I first started reading SPE Drilling Engineering around 1990, before
it was renamed SPE Drilling & Completion in 1993. As a newcomer to
the subject, I remember finding many papers daunting and some quite
un-understandable. Writing technical papers requires thorough knowledge of the
subject, which is only to be expected, but writing good technical
papers, which are readable and understandable, requires additional skills which
may not be so ubiquitous. We do expect our readers to have a basic knowledge of
the oilfield and of wells, but we should not demand any specific or detailed
knowledge about the subjects being presented. A good paper brings the reader
into the subject, carries the reader through to the conclusions, and leaves the
reader with a powerful learning experience.
As Executive Editor, my most powerful learning experience has been the
appreciation of the vast diversity of our industry’s drilling and completion
challenges. There is a correspondingly vast diversity to our global readership.
To approve papers for publication, I start by looking at each paper from the
perspective of a reader with no specific or detailed knowledge.
Taking on the Executive Editor role two years ago gave me the opportunity to
nudge this publication a little, remembering my early impressions as a reader
of technical papers. After two short years, there are now only two weeks until
December 2007, so this is my final edition as Executive Editor. Before I hand
over to the new Executive Editor, Robert Mitchell, I wanted to briefly assess
these two years. In March 2006 I stated three objectives as Executive
• to deliver the best possible publication we can achieve; providing you
with readable, understandable material with the potential to be applied to your
• to present a diversity of drilling and completion papers to give you the
opportunity to broaden your awareness and challenge your perceptions.
• to encourage the idea that papers are an opportunity for a two-way
dialogue, in which questions or clarifications should be raised with the
I think the SPE Peer Review team continues to do a great job on the first
two objectives. From my perspective, the papers published in SPE Drilling
& Completion are amongst the best examples of today’s well engineering
challenges and solutions, and they certainly carry interest, provide new
learnings and offer a global diversity. The third objective is much harder to
assess; the e-library online forum has seen virtually no use to date. I think
we should keep working on this; to start off, I’d encourage all SPE Peer
Reviewers (890 people at the last count) to kick off discussions on the forum.
I’ll make a resolution to try kick-starting a few online forum questions in the
To you, the subscribers and readers of SPE Drilling & Completion,
I’d like to suggest two resolutions for the New Year;
I will cycle at least 100 miles during 2008; cycling is a great way of
appreciating just how much chemical energy is stored in a liter of hydrocarbon
fuel. Regular cycling helps to develop a little more respect for the value and
conservation of our finite hydrocarbons. Everyone knows that mankind needs to
become smarter and more efficient at consuming hydrocarbons.
Secondly, I will make a determined effort to read, digest, and learn from
one or two papers in each edition of SPE Drilling and Completion, once
you develop the habit of continuous learning, it is hard to shake off.
Digesting these papers is a great way of broadening your knowledge,
straightening out perspective, and throwing light on some of those areas that
you’ve never quite had the chance to understand. You could also consider
signing up for an SPE Peer Review team and review papers on a regular basis.
Reviewing papers is a natural step beyond reading this publication.
However, I would recommend you don’t attempt these two resolutions at the
The papers of this issue cover a wide range of subjects; "Drilling
Wellbore Stability in the Compacting and Subsiding Valhall Field, A Case
Study" presents the challenges of infill drilling in a carbonate reservoir
which has seen depletion and subsidence.
"Analyses and Procedures for Kick Detection in Subsea Mudlift
Drilling" looks at one of the pieces of understanding needed to turn
dual-gradient drilling into a standard activity.
"Experimental Study on Cuttings Transport With Foam Under Simulated
Horizontal Downhole Conditions" presents improved understanding of drilling
with foam or other two-phase low density fluids.
"Through-Tubing Rotary Drilling From Njord Floating Platform" pushes
the envelope on reducing drilling costs in mature fields. In some regions, TTRD
is a mainstay of late-life infill drilling, elsewhere it is not feasible.
Fracturing remains a core part of well construction in many areas of the
world. Technical advances continue to push the envelope of fracturing, for
"Extreme Multistage Fracturing Improves Vertical Coverage and Well
Performance in the Lost Hills Field."
"Deepwater Horizontal Openhole Gravel Packing in Marlim Sul Field,
Campos Basin, Brazil—Completion Project Learning Curve and Optimization"
provides a valuable learning opportunity for the state of the art of OHGP’s in
"Brine Viscosity Correlation With Temperature Using the VTF
Equation" provides a more accurate prediction tool for brine
"Rapid Pressure Support for Champion SE Reservoirs by Multi-Layer
Fractured Water Injection" shows how water injectors often have a much
bigger influence on reservoir management than production wells.
In closing, thank you for your continued support of SPE Drilling &
Completion. I wish Robert Mitchell the best of success as your new
Executive Editor. We just need a few hours of your time to read one or two of
these papers to make all of the peer review work worthwhile.
Best regards, John Mason, firstname.lastname@example.org