First, I bid a fond farewell to some outgoing editors. It has been a great
privilege to work with Curtis Cheatham (SPEDC), Tony
Kovscek (SPEJ), and Frank Koch (SPEEM) during their
final year as Executive Editors. I have greatly admired their dedication,
professionalism, and passion for our society’s peer-reviewed literature.
Next, here are some important messages from Shauna Noonan, the SPE
Technical Director for Production & Operations:
Petrowiki.spe.org – SPE members are
invited to use and also contribute to the "wiki" implementation of SPE's
Petroleum Engineering Handbook. The initial content is limited to
selected chapters related to drilling, completions, and production engineering,
but more P&O-related chapters will be transferred into Petrowiki throughout
- There will be four P&O-related webinars during 2013, addressing
enhanced productivity, enhanced operations, asset surveillance &
optimization, and production chemistry & metallurgy.
- The P&O On-line Community will launch in 2013 Q1, incorporating all the
P&O-related discussion boards, and serving as a connection point for
P&O technical content, event information, and much more.
Watch for more information on the above and other P&O topics in this
column and also at the P&O
discipline web page.
Most of us understand that commerce and capital fuel our industry, and
advertising is part of that; however, commercialism has no place in our
technical literature. Here are some thoughts about the importance of avoiding
commercialism in SPE technical literature from long-serving SPEPO
Associate Editor Madelyn Holtzclaw:
"SPE has a policy for publication that says
a paper "must avoid commercialism and plagiarism" and "there are no commercial
references." Sometimes as a reviewer this is easy to spot and to correct as it
is a matter of just removing the vendor name. There are cases where it is more
difficult for the author to comply since they may be writing about a
proprietary chemical, process, or piece of equipment that they would like to
avoid describing in generic terms at that time.
I have had people ask why this is
important. If we suddenly allowed it we could end up with written commercials
for various products in all our journals. What would happen if someone
incorrectly did an experiment or several jobs failed as a result of their
planning and they wrote about it referring to the product by name in a
derogatory manner? Since SPE owns the copyright this might suddenly involve SPE
in a lawsuit and themselves and their employer. But avoiding a lawsuit is not
the reason that this policy was started more than 75 years ago. It was then and
now part of being professional. If the idea is presented well and the data
reported accurately with the methodology so that others could repeat it, the
results and the conclusions should support the findings. We then can give the
same consideration to a product or design by an individual as to one by a mega
corporation; the technology through the authors speaks for itself. A company
with a new product will still benefit from a generic description rather than
its product code name because you and I as consumers are always interested in
new things that work. It isn’t hard to tell that if the authors are from
Halliburton that it is likely a paper about a Halliburton product and you and I
as consumers can call them up and request more information.
We should keep this commerciality issue in
mind in our presentations at local meetings and at our topical conferences as
well. The same professionalism should apply to a presentation as to a written
paper. We have all attended a presentation at least once where it was just the
latest sales talk and the product is referred to by name throughout the talk.
Consider how uncomfortable and unfair that was for the competitive company to
have to sit through? As program chairman it is our responsibility to make sure
that we apply the rules fairly for all members. Sometimes this is difficult as
you don’t always have the presentations in advance of the talk or even the
paper. You can however always convey your expectations to speakers before they
agree to present and again ask them in your follow-up before the meeting if
they are sure they have not included company names or product logos.
If we stick to this policy our organization
will remain what I believe to be the best technical association in the industry
but without it we will most certainly lose much of our professional
And finally--as Curtis Cheatham was fond of saying--"to the papers." This
edition has four well stimulation papers, and five papers under the broad flow
The authors of Impacts of Diverse Fluvial Depositional Environments on
Hydraulic Fracture Growth in Tight Gas Reservoirs use hypothetical wells
set within a complex geologic model to demonstrate how fracture growth will
change due to changes in formation characteristics, and also due to
differential depletion of the layers within the formation. In Mechanically
Induced Fracture-Face Skin--Insights from Laboratory Testing and Modeling
Approaches, the authors evaluate how well performance will be affected by
changes in the mechanical loading on the proppant during the life cycle of the
well. The authors of Selecting Candidate Wells for Refracturing Using
Production Data have developed a new algorithm for selecting re-fracturing
candidates based on five dimensionless parameter groups including one that
considers the impact of stress re-orientation, and they showed that using their
method would have resulted in a 35% performance improvement vs. previous
methods in an example field. In the last well stimulation paper for this issue,
Effect of Acid Spending on Etching and Acid Fracture Conductivity, the
authors showed that the strongest acids studied created the most etching, but
the more spent acids resulted in greater retained conductivity.
Our crossover paper for this issue addresses both well stimulation and also
flow assurance, although it is listed under Flow Assurance in the table of
contents. In Squimulation: Simultaneous Well Stimulation and Scale Squeeze
Treatments in Deep Water, West Africa, the authors analyze field results
from using scale inhibitor as part of the post-flush for matrix acid jobs in
four wells. The authors of Field Study of the Physical and Chemical Factors
Affecting Downhole Scale Deposition in the North Dakota Bakken Formation1
examine trends in scale occurrence and scale prevention for the Bakken play.
A Thermally-Actuated Gas Lift Safety Valve describes the development and
prototype testing of a passive gas lift safety valve that relies on an
unexpected temperature change to trigger the closing of the valve. In First
Application of Progressing Cavity Pumps for Appraisal Well Testing in the
Ugandan Albertine Graben Basin, the authors provide an interesting case
study of how they approached artificial lift for appraisal well testing in
viscous, high-gravity, and low reservoir energy applications. And finally,
Sand Prediction: A Practical Finite-Element 3D Approach for Real Field
Applications, the authors describe their approach to modeling the onset of
sanding and the spatial distribution of rock failure around the wellbore, and
they promise that their model can be “straightforwardly extended” to provide
volumetric sanding predictions--the holy grail of sand management. Stay
Recent Peer-Reviewed Papers from Other SPE Journals
- SPEJ: "Gas Recovery from Tight Sands: Impact of Capillarity"
- SPEJ: "Mechanical Interaction of Multiple Fractures--Exploring Impacts of
the Selection of the Spacing/Number of Perforation Clusters on Horizontal
- JCPT: "Shale Gas: Nanometer-Scale Observations and Well Modelling"
- JCPT: "Simplified Forecasting of Tight/Shale-Gas Production in Linear
- SPEREE: "Establishing Key Reservoir Parameters with Diagnostic Fracture
- SPEEM: "Long-Term Economic Viability of Production From Unconventional
Liquids-Rich Reservoirs: The Case of Bakken Field"
- SPEEM: "Global Unconventional Gas Resource Assessment"
- SPEDC: "Buckling of Tubing Inside Casing"
- SPEDC: "Ultralightweight Proppants: An Effective Approach To Address
Problems in Long Horizontal Gravel Packs Offshore Brazil"