The issue of commercialism is one that comes up often during the review process for papers submitted to the SPE journals. There are many examples of commercialistic papers that anyone can spot immediately. These papers are written more like sales brochures, with names of products plastered all over. It is easy to deal with these papers: DECLINED. However, there are also many papers that are much more subtly commercialistic, and these are an entirely different matter. It is usually these papers that give technical, associate, and executive editors headaches.
There are no set guidelines for what is commercialistic, so it is up to the editors to try to sort it out. Although I believe that we usually get it right, there are probably occasional papers where we do not. The following are some of my thoughts on commercialism.
If a paper is using a commercial reservoir simulator, a fracture model, or other software products, it is clear that the type of model used must be referenced. In many cases, I think it may be appropriate to name that model once in the paper, but continued use of the name would tend to have the appearance of commercialism. Because the actual model used may have some bearing on the type of results that are obtained, it may be especially important that the reader know the model by its name, not just by some often-obscure reference. Although the use of only one model would also appear to be promotional, I do not think that it is realistic to request that papers use more than one model; the authors have obviously chosen a select model because they feel that it is the most appropriate or most efficient to use.
If the authors are describing a new chemical or hardware product, the rules on names tend to get fuzzier. For some reason, naming these products in a paper always seems more promotional. Nevertheless, I think that the same rules should apply to chemicals, tools, and other equipment as they do to software. If a description and test data of a new product are worth publishing (otherwise, we would not be worrying about these issues), then the readers need to know what it is called if they want to try it. There may not be any reference available if it is a new product. At most, name the product once and avoid using the name again.
SPE’s policy is to avoid all commercial references, so the above comments are only my opinion of how to give the reader sufficient information while avoiding commercialism as much as possible. It really is a delicate balance.
Another wide-ranging lineup of papers appears in this issue of SPE Production & Operations. The first four papers deal with various aspects of oilfield chemistry. Development and Field Use of a Novel Solvent/Water Emulsion for the Removal of Asphaltene Deposits in Fractured Carbonate Formations is a discussion of the selection, development, testing, and optimization of a water-solvent emulsion system for asphaltene removal. In Case Studies of Emulsion Behavior at Reservoir Conditions, the authors have developed a visual PVT cell to observe emulsion-phase behavior at reservoir conditions, and they apply these results to two case studies with suspected emulsion problems.Productivity Impairment From Kaolinite Mobilization: Laboratory and Field Experience, Oseberg Sør is a coreflow and field-test study of scale-inhibitor and drilling-mud formation damage on reservoir rocks from a complex offshore reservoir. The fourth paper, Squeeze Chemical for HT Applications--Have We Discarded Promising Products by Performing Unrepresentative Thermal-Aging Tests?, discusses an interesting experiment that evaluates scale-inhibitor effectiveness in cores compared to the standard procedure for aging a bulk solution; the results show a significant increase in inhibitor effectiveness when in contact with the rock matrix.
The next two papers deal with acid stimulation. In The Texture of Acidized Fracture Surfaces: Implications for Acid Fracture Conductivity, a new profilometer was developed to measure the small-scale etching that occurs with different acid systems and under varying environmental and fluid conditions.Reaction of Gelled Acids With Calcite is a study in which a rotating-disk apparatus is used to examine dissolution rates and etching patterns of gelled-acid systems.
Hydraulic fracturing is the topic of the following two papers. A Holistic Approach to the Design and Evaluation of Hydraulic-Fracture Treatments in Tight Gas Reservoirs is a poroelastic evaluation of the stress changes induced by production and the potential for fracture reorientation with a second fracture treatment. In A Field Study in Optimizing Completion Strategies for Fracture Initiation in Barnett Shale Horizontal Wells, the authors examined hundreds of horizontal Barnett shale wells to identify the causes of near-wellbore fracture-initiation problems and offer solutions to correct them.
Wellbore operation is the subject of two additional papers. In Repeatedly Increased Efficiency and Success Rate From a New Solids-Cleanout Process Using Coiled Tubing: A Review of Recent Achievements From More Than 100 Operations, the authors discuss the results and lessons learned on solids-cleanout operations by use of wiper-trip methodologies, particularly with respect to large-diameter deviated wells. Production Optimization by Use of the Capillary Technology in the Loma La Lata Field is a discussion of the use of capillary string system both for injection of chemicals and for the deployment of gauges.
The final two papers deal with complex production operation issues. Challenges for Waterflooding in a Deepwater Environment is a wide-ranging discussion dealing with injectivity, H2S, scale, corrosion, hydrates, and surface and subsurface development plans for deepwater fields. Application of Relative Permeability Modifiers To Control Water Cut Following Hydraulic Fracturing in Western Siberia Oil Fields--Russian Case-History Study examines post-fracturing production in high-water-cut oil wells that have been treated with relative-permeability modifiers.
I would like to thank the authors for their great contributions.