Executive Summary

Welcome to the May issue of SPE Production & Operations. Recently, there has been discussion among the peer-review committee about increasing the impact factor of SPE journals. Impact factor of the journals never came across my mind before as a reader or as a writer of articles. Many (or most) of the people working in the industry may feel the same. I thought I would share with you a few interesting things I learned during recent discussions: (1)  Impact factor of a journal is calculated yearly, and it is how many times the papers in that journal were cited during the previous 2 years divided by the number of papers the journal published in the same period. Therefore, the impact factor does not directly translate to the “quality” of the papers published in said journal, though there may be some link. In fact “quality” could be too subjective a term to measure sometimes. (2) In academia, impact factor has become a significant measure of faculty’s work, which could affect one’s career when compared to other faculty. Publishing in journals with high impact factors not only augments the prestige of the faculty, but also increases the chance of his or her works being cited. (3) Generally, people working in the industry side of the oil and gas business may not care about the impact factor as much. Most papers written by the authors in this segment are used to share best practices, lessons learned, and new products and solutions. For SPE Production & Operations specifically, we put quite a bit of weight on case studies, real data, and process improvement. SPE Journal is the preferred venue for academia-type papers, with more in-depth theoretical science and mathematics.

Now you may be wondering what the impact factor was for SPE Production & Operations in the year of 2017. It was 0.766, whereas the impact factor for SPE Journal was 2.208. Though these statistics mean more to a certain group of people, while not as much to others, maintaining a high impact factor is still important for the long-term health of the journal. It could influence the quality of papers submitted to the journal, the willingness of quality authors in submitting their papers to the journal, and potentially even the quality of petroleum-engineering education that future students will receive. Because SPE conferences and symposia require full manuscripts and most of the peer-reviewed papers come from these events, authors may cite these conference papers instead of those same papers published or to be published in SPE journals. Therefore, it is beneficial to the impact factor of our journals if the authors conscientiously cite the journal version of the references whenever possible. Other diligences that could enhance the impact factors of SPE peer-review journals are being discussed. If you have any thoughts, please share with us as well.

In this issue, we are highlighting 19 recently peer-approved papers. They are grouped according to the categories listed below. As can be seen from the selection, the diversity of the technical areas covered by production and operations is extremely broad, from subsurface to surface, from mechanical to chemical, from wellhead to production facility, and so on. We try to include as many papers from each category with as many subjects as possible in hopes that readers from all domains of expertise will find relevant and interesting articles. Also, this will help ensure that papers from publishing authors are being pushed through the pipeline in a more-balanced manner.  

Fracturing Fluid and Proppant Transport

  • “Slickwater Proppant Transport in Hydraulic Fractures: New Experimental Findings and Scalable Correlation,” M. A. Alotaibi and J. L. Miskimins
  • “Compatibility and Rheology of High-pH Borate Gels Prepared With Produced Water for Hydraulic-Fracturing Applications,” A. M. Elsarawy, H. A. Nasr-El-Din, and K. E. Cawiezel
  • “Concepts in Cleanup of Fracturing Fluids Used in Conventional Reservoirs: A Literature Review,” G. A. Al-Muntasheri, L. Li, F. Liang, and A. M. Gomaa

Fracture Design Modeling

  • “A Rigorous Hydraulic-Fracture Equilibrium-Height Model for Multilayer Formations,” S. Liu and P. P. Valkó
  • “A Fully Coupled Model for Hydraulic-Fracture Growth During Multiwell-Fracturing Treatments: Enhancing Fracture Complexity,” S. Li and D. Zhang
  • “Optimization of the Horizontal-Well Hydraulic-Fracture Geometry From Caprock-Integrity Point of View Using Fully Coupled 3D Cohesive Elements,” S. E. Saberhosseini, H. Mohammadrezaei, O. Saeidi, N. S. Zadeh, and A. Senobar

Multiphase Flow

  • “A Study of Flow-Pattern Transitions in High-Viscosity Oil-and-Gas Two-Phase Flow in Horizontal Pipes,” E. Al-Safran and K. Al-Qenae
  • “Prediction of Slug-Liquid Holdup for High-Viscosity Oils in Upward Gas/Liquid Vertical-Pipe Flow,” F. Al-Ruhaimani, E. Pereyra, C. Sarica, E. Al-Safran, and C. Torres
  • “Regaining Oil Production by Overcoming Emulsion Problems After Artificial Lift Installation,” T. Uetani, N. Furuichi, H. Yorozu, K. Sasaya, T. Shibuya, N. Kiminami, and H. Yonebayashi

Equipment and Software

  • “Specifying Carbon Dioxide Centrifugal Compressors,” M. G. Desai
  • "Efficiency improvement of a Rotary Gas Separator by Parametric Study and Gas/Liquid-Flow Analysis,” S. Derakhshan, F. Riahi, and M. Bashiri
  • “Gas-lift Valve R-Ratios,” K. L. Decker
  • “Interactive Web-Based 3D Wellbore Viewer Enables Collaborative Analysis,” W. Phillips

Improved Recovery

  • “Comparison of Strong-Alkali and Weak-Alkali ASP-Flooding Field Tests in Daqing Oil Field,” H. Guo, Y. Li, F. Wang, and Y. Gu
  • “Unique Mixtures of Anionic/Cationic Surfactants: A New Approach To Enhance Surfactant Performance in Liquids-Rich Shale Reservoirs,” K. He and L. Xu
  • “A Comparative Research of Microwave, Conventional-Heating, and Microwave/Chemical Demulsification of Tahe Heavy-Oil-in-Water Emulsion,” N. N. Sun, H. Y. Jiang, Y. L. Wang, and A. J. Qi

Matrix Stimulation

  • “Acid Jetting in Carbonate Rocks: An Experimental Study,” V. Ndonhong, E. Belostrino, D. Zhu, A. D. Hill, R. E. Beckham, and C. E. Shuchart
  • “A Lean Sigma Approach to Well Stimulation on Barrow Island, Australia,” D. I. O’Reilly, B. S. Hopcroft, K. A. Nelligan, G. K. Ng, B. H. Goff, and M. Haghighi
  • “Strain-Based Casing Design for Cyclic-Steam*Stimulation Wells,” L. Han, H. Wang, J. Wang, B. Xie, Z. Tian, and X. Wu

Hope you enjoy reading these papers.
Frank Chang,  SPE Prod & Oper Executive Editor,
Saudi Aramco