Welcome to the May 2019 issue of SPE Production & Operations. For this issue, I would like to call attention to the three papers related to produced fluid handling. This is an important yet rarely highlighted topic in our journal, because the produced fluid process is often considered midstream to even downstream. As you may know, SPE Production & Operations was called SPE Production & Facilities before 2006. I noticed in looking back that between 2006 and 2011, there was an additional journal titled SPE Project, Facilities, and Construction, which seemed to be more suitable for the safety, environmental, and surface equipment related articles. The authors in this technical domain might have shifted away from SPE Production & Operations during this time, which might explain why such topics like produced fluid handling have been less published in our journal.
In reading the two papers in this issue having to do with produced gas processing to remove acidic gas—CO2 and H2S—I gained more insight into the environmental impact of our industry producing fossil fuel. Even though we say natural gas is a much cleaner energy source, these papers help me appreciate there is still a lot of damage we can do to the environment and therefore health of the planet in the process of delivering this clean energy. The efforts in reducing flaring and conducting CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) can be critical and rewarding in the long run. The third paper focuses on the aspect of water processing for EOR process. The authors carefully studied the function and cost benefit of nanofiltration membrane to process the produced water for reinjecting into a carbonate reservoir for a “smartwater” flooding, which relies on controlling wettability to achieve increase in recovery factor. Though it is more related to reservoir engineering, the considerations for preparing injected fluids on the basis of different water sources to prevent scaling, injectivity loss, corrosion, and reservoir souring share the same importance with the production and stimulation domain.
Reading more about these subjects that fall outside of my area of expertise helped me broaden my view of our industry’s scopes and processes in producing the energy that end users take for granted. I hope we, as readers, all get to enjoy the feeling of expanding our knowledge when reading the papers published in SPE Production & Operations. In addition to produced fluid handling, there are three other topics published in this issue of the journal: fracture conductivity, oilfield scale, and artificial lift. These are the technical domains frequently appearing in the journal, and I hope you find them covering your interests and fulfilling your technical hunger.
Frank Chang, SPE Prod & Oper Executive Editor,