This issue of SPE Journal reflects the significant diversity of
research topics within SPE's technical disciplines. Manuscripts in this issue
address thermal recovery, well stimulation, optimization, measurement and
control, oilfield chemistry, X-ray computed tomography imaging, two-phase flow
in pipes, well testing, and uncertainty analysis. Six of the papers focus on
The interest in fundamental research in thermal recovery is particularly
encouraging to me because I have advocated more work in this area in the past.
Of the papers on thermal recovery, three are related to in-situ combustion.
In-situ combustion is a promising recovery technique in which air or enriched
air is injected into a reservoir and a small fraction of the hydrocarbons are
oxidized in-situ, producing heat and pressure through combustion gases. Within
the reservoir, the high-temperature combustion front is a narrow zone of only a
few centimeters in width that is analogous, in a fashion, to the glowing
section of a cigarette. Characterization of combustion processes at laboratory
and field scale remains a challenge. Combustion, however, presents important
possibilities for upgrading and sulfur removal in the reservoir because the
crude-oil components that contribute to fuel that is combusted are generally
the heaviest and contain heteroatoms such as sulfur.
I encourage you to look at the combustion manuscripts; you’ll note that I am
in the byline of two of these, along with my coworkers. Accordingly, I would
like to describe the process by which SPE Journal evaluates manuscripts
from its Executive Editor (EE). The process applied to submissions authored by
an EE is quite similar to the process applied to papers authored by Associate
Editors (AE). That is, any editor is "blinded" electronically from the details
of the review process. An editor may check the status of a manuscript in the
Author Center, as is the case with any author, and may correspond with SPE
Technical Publications staff, but is barred from participating in the review
process in any way. There are no extra privileges resulting from being both an
author and an EE or AE for the same journal.
In the case that a manuscript is submitted for review from the EE, an acting
EE is appointed to initiate the review process, select an AE, and render
decisions on the manuscript. Dean Oliver was called back to duty to serve as
the Executive Editor for our two manuscripts appearing here. We had to respond
to criticism and modify our manuscript in exactly the same fashion as any other
I decided to address here the topic of EE and AE submissions to SPE
Journal because I like our policies and actions at the Journal
to be well-understood and transparent. I hope that you have found this
discussion to be of interest.
In closing, I would like to whet your intellectual appetite by telling you
that December’s issue focuses on the topic of carbon dioxide. The coming issue
has been in preparation for quite some time and will feature papers ranging
from CO2 sequestration, experimental measurement of relative
permeability, enhanced oil recovery, CO2-induced mineralization,
well cementing in CO2-rich environments, and similar topics. Please
look for it in December.
Thank you for reading. I hope that you enjoy this issue and its 20
* Kovscek, A.R. 2005. Overview: Heavy Oil. J Pet Technol
57 (6): 62.