Welcome to this month’s selection of peer-reviewed papers. The papers are diverse and offer interesting reading, with topics ranging from early field planning to the testing of operating units.
SPE has a long-standing reputation of quality in regard to its published papers. The peer-review process ensures the paper meets the criteria for a good paper, does not have significant commerical content, and avoids plagiarism. SPE’s plagiarism policy is available at http://www.spe.org/authors/plagiarism.php. Before publication of a paper, the SPE staff and editors endeavor to ensure this policy has been followed.
The first paper describes an optimization method for long-distance gas-transmission pipelines. The investment costs and operation expenses of pipeline networks are so large that even small improvements in design and operation conditions can lead to substantial savings in capital and operating cost.
The next paper describes a potential solution to handle produced water from subsea wells. Water in the production stream causes problems, including increased hydrostatic pressure, hydrates, and hydraulic pressure drop. Existing technology is evolving to meet the challenges to automate water separation and purification in deep water to ensure environmentally safe discharge at the seabed. Environmental protection is a priority, and the translation of the existing statutory regulations along with the flexibility to match the system to the reservoir’s needs is a major undertaking.
The following paper summarizes the driving forces in paraffin deposition using experimental data and observed trends. In addition to the continuous increase in deposit thickness with time, the experiments indicated both shear stress and Reynolds number to be correlating parameters for a decrease in deposit thickness. However, additional experimentation is needed to develop reliable predictive tools to capture all of the paraffin-deposition characteristics. We will hopefully see more papers on this topic.
The final paper concerns a topic found frequently in operations: a leaking heat exchanger that is causing fluid contamination. Leak indicators, such as a loss of sulfur flow in the rundown and a frothy sulfur appearance, were observed. This paper describes a novel method to verify leaks within a sulfur-recovery unit condenser. The method provided an economical and operationally easy method for detection of the leak.
Thank you for taking the time to review the papers on the next pages. I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I enjoyed selecting its content.
Jim Collins, Peer-Review Editor, ConocoPhillips
Williams Chirinos, Inexertus
Galen Dino, AMEC Oil and Gas Americas
Sudhakar Mahajanam, ConocoPhillips
Gerald Verbeek, Verbeek Management Services