Executive Summary

The end of September 2019 marks the first anniversary of my 3-year term as executive editor of SPE Drilling & Completion. I would like to share some statistics on our journal performance, covering the months from September 2018 through August 2019. In the last issue, I pointed out that the largest
concern raised by our authors is that it takes too long for the authors to receive the first decision on their submitted paper. Our editorial board promised to shorten the review process without losing paper quality, and as one can see from the table below, the number of days from submission to first decision has reduced gradually from February to August 2019. The goal is to limit this time to less than 60 days for every paper submitted to the journal. Other good news I would like to share is that the impact factor for the journal has increased from 1.0 in 2018 to 1.327 in 2019. You can read more about impact factor for SPE journals at https://www.spe.org/en/jpt/jpt-briefs-detail-page/?art=4158.














Number of Submissions













Days to First Decision













Table 1—Days from submission to first decision (monthly).


This issue of the journal features 10 papers. Here is brief information about each.


Drilling fluids play key roles in maintaining pressure balance and in transporting cuttings to the surface. Proper estimation of the frictional pressure loss is very important in drilling operations. To understand better the difference between wellbore hydraulic behavior and cutting transport efficiency of water-based and oil-based drilling fluids, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is performed to study the drilling-fluid behavior of the two types of drilling fluids under identical conditions. Details of this study are found in CFD Modeling of Hydraulic Behavior of Oil- and Water-Based Drilling Fluids in Laminar Flow.

Approximately one-half of all conventional offshore oil and gas resources are not drillable with conventional open-to-atmosphere circulating fluid systems for safety, economic, and technical reasons. Managed pressure drilling (MPD) has been used successfully in drilling these complex wells. However, an unnecessary increase in total time and cost is accrued when wells that should be drilled with conventional technology are drilled with MPD technology. Therefore, a strategy should be selected for when to use MPD technology. In the paper entitled Strategic Evaluation of Managed Pressure Drilling: An Application on Brazillian Dynamic-Positioning Rigs, the authors develop a probabilistic method to determine the MPD demand for a development campaign by calculating the optimal number of rigs equipped with MPD.

In recent years, high-frequency torsional oscillation (HFTO) has been a hot topic in the drilling industry. HFTO is believed to be responsible for fatigue failures in downhole tools. From high-frequency dynamic sensors distributed along drilling systems, the authors of A Drill Bit and a Drilling Motor With Embedded High-Frequency (1600 Hz) Drilling Dynamics Sensors Provide New Insights Into Challenging Downhole Drilling Conditions find that HFTO dominant frequency is as high as 700 Hz with amplitudes up to 400g peak to peak. They present and discuss case studies in the paper.

Wellbore breathing is a phenomenon in which wellbore pressure exceeding the fracture-opening/initiation gradient results in major fluid losses when drilling ahead and fluid returns when circulation is stopped. To avoid kick misdiagnosis, correct interpretation and modeling of this phenomenon are important. Borehole-Breathing/Kick Discriminator: Diagnostic Tool and Potential Resources for In-Site Formation Characterization demonstrates how to use the proposed geomechanical model to generate diagnostic flowback type curves. Field data is analyzed in the paper.


Slotted line is a sand-control technology used for completion of thermal wells. During installation, the liner is subjected to combined loading with simultaneously axial, bending, and torsional loads. The combined loading can alter the structural capacity of the liner and reduce its ability to withstand subsequent operational loads, especially under thermal-service loading conditions. Impact of Rotation During Installation on the Structural Performance of Slotted Liners in Thermally Stimulated Wells examines the impact that rotation during installation can have on the subsequent thermal-service capacity and sand-control performance of a slotted liner. The findings of the work provide the basis for a proposed method to select appropriate engineering limits for the liner.

Multizone Casedhole Frac Packs and Intelligent-Well Systems Improve Recovery in Subsea Gas Fields reviews the successful services of multizone casedhole frac pack (CHFP) completions with intelligent-well flow control. It first outlines several field-development challenges in the small gas fields related to lithology such as weak reservoirs, independent aquifers (water breakthrough over time), and lower reservoir pressures. Key features required for field-installation design are then discussed in detail in the paper. According to the authors, no sand-control failures have occurred after 6 years of production services.

SPE Drilling & Completion has published several papers in recent issues on the design improvement of blowout preventer (BOP). Although the risk of well blowout is low, there are still concerns regarding well control, especially for operations in sensitive environments. Rapid Crosslinking Polymer Provides an Additional Blowout-Preventer Barrier presents a concept to respond to BOP seal failure by injecting a liquid monomer and a catalyst below a BOP leak point to rapidly form a polymer-plug seal. Laboratory tests show that mixtures of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) -based polymer plugs can withstand axial stress of 100 MPa without significant deformation, even at temperatures of 200°C and 20-wt% synthetic-based drilling-fluid contamination. The reaction time to form solid polymers is less than 45 seconds.

Tubulars made with corrosion-resistant alloys exhibit a moderate degree of transverse anisotropy. Although there is a substantial body of literature on anisotropy in metals and manufactured composites, anisotropy of tubulars has not received much attention in the industry. Triaxial Limit and Safety Factor of an Anisotropic Corrosion-Resistant Alloy Tubular presents a method to determine the triaxial limit of a ductile anisotropic hollow cylinder and a method to determine the effect of axial yield-strength asymmetry on the triaxial limit of the cylinder.

It becomes important for deeper offshore wells to calculate accurately the worst-case discharge (WCD). Experimental Evaluation of Wellbore Flow Models Applied to Worst-Case-Discharge Calculations for Oil Wells provides information on how to use wellbore flow models to obtain improved predictions on WCD calculations.

Evaluation of the Elevated-Temperature Performance and Degradation Mechanisms of Thread Compounds presents an investigation of the high-temperature failure mechanisms of thread compounds that play an important role in the sealing ability of casing connections in the oil and gas industry. The results show that the currently commercially available thread compounds fail by adhesive and/or abrasive wear at approximately 150°C because of thermally induced degradation. A prototype thread compound is developed and discussed in the paper.

That’s it for the third issue in 2019. If you have any suggestions to improve our journal, please e-mail me at Shilin.Chen@Halliburton.com. Your opinions will be seriously considered.

Shilin Chen, SPE Drill & Compl Executive Editor,
Chief Technical Advisor, Halliburton