This section of Oil and Gas Facilities contains several peer-reviewed papers. The term “peer-reviewed” is not always fully understood. The primary principle behind the SPE peer-review process is to provide a fair and timely technical review of the paper at hand, and to identify the most meaningful technical papers that contribute to the development of petroleum technology. A paper may be submitted for publication in one of SPE’s peer-reviewed periodicals. It will be critiqued by two or more industry or scientific experts (the peers), who will consider questions such as:
• Is the problem well-defined, and is it a real problem?
• Is the problem solved in a sound way?
• Do the conclusions make sense?
In the description of a field case, are there enough data to understand the issues and from which to learn? Sometimes, in a technical or scientific demonstration, the author has to make choices. The author should clearly explain those choices, and the reviewer should evaluate them objectively. The reviewers often specify improvements (minor or major) to be made to the paper, and sometimes more than one round of review and revision is necessary before the paper is accepted for publication.
So the answer to the question “why peer review?” is clear: The process guarantees the quality of the papers published. In the scientific domain, peer review has proven to be an efficient and successful tool for the progress of science. I believe that the same is true in the field of engineering. And papers that are peer-approved, like those published in SPE journals, offer a guarantee of quality compared with papers in commercial publications, which are published without such rigorous evaluation.
Peer review is also very important for the academic world. For a career in academia, it is necessary to regularly have papers published in a peer-reviewed journal. It is only right for SPE to offer a “home” for the petroleum engineers to share their contributions.
The three papers in this issue highlight some of the diversity of the projects, facilities, and construction discipline. The first paper compares the options available for multiphase pumping in both downhole and subsea environments. The second paper gives more specific information about the design of electronics in deep water. The final paper deals with a topic growing in importance as more enhanced oil recovery projects are undertaken. It highlights the case description type of paper that provides insights into the operation of these facilities.
I hope you will enjoy these papers and I look forward to bringing you many more in the coming issues.
Jim Collins, Peer-Review Editor Oil and Gas Facilities