Executive Summary

Welcome to the February issue of SPE Production & Operations. It is the first issue in 2018. Let me first use this opportunity to wish all readers a happy and prosperous year, which all of us in the oil and gas industry have been looking forward to for several years now. This is also my first issue as the SPEPO executive editor (EE). I am a bit nervous serving the role after Ian Collins, who has done such a wonderful job in maintaining the journal as an important technical-exchange venue for today and a historic knowledge depository for future. I am also encouraged and privileged to be supported by so many brilliant and dedicated associated editors (AEs), technical editors (TEs), and SPE staff members, who really make my job easier and keep me on the right track.

Being an EE, I can appreciate the number of papers that are waiting in the inboxes of the AEs and TEs. With the changing of the guard experienced in our industry over the past 3 years, many seasoned veterans have changed their roles, left, or shifted companies. New pools of authors are injected into the publication stream. The workload on the peer-review committee members is increasing, as well. I thought I would use this opportunity to share with everyone what reviewers are looking at when determining whether a paper should be published. Knowing it could be subjective sometimes, I don’t mean for this to be criteria for a “good paper” because I believe all authors spend significant effort to write a paper reflecting their good work. Nor is my intention to tell the authors how to produce a journal paper. It is simply to share some insights so authors can keep these points in mind when writing their papers.

The first area to consider is Originality and Significance. A key point here is to gauge if the paper can be beneficial to a practicing engineer by adding novel or new information to the existing literature. The reviewers are also asked, to the best of their knowledge, if the paper or similar content by these or other authors has been published previously in a periodical. A “yes” answer to this question will cause the paper to be automatically declined.

The second area is Technical Content. An important consideration here is whether the data have been carefully collected and if interpretation of the data is sound. We see papers that read like a laboratory report, presenting experimental results without in-depth interpretation of the data. We also see numerical modeling papers using previously published models for validation. In addition, authors should be conscious of the relevance and quantity of the cited references. The reviewers judge the paper by whether the discussion is appropriate and avoids undue speculation, and conclusions are clearly supported by material presented in the paper, and whether they are technically sound and justifiable.

Finally, the third area is Ease of Understanding. The reviewers examine the content to see whether the conclusions and abstract are truly and clearly reflected by the context. Can the paper benefit readers who are not experts in the specific field, can the readers still grasp the message in sufficient depth without familiarity with previously published literature? Is the organization of the paper logically flowing? Is it excessively lengthy as a result of extraneous or repetitive information? Do the quality of figures and tables clearly illustrate the paper’s context?

In this February 2018 issue of SPEPO, we are pleased to highlight 15 papers that have gone through such evaluations and been selected by the peer-review committee. They are grouped in the following four categories.

Hydraulic Fracturing

  • Reservoir and Completion Considerations for the Refracturing of Horizontal Wells discusses the analyses and work needed before selecting refracturing candidates to improve the chance of success.
  • Mechanism Analysis of Well Interference in Unconventional Reservoirs: Insights From Fracture-Geometry Simulation Between Two Horizontal Wells uses a mathematical model of hydraulic-fracturing physics to study the fracture hits problem and provides insights into how to optimize the completion and stimulation process.
  • Pressure-Transient Characteristics of Fractured Horizontal Wells in Unconventional Shale Reservoirs With Construction of Data-Constrained Discrete-Fracture Network uses numerical simulations to generate pressure-transient behavior in complex fracture network to help understand flow regimes and post-closure analysis in fracture-calibration tests.
  • A Simple Unified Pressure-Transient-Analysis Method for Fractured Waterflood Injectors and Minifractures in Hydraulic-Fracture Stimulation proposes a simple pressure-transient-analysis method to study post-shut-in pressure transient in minifractures and injection-well pressure-falloff analysis.

Artificial Lift

  • Effect of R Ratio on Performance of Injection-Pressure-Operated Gas lift Valves stresses the importance of using the correct gas lift valve parameter instead of using the vendor-published constant to prevent unexpected performance.
  • How Data from Reuse of Electrical-Submersible-Pump Components Can Help in Predicting System Failure uses a multicomponent survival analysis to analyze individual components of an electrical-submersible-pump system.
  • Performance of Multiphase Twin-Screw Pump During the Period of Wet-Gas Compression studies the impact on pump performance caused by heat generation during wet-gas compression, and discusses mitigation for the issue of sealflush-fluid recirculation.
  • The Case for Liquid-Assisted Gas Lift Unloading presents a new technique, termed liquid-assisted gas lift (LAGL), to lower injection pressure with a single gas lift valve, thus eliminating the multiple gas lift valves required in the conventional process.

Scaling and Corrosion

  • Streamline Simulation of Barium Sulfate Precipitation Occurring Within the Reservoir Coupled With Analyses of Observed Produced-Water-Chemistry Data To Aid Scale Management uses a 3D reservoir simulation incorporating BsSO4 scale precipitation to study brine flow and geochemical reaction against produced-water-chemistry analysis; therefore, scale inhibition treatment effectiveness can be realized.
  • A Proposed Systematic Approach for Experimental Asphaltene Investigation: An Oil-Reservoir Case Study proposes an experimental process to more reliably assess asphaltene deposition using downhole collection of oil samples.
  • Laboratory Investigation of Organic-Scale Prevention in a Russian Oil Field investigates the well operation parameters that will impact the wax precipitation so that a production-management strategy can be properly formulated to minimize the formation damage and, therefore, workover frequency.
  • Management of Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion in Risk-Based Inspection Analysis discusses a model for assessing microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC) in offshore asset, and provides the parameters that will affect such type of corrosion.
  • Low-Carbon-Steel Corrosion at High Temperatures by Aminopolycarboxylic Acids studies the corrosion rate caused by a chelant on low carbonate steel when replacing HCl during stimulation of carbonate formations.

Produced-Water Treatment

  • Experimental Study on Oil Removal in Nutshell Filters for Produced-Water Treatment tests several types of nutshells for their efficiency in removing oil droplets from produced water.
  • An Advanced Clarification Process for Treating Produced Waters evaluates the process of clearing produced water using solid flocculation, gravity separation, and magnetics. The treated water is sufficiently clean to be re-used for fracturing.

Hope you enjoy reading these papers.

Frank Chang,  SPE Prod & Oper 
Executive Editor, Saudi Aramco