Hello! As your new SPEDC Executive Editor, it is a great pleasure to
welcome you to the pages of the March 2006 issue. We are all much indebted to
David Curry, who has done a fine job in this role for the last 2 years; he
also left things in a tidy fashion for me to pick up and take forward. I’ve
worked in the SPEDC for some years, first as a Technical Editor and
then as a Review Chairperson. In his final Executive Summary, Curry mentioned
that I am the fifth consecutive British Executive Editor, so if my spelling of
“programme” or “colourful” starts to irritate, you’d certainly be very welcome
to join the review team, taking on the challenge of SPE peer reviewing on top
of busy day jobs and life’s many other commitments.
The editorial review committee members listed on the next page have
volunteered for this challenge; their task is to peer review all the
conference papers proposed for publication. The Review Chairpersons and the
Executive Editor then distill the best eight or so for each quarterly edition
of SPEDC. This gives you a set of papers that carry a level of peer
endorsement, papers that you should be able to learn from and use with
My motive for taking on this extra work is that life is a continuous
learning process—after 20 years working in reservoir engineering,
production operations, and drilling and completions, the goal posts have just
never stopped moving. As soon as you think you’ve worked some of the more
challenging high-angle wells, along come rotary steerables to push the limits
far beyond your expectations. Wherever you look, the boundaries get pushed
forward (into deeper water, harder rock, lower permeability, sourer gas,
higher pressure/higher temperatures, horizontal sand control, thousands of
feet of perforating guns in one run, intelligent completions, geosteering,
better tubing connections, more logging-while-drilling tools, expandable
liners, mechanized drilling equipment, etc.). Continuous learning isn’t an
optional extra; it’s at the core of delivering added value to everyone’s
business. For me, SPEDC is part of being in the continuous learning
process. I feel it is especially important to be self motivated in our
drilling and completion industry in consideration of the inherent
responsibilities, set against the lack of engineering formality. Other than
the International Well Control Federation ticket, an offshore survival ticket,
and a regular medical check, many of us have few other relevant
qualifications. A “good engineering degree” is not always required (I hold an
MA in physics and maths), and there are many very competent people without
higher education who demonstrate their abilities day in and day out. The
alternative to continuous learning is becoming inexorably more limited in
perspectives and more limited in job progression.
My objectives as Executive Editor are three-fold:
• To deliver the best-quality publication that we can achieve, providing you
with papers that are readable and understandable and material that you can
learn from and apply.
• To present a diversity of drilling and completion papers to give you
opportunities to broaden your awareness and challenge your perception of
things outside of your core area.
• To encourage the idea that papers are an opportunity for two-way dialogue in
which questions or clarifications can—and should—be raised with the authors.
Whenever you read SPEDC, please be empowered to question and challenge
any information you find to be unclear or that appears incorrect.
There are 69,000 members of SPE globally; more than 14,000 of these are
drilling and completion people, of whom 4,700 subscribe to this publication.
This sounds to me like 4,700 drilling and completion people making a positive
step toward continuous learning. Because our readers are a knowledgeable and
influential audience, I hope in future issues to share a few questions and
challenges with you. But for now, a summary of the papers in this issue, and
then I’d better get back to finishing my colourful well programme.
Stability of a Multilateral Junction: Experimental Results and Numerical
Modeling and Predicting and Preventing Wellbore Instability: Tullich Field
Development, North Sea, both look at wellbore stability—one is
research-based, the other a field example. Wellbore stability is a subject
that demands a high price from those who fail to understand it. Deciding to do
a wellbore-stability study is the easy step; the bigger challenge is providing
reliable input data and putting the study results into context. Confidence in
the study results allows you to change your well design and programmes, which
is especially difficult when it may mean going against your gut feeling.
Advances in Horizontal Openhole Gravel Packing and Horizontal Drilling and
Openhole Gravel Packing With Oil-Based Fluids—An Industry Milestone
give you good evidence of how quickly openhole-gravel-packing (OHGP)
completions have moved forward in response to the longer high-angle wells now
being regularly drilled. Drilling with oil-based mud and then gravel packing
in an oil-based fluid is a further push on the boundaries. The all-oil-based
technique should help to unlock some of the OHGP problems seen in long
reservoir sections with reactive mudstones.
Optimization of Big-Bore HP/HT Wells to Exploit a Low-Pressure Reservoir in
Indonesia and Evolution of Completion Practices in the Wild River Tight Gas
Field are two contrasting case histories with well rates from 1 MMscf/D up
to 220 MMscf/D and completion tubing from 2⅞ to 10 in. in diameter. It is a
good illustration of the diversity of challenge in the drilling and completion
Innovative Remedial-Cementing Solution Provides Annular Isolation in Duyong
B-4 describes remedial cementing in a demanding environment. I like seeing
the integration of bond logs, image logs, production data, and subsurface data
in developing a clear understanding of the problem. It does raise the question
of how often shortcomings exist in primary cementing, with the problems
remaining hidden until later in field life.
The final paper is New Friction-Factor Correlations for Non-Newtonian Fluid
Flow in Coiled Tubing. As we continue to push the limits of coiled-tubing
(CT) intervention and CT drilling, better hydraulics models are required to
improve the quality of job planning. Next time you look at software for
modeling CT hydraulics, ask the vendor if these new correlations have been
coded into their programme.
My main measure of the success of SPEDC is how many readers keep their
copies on the shelf, scribbled with notes and highlighted in key areas. If 90%
of copies are skimmed and binned, then we are not delivering interest and
value to you. The new online version of SPEDC has a Discussion Forum
where you can provide feedback or ask any questions regarding the articles.
For those reading the hardcopy of SPEDC, please contact the authors
directly if their e-mail addresses are provided in their biographies;
otherwise, let me know your concerns, and I’ll forward them on to the authors.