Welcome to the November 2018 issue of SPE Production & Operations. This issue marks the 1-year milestone for me as executive editor of the journal. Just as with any year-end close out, this is a time to reflect back on what we learned from the year’s effort and to look forward to future improvement. I would first like to express my sincere gratitude to the SPE staff for their dedication in steering the ship of the journal on a smooth path. I also want to thank all the associate editors and technical editors for contributing their valuable time in the pursuit of excellence in publication. They are the heroes of the peer-review process. Last but not least, I would like to thank all the authors for choosing SPE Production & Operations to showcase their work.
One of the primary responsibilities of the editorial committee is to make sure the journal reaches a broad spectrum of readers, and to let the readers feel incited and inspired when reading the articles. Though most of the time we like to read the papers in which we have expertise or interest, we may sometimes wish to read about the subjects that are new to us so that we may become better informed and educated. We probably all have the pleasant experience of reading a paper that we had no idea about, but the authors explain it so well that a novice can understand. This is one purpose I hope our journal can deliver. During the review process, more often than not, I come across an author’s response pointing out that the reviewers do not have sufficient expertise to judge his/her paper. This prompted me to want to share some thoughts on this matter.
Authors can certainly feel frustrated when their technical expertise is unduly challenged, but they could actually use the opportunity to cater to more readers, not just those who are savvy in the same domain. A good reviewer can help authors write a paper from a different angle, even if he or she is not an expert in the topic. Understandability is an important factor for publishability, and understandability should not target exclusively the domain experts. This idea is often overlooked by us as authors because we feel smarter when writing something for which the “Einsteins” of the industry give us a nod. However, most of the time, the real impact should come from the appreciation and admiration of a wider reader base.
A good paper can serve various functions. We may view a perfect paper as containing in-depth physics or chemistry, experimental validation, and field-application history, but this type of perfect paper is hard to find. Instead of asking for a perfect paper, we should rather seek one that is beneficial. If a paper can be easily understood by and increase the knowledge of the readers, it is a good and publishable paper.
In this issue, we are highlighting 20 recently peer-approved papers. Some of them describe theory or model observations in the field; though not the authors’ own observation, they can benefit the readers and those practicing in the field. “Proppant Distribution Among Multiple Perforation Clusters in Plug-and-Perforate Stages” is an example of this. Some of the papers this month disclose new cost-effective methods to improve operations; “Solution for the Repair of Holes in Production Tubing Without Rig and Without Wireline Operations” is an example. Though not a perfect method, the authors openly explain the applicability and limitations, which can benefit the readers.
Some of the papers discuss using new technologies to address existing applications, though the actual field implementations still need to be worked out. These papers can benefit the readers; refer to “Acoustic Downhole Oil/Water/Fines Separation (ADOWFS)” for an example. Finally, some of the papers in this issue document field cases with clear technical background and reasoning. They can benefit the readers. “On the Use of Distributed Temperature Sensing and Distributed Acoustic Sensing for the Application of Gas Lift Surveillance” is an example. There are many good papers in this issue of SPE Production & Operations. I hope you enjoy reading them, and I wish everyone a successful year in 2019.
Well Services and Engineering
Frank Chang, SPE Prod & Oper Executive Editor,