predictions--the holy grail of sand management. Stay tuned!

Recent Peer-Reviewed Papers from Other SPE Journals

  • SPEJ: "Gas Recovery from Tight Sands: Impact of Capillarity"
  • SPEJ: "Mechanical Interaction of Multiple Fractures--Exploring Impacts of the Selection of the Spacing/Number of Perforation Clusters on Horizontal Shale-Gas Wells"
  • JCPT: "Shale Gas: Nanometer-Scale Observations and Well Modelling"
  • JCPT: "Simplified Forecasting of Tight/Shale-Gas Production in Linear Flow"
  • SPEREE: "Establishing Key Reservoir Parameters with Diagnostic Fracture Injection Testing"
  • SPEEM: "Long-Term Economic Viability of Production From Unconventional Liquids-Rich Reservoirs: The Case of Bakken Field"
  • SPEEM: "Global Unconventional Gas Resource Assessment"
  • SPEDC: "Buckling of Tubing Inside Casing"
  • SPEDC: "Ultralightweight Proppants: An Effective Approach To Address Problems in Long Horizontal Gravel Packs Offshore Brazil"