When selecting papers for publication in SPE Drilling &
Completion, we base our assessment on two questions: “Is the work new to
the industry?” and “Is the work of significant interest to our
readers?” With more than 400 papers proposed for publication in
SPEDC in 2007, we have decided to take an extra step to help our Peer
Review team: each author is now asked to explain the “newness of” and
“potential reader interest in” their paper.
The question of being new work is an assessment against previous papers and
should be objective. Most times, the subject matter is familiar (e.g., casing
design, drilling fluids, directional drilling, or sand control), but the
newness of the paper is about meeting new challenges or showing new approaches
to existing challenges. We also get to review unfamiliar territory, such as
drilling to extract reserves from gas hydrates or using shaped-memory metals in
downhole applications. These types of papers merge into the research and
development arena, which falls under the remit of our sister publication,
Five years ago, you might have been justified to think that “directional
drilling with casing,” “dynamic underbalance perforating,” “expandable liner
hangers,” “distributed temperature sensing,” or “wellbore strengthening” were
new to the industry. Today, these ideas have been widely publicized and are in
use in many parts of our business. Leading organizations rapidly exploit such
new ideas in the drive to add value to their business. The majority prefer to
watch the pioneers take on the risk and join the “rush to be second.” For the
followers, newness is controlled by service-company marketing and water-cooler
conversations. The first horizontal well was drilled in 1929, and a nine-branch
multilateral well was drilled in 1953, so perhaps it is true that we are slow
to adopt new ideas. Perhaps it is controlled by the cyclic demand for oil and
gas: In boom years, there is much less need for innovation; in lean years,
inviting technical risk is not for the faint-hearted.
The latter question, “Is the work of significant interest to our
readers?,” is much more subjective, and our reviewers have to make that
judgment on your behalf. However, every reader of SPEDC is invited to
provide feedback—after reading the papers in this edition, go to www.spe.org,
log in to the SPE Drilling & Completion online publication, and go
to the Discussion Forum to tell us your thoughts on newness and interest.
This edition’s offering of new and interesting papers covers a wide range of
Drilling and Completion topics:
Generalized Functional Models for Drilling Cost Estimation provides
ideas to help with the challenges of well cost estimating.
A new drilling fluid with potential for depleted and fractured reservoirs is
presented in Recent Advances in Aphron Drilling Fluid Technology.
HP/HT drilling fluids are discussed in A New Extreme HP/HT Viscometer for
New Drilling-Fluid Challenges.
A significant piece of work on managing the environmental consequences of
seabed drill cuttings is given in Development, Verification, and Improvement
of a Sediment-Toxicity Test for Regulatory Compliance.
In many offshore areas, reinjection of drill cuttings is an essential
business requirement; Increased Assurance of Drill Cuttings Reinjection:
Challenges, Recent Advances, and Case Studies, should be of direct
A combination of environmental concerns and technology advances have
provided the industry with new opportunities for eliminating pipe dope for
casing and tubing, as presented in Development of Dope-Free Premium Connections
for Casing and Tubing.
Advances in the understanding of tubulars are presented in The Effect of
Friction on Initial Buckling of Tubing and Flowlines.
A Comparative Study of Mechanical
Properties of Density-Reduced Cement Compositionsprovides new data for
those working with low-density cements.
On the Completions side of our business, the first paper looks at
vacuum-insulated tubing: An Application of Vacuum-Insulated Tubing (VIT) for
Wax Control in an Arctic Environment.
An emerging well-stimulation technique is presented in Selective
Placement of Fractures in Horizontal Wells in Offshore Brazil Demonstrates
Effectiveness of Hydrajet Stimulation Process.
Fiber-Optic Distributed-Temperature-Sensing Technology Used for Reservoir
Monitoring in an Indonesia Steamflood shows how fiber optics are an
essential part of completions in some parts of the world.
A field history showing many of the challenges in today’s offshore field
developments is given in Deepwater Extended-Reach Sand-Control Completions
Managing Sand Production—The Key to Improved Gas-Well Deliverability and
Extended Field Life shows how managing sand production can be a better
solution than installing downhole sand control.
For sand-control completions, a field history with that all-important
information about long-term well behavior is given in Long-Term Performance
of Sand-Control Completions in the Mokoko-Abana Field, Cameroon.
Fourteen papers is more than our usual offering, and I do hope you get
interest and value from at least a few of these papers. Comments are welcome: