Welcome to the first issue of 2006! This issue marks a beginning and end for
some things related to our journal: the name of our journal has changed to
SPE Production & Operations; Wolfgang Deeg and Simon Richards have
completed their terms as Review Chairpersons; and Richards has accepted the
responsibility to act as Executive Editor for the new electronic journal,
SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction. I want to thank both of them
for their dedicated service to SPE and the assistance they have provided me
over the last year.
As Deeg and Richards step down, new Review Chairpersons have already been
appointed: Harold Brannon, Dean Wehunt, and Ali Ghalambor have all agreed to
serve. Brannon is employed by BJ Services Co. in Houston; Wehunt is employed
by Chevron Energy Technology Co. in Houston; and Ghalambor is located in
Lafayette and is the Chairperson of the Petroleum Engineering Dept. at the U.
of Louisiana at Lafayette. They join Ian Collins, Elise Striz, and Bill
Bailey. I want to thank all of you for your willingness to serve SPE in this
important function of Review Chairperson, and I look forward to working with
you over the next year as we all strive to publish this esteemed technical
Before introducing the papers in this issue, I would like to take a brief look
back at our milestones for 2005. Last year, we significantly improved the time
it takes to publish a paper in SPEPO. In my experience, the time for review
depends on many factors, but the two main factors are the Technical Editors’
review time and the time taken by authors to make the required revisions. We
have control over only the first factor and are working hard to address it. We
added two new Review Chairpersons and substantially increased the number of
Technical Editors. It is hoped that these changes will further reduce the
Last year, we received a total of 374 papers; of those, four papers were
accepted without revision, 61 papers were accepted with minor revision, 63
papers required major revision, 75 papers were declined after review, and 114
papers were initially declined for a variety of reasons. The remaining 51
papers are still under review. We published 36 papers in 2005 and have 26
papers awaiting publication in 2006. To eliminate this backlog, SPE decided to
increase the number of papers from nine to 18 in this issue and up to 19 in
the forthcoming May 2006 issue.
Before I move on to the papers, I would like to thank the SPE staff,
particularly Stacie Hughes, Carole Young, Shashana Pearson-Hormillosa, and
Holly Hargadine for their unconditional support during 2005.
Leading off this expanded issue, a scale management paper, Evaluation
Methods for Suspended Solids and Produced Water as an Aid in Determining
Effectiveness of Scale Control Both Downhole and Topside, outlines a
method involving the evaluation of suspended solids in terms of amount,
mineral type, composition, and texture along with brine chemistry that can
greatly improve our understanding of the location of scale formation within
production environment. Implementation of this analytical strategy can greatly
improve scale management in terms of evaluating scale-squeeze placement
effectiveness, squeeze lifetime, and topside scale-control challenges vs.
In addition to understanding how scale inhibitors affect the bulk-solution
precipitation process, it is important to assess how efficient inhibitors are
in controlling the nucleation, growth, and adhesion of scale in metal
surfaces. How Minimum-Inhibitor Concentration (MIC) and Sub-MIC
Concentrations Affect Bulk Precipitation and Surface-Scaling Rates
presents the results of an experimental program conducted to assess the
efficiency of polyphosphinocarboxylic acid (PPCA) in inhibiting barium sulfate
scale formation in the bulk solution and on a metal surface over a range of
concentrations and test temperatures. Simple schematic models of the bulk- and
surface-scaling regimes and the corresponding inhibition process are presented.
The next paper, Silica-Scale Inhibition for Steam Generation in OTSG Boiler,
demonstrates that silica-scale inhibitors can be used in steam generation in
a once-through-steam-generation (OTSG) boiler. The laboratory results were
corroborated on an industrial OTSG boiler in operating conditions. Results
show that use of silica-scale inhibitors instead of silica removal can result
in substantial cost saving.
The paper Study of Calcium Carbonate Precipitation in the Near-Well Region
Using 47Ca2+ as Tracer discusses the development of a new method for
studying calcium carbonate precipitation in laboratory experiments using the
gamma-emitting tracer 47Ca2+. The advantage of this method is its high
sensitivity for the onset of precipitation and its ability to visualize the
scale distribution, which is not readily accomplished with conventional
Benchmarking the Formation Damage of Drilling Fluids presents a unified
test protocol for formation-damage testing. The protocol is functional, rather
than a detailed instruction, with respect to laboratory-work processes and the
handling of laboratory equipment. Options for diagnostic formation-damage
assessments and minimum requirements to scale up formation-damage measurements
to field scale are also presented.
Prediction of formation damage that occurs while drilling horizontal wells is
a critical point for optimizing an oilfield development. Near-Wellbore
Formation-Damage Effects on Well Performance―A Comparison Between
Underbalanced and Overbalanced Drilling describes a numerical approach to
simulate near-wellbore damage caused by underbalanced drilling. The impacts of
formation damage on well productivity are simulated by the numerical model and
are compared for both underbalanced and overbalanced drilling.
Almost all deep sour-gas reservoirs and many of our oil reservoirs contain
elemental sulfur as dissolved species. Reduction in pressure and temperature
during production operation can result in deposition of elemental sulfur in
the reservoir, wellbore, and surface facilities. In addition, many oil
reservoirs suffer from simultaneous sulfur and asphaltene deposition problems.
Formation Damage Caused by Simultaneous Sulfur and Asphaltene Deposition
presents the results of dynamic-flow experiments conducted using different
crude oils of different sulfur and asphaltene concentrations, under different
flow rates. The results show that the increase of oil-flow rates increases the
formation damage caused by sulfur and asphaltene deposition in the reservoir
rock. As such, reduction of flow rates may significantly reduce the sulfur-
and asphaltene-induced formation damage.
The next paper, Optimizing Filtrate Design To Minimize In-Situ and Wellbore
Damage to Water-Wet Reservoirs During Drill-In, presents laboratory data
demonstrating the benefits of a special surfactant molecule engineered to pass
through a drill-in-fluid filter cake along with other filtrate components to
maximize wellbore productivity. Functionally, the addition of this surfactant
to the water-based drill-in fluids can prevent the formation of in-situ
water/oil emulsions, inhibit the adsorption of polymers onto the rock
surfaces, and reduce the risk of water blockage.
The paper Productivity of Selectively Perforated Horizontal Wells
investigates the effects of selective perforating on horizontal-well
performance. The theoretical investigation shows that the ratio of total
perforated length to the drilled well length is the most dominant parameter
controlling the long-term performance of selectively perforated horizontal
wells. Other important parameters include the degree of formation and
Liquid loading in the wellbore has been recognized as a severe problem in gas
production for many years. Accurate prediction of the problem is critical to
taking timely measures to resolve the problem. Although several investigators
have suggested methods to predict the problems, these methods are not easy to
use, and results often show discrepancies. A Systematic Approach to
Predicting Liquid Loading in Gas Wells presents an accurate and
easy-to-use method for predicting the minimum gas-production rate for the
continuous removal of liquids from gas wells.
Two-phase-flow modeling for gas-condensate wells has not received as much
attention as that for oil wells. Simplified Wellbore-Flow Modeling in
Gas/Condensate Systems advocates the use of a two-component homogeneous
model to circumvent issues with any rigorous two-phase-flow modeling, such as
delineating flow-pattern boundaries, estimating slip between phases, and
performing flash calculations.
The next paper, Including Nonequilibrium Relaxation in Models for Rapid
Multiphase Flow in Wells, presents models that can be incorporated into
conventional reservoir simulations for accurate description of nonequilibrium
conditions. These models are applicable for two-phase (oil/gas and water/gas)
and three-phase (oil/water/gas) well-fluid systems.
Heat transfer across the insulation of pipelines and wellbores presents a
unique problem affecting flow efficiency. Although sophisticated computer
programs are available for predicting fluid temperatures, their accuracies
suffer from numerical treatments because long pipe segments have to be used to
save computing time. The paper, A Simple Model for Predicting Heat Loss and
Temperature Profiles in Insulated Pipelines, presents three analytical
heat-transfer solutions for predicting heat loss and temperature profiles in
thermal-insulated flow conduits.
The next paper, Unified Model of Heat Transfer in Gas/Liquid Pipe Flow,
presents a unified model of multiphase heat transfer for different flow
patterns of gas/liquid pipe flow at all inclinations from –90° to +90° from
Analysis of Oil-/Water-Flow Tests in Horizontal, Hilly Terrain, and
Vertical Pipes provides new experimental data of flow pattern, water
holdup, and pressure drop particularly measured at horizontal, hilly terrain,
and vertical conditions with large-diameter pipes.
Friction pressure of fluids in tubing can be drastically reduced by adding
long-chain polymers or surfactants to fluids being pumped. Effect of
Coiled-Tubing Curvature on Drag Reduction of Polymeric Fluids presents
experimental results of the effect of coiled-tubing curvature on the
drag-reduction behavior of polymeric fluids in turbulent flow.
Granular-Polymer-Gel Treatment Successful in Daqing Oil Field presents
the results of a field trial in which granular polymer gel was used as a
blocking agent. The blocking agent improved oil production and substantially
decreased the water production.
And finally, the last paper in this issue, Identification and Resolution of
Water-Treatment Performance Issues on the 135 D Platform, describes the
means by which the fundamental causes of the water-treatment performance
problems on the 135 D platform, Campos basin, were identified and successfully
In closing, this issue of the journal contains 18 technical articles covering
a range of interest related to production and facilities. I hope that between
them, they contain something that is of interest and value to every reader of
SPE Production & Operations. Furthermore, I wish everyone a happy and
As ever, if you have any comments—positive or negative—about the content of
this issue, I encourage you to send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.