With this issue, my two-year term as Executive Editor of the SPE Journal has
come to an end. This is my last column. My role has required many hours
reading papers, reviews and recommendations, attending to correspondence, and
making final decisions, some of them quite difficult. Despite the workload,
I’m glad to have had the experience. One thing it has given me is new
appreciation of my Executive Editor predecessors, much like the way that
having children gives you new appreciation of your parents.
Much has happened in the last 2 years, mainly because of the efforts of the
SPE staff, the editorial board, and the anonymous reviewers.
1. The transition to web-based reviewing is essentially complete and many
minor bugs have been worked out.
2. Review turnaround has improved.
3. Every issue is being filled to capacity. At the same time, the decline rate
is high: competition to get in the journal is strong.
4. Refereed papers in the SPE e-library are now clearly marked as having been
refereed; thus, it is easy to find quality content that has passed peer review.
5. The long-awaited production of electronic journals will commence with the
first issue in 2006. The paper issue is being retained for an additional
6. The first article in the journal typeset in LaTeX is in this issue. More
voluntary work is required on the template, but this represents a major
breakthrough for LaTeX users.
7. The SPE Journal continues to have a high impact-factor measure for a
petroleum engineering journal, although there is opportunity to do even better
against other disciplines.
8. Subscriptions to SPEJ have noticeably increased at a time when many
journals are facing pressure from libraries with budget restrictions.
The job of Executive Editor has been made easier by the excellent SPE staff. I
particularly thank Stacie Hughes for her continual courtesy and
professionalism in the handling of papers and reviews. With similar courtesy
and professionalism, staff editor Chris Carpenter performs the job of
composing each issue, overcoming the many challenges that can arise in such a
task. Carole Young, as Publications Manager, has brought great experience and
a fresh approach to the SPE. It has been a pleasure working with these
I take this opportunity to again thank the unpaid and overworked editorial
board members listed on the facing page, plus the many anonymous reviewers
without whom the journal couldn’t function. This year, Outstanding Technical
Editor Awards went to Hans Bruining, Jef Caers, Robert Jeffrey, and Yannis
Yortsos, but there are many others that deserve recognition. One of these is
Martin Blunt, to whom I wish farewell from the Editorial Board. Martin was
Associate Executive Editor when the current series of SPEJ commenced in 1996,
and has given a decade of dedicated service to the journal. I thank him for
I am pleased to hand over leadership of SPEJ to Dean Oliver. Dean is Director
and Eberly Family Chair Professor of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at
the U. of Oklahoma, and has been a member of the SPEJ Editorial Board for many
years. He received the SPE Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award in 2004 in
recognition of his outstanding research that includes work on history
matching, conditioning reservoir models, inverse theory, and reservoir
characterization and optimization. Dean will guide the journal with high
standards, integrity, and a steady hand over the next 2 years.
Finally, I’m glad to have been associated with the SPE Journal as I consider
it to be one of the premier publications of its kind. While it has a theme of
fundamental new petroleum science and technology, association with a
professional engineering society keeps the content relevant and useful. I
often find myself going back to old issues to find papers that help me with my
endeavors. This issue, once again, contains a series of papers that reinforce
the role and status of the journal; as always, I am confident you will find
something of interest.