Executive Summary

 2020 is here and the first SPE Journal issue of the year is giving me the opportunity to write to our readership for the first time since joining as executive editor last August. It is a great privilege to serve our professional society, along with my co-executive editors Roberto Aguilera (University of Calgary) and Reza Fassihi (BHP Billiton) in this new capacity. Last year, Knut-Andreas Lie (SINTEF Digital / NTNU) finished his multi-year assignment and stepped down as executive editor. We are grateful to Knut-Andreas for his strong leadership and dedicated work as executive editor and thank him for agreeing to remain as associate editor on our editorial review board and continuing to support the journal’s mission. A word of recognition also goes to our colleague Vladimir Alvarado (University of Wyoming), who also supported the journal for a number of issues over the past year.

One important lesson for me from the past few months is that our success as executive editors is only possible because of the dedicated work of a large team of professionals that make it all happen. Our SPE staff are undoubtedly one of the most important ingredients in keeping the peer-review and publication process running smoothly. A special shout-out goes to Dawit Tegbaru (Managing Editor—Journals), who recently joined SPE and has hit the ground running, and to Stacie Hughes (Peer Review Administrator) and Judith Martis (Senior Staff Editor), both of whom have been with us in the Society for a number of years and always keep us wondering how they can effectively juggle so many moving pieces while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and quality. As a society, we are lucky for having them with us. Equally as important is our excellent team of dedicated associate editors and technical reviewers, who deserve continuous recognition. They remain the backbone of the peer-review process and allow only the best technical manuscripts to reach our readers by securing top-quality reviews. I would like to thank the following outgoing associate editors, who are in the process of or who have stepped down from the editorial review board, having completed their terms of dedicated service to SPE and the readers of the journal:

Christopher Clarkson, University of Calgary

Russell Ewy, Chevron

Eduardo Gildin, Texas A&M University

Anthony Kovscek, Stanford University

Their work remains greatly appreciated by all members of our society. We thank you for helping SPE Journal become what it is today. It is also my pleasure to welcome four associate editors who started their terms with the journal in the latter part of 2019:

Ramin Dabirian, University of Tulsa

Hamid Emami-Meybodi, Pennsylvania State University

Jesús Salazar, Marathon Oil

Miao Zhang, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

When you come to SPE Journal and are able to find the latest, most reliable, and most up-to-date technical information in our profession, please thank all of these individuals (former and current members of our team) who made it all possible.

2020 is extra special because it brings an important milestone: it marks the 25th anniversary of SPE Journal. This is an important milestone because SPE Journal remains the highest impact technical journal of our society. We publish research-based papers providing insights into new theories and emerging concepts spanning all aspects of engineering for oil and gas exploration and production. The 25th anniversary milestone is an excellent reminder for all of our readers that for SPE J to remain relevant for the next 25 years, we need all of you to continue to submit your top and most prized scientific contributions. SPE has exceeded the 3.0 impact factor mark and has recently officially achieved a ~30-day time-to-first-decision average. This is reflective of the continuously rising significance of our journal to industry and academia and of the hard work of our team. We expect that these milestones will further incentivize authors to first consider SPE J for all of their top manuscripts. 

Also, please consider volunteering as a member of our editorial review board as a technical reviewer or an associate editor. Expertise in all areas are welcome, but our greatest needs at the moment are found in areas of geomechanics, drilling and completions, and data analytics. Those interested in volunteering as a technical reviewer should visit SPE Connect (https://connect.spe.org/volunteeropportunities/volunteer-opportunity-details?VolunteerOpportunityKey=89597c46-d425-4899-9c2b-e27e29a241a7), while those interested in volunteering as an associate editor can contact any one of the journal’s executive editors or the SPE Peer account at peer@spe.org. Please keep in mind that SPE Associate Editors must have 10+ years professional expertise in any of the particular areas mentioned above or covered by the journal. We look forward to working with you, and I am eager and ready to continue to learn from all of you. In these few months, I have indeed learned a great deal by reviewing many submissions in a wide range of technical areas in our industry, and I am sure you will enjoy the challenge and responsibility. 

In closing, this February 2020 issue of SPE Journal brings 30 new manuscripts to you organized in five categories. The themes covered in this issue are History Matching and Forecasting (7 papers), Fundamentals of Flow in Porous Media (8 papers), Reservoir Models and Simulation (6 papers), Enhanced Oil Recovery (8 papers), and Technology Adoption (1 paper). Let us thank all authors for their efforts in bringing their results to you. We hope you find their insights useful and readily applicable to your areas of interest.

Luis F. Ayala, SPE J. Executive Editor
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park PA