Executive Summary

Ian Collins, BP Exploration


Welcome to the first-quarter edition of SPE Production & Operations ( SPEPO). This is my first issue as Executive Editor, and I hope that I do justice to the role given the distinguished previous incumbents! Let me introduce myself alittle. I am a chemist by background and have spent the last 26 years working in a wide variety of oilfield chemistry areas across the breadth of the upstream business. I am currently the manager of BP’s Upstream Chemical Sciences Center of Expertise. The Center spans across the technology space, and we work closely with all the engineering disciplines. I’ve also managed to retain my advisor role in enhanced oil recovery, linking me to the subsurface discipline. So I hope that I bring enough breadth to the Executive Editor role to be able to act fairly and impartially and to maintain the technical quality of the journal.

How has the SPEPO journal been doing over the past year? Well, under the fabulous leadership of Dean Wehunt, we increased our impact factor by 50% to 0.440. SPEPO now has increasing academic credibility to go along with the vital technical information that I know you all value so much. In 2014, our acceptance rate was 16.5%, up approximately one percentage point over the previous year. This is on the low side compared with other SPE peer-reviewed journals, but is not entirely out of line. I must stress that neither SPE nor the SPEPO journal have any quotas or limits on accepted papers—if a paper is accepted through peer review, it is published. My policy is to work with all authors who submit a credible piece of technical work to make the manuscript publishable. However, this is often not possible because the manuscript needs to be completely rewritten, which accounts for a significant proportion of our rejections. My hope is that I and the team of associate and technical editors provide sufficient depth and quality of feedback to make rewriting an easier task. Encouragingly, submissions to the journal increased to 200 from 136 in the previous year, and for all you authors out there, we now consistently better the 100-day target from submission to initial decision(currently around 82 days). We are all volunteers, and I would like to thank everyone involved in the SPEPO journal for giving up their time and for making the journal a success.

I have one brief aside. An ongoing issue is the use of unattributed quotations. The rule is simple—if you use someone else’s words, please use quote marks and provide a reference. Better yet, use your own words! Be assured, we will spot unattributed quotes!

So,on to the technical content. In this issue, there is a heavy bias towardchemically related papers. This reflects the papers that were available to choose from and not the fact that I am a chemist! We start with two papers from the Sorbie group at Heriot-Watt University— Structure, Stoichiometry, and Modeling of Mixed Calcium Magnesium Phosphonate Precipitation Squeeze-Inhibitor Complexes and Synergistic Properties of Phosphonate and Polymeric Scale-Inhibitor Blends for Barium Sulfate Scale Inhibition. These describe, first, detailed studies of the modes of action of a common mineral scale inhibitor, and second,a method for increasing the effectiveness of scale inhibition by blending two different classes of scale inhibitor. These are followed by A State-of-the-Art Review To Develop Injection-Water-ChemistryRequirement Guidelines for IOR/EOR Projects, which is exactly what it saysit is. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this review, which is a great one-stop shopfor the latest information in this rapidly evolving area. 

Hydrochloric acid is a nasty chemical to work with, especially in the field, so High-Temperature Laboratory Testing of Illitic Sandstone Outcrop Cores with HCl-Alternative Fluids describes laboratory tests of more-benign chemicals that can be used to achieve similar results to conventional acidizing. Our remaining oilfield chemistry paper, Prevention of Hydrate Formation in WellsInjecting CO2 into the Saline Aquifer, describes methods for preventing hydrate formation when injecting carbon dioxide into aquifers for carbon capture. These hydrates form solid blockages in the well, increasing operational risk and causing significant practical injectivity problems.

We now move onto a series of papers all related to hydraulic fracturing. The first of these, Pushing the Limit on Guar Loading:Treatment of a Green River Sandstone Formation by Use of a Novel Low-Polymer Crosslinked Fluid describes a new approach to reducing the polymer loading in a fracturing fluid, a welcome innovation in today’s regulatory environment. Assessment of Fracturing-Fluid Cleanup by Use of a Rapid-Gel-Damage Method promises a quicker method of assessing gel damage, allowing for more-rapid fluid selection. We finish with a paper describing a new proppant material that promises very high strengths indeed. This paper is entitled New Technology Yields Ultrahigh-Strength Proppant. 

Well, that’s it! I do hope that you enjoy the issue and find the contents technically stimulating. I certainly have enjoyed my first few months of being in the role, and I hope that together we can continue to make the SPEPO journal a success.