Through early July, authors of papers who submitted their papers electronically to SPE for peer review saw a message that stated that recent submissions for peer review will be handled as soon as the migration to our new electronic peer-review system is completed. By the time you receive this issue, this migration will be complete. SPE has screened and selected Scholar One/Manuscript Central system from Thomson Reuters as the electronic peer-review facilitator. Authors who submitted papers to recent SPE meetings, including the 2009 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition should have received emails, inviting them to submit their papers for peer review. A couple of years ago, all papers accepted for meetings were automatically qualified for the peer-review process. With the number of papers increasing significantly, the authors were later asked to provide some justification for their papers to be peer reviewed. With the migration to Scholar One system, submitting papers to SPE meetings is totally separated from submitting them to the peer-review process. Though this may sound like a burden, the intention is to add a bit more thinking and effort for the authors before submitting a paper for review rather than for authors to tick a box automatically. This will, in turn, improve the journal's quality and reduce the editorial effort. The new system will shorten the "time to publication" because the peer-reviewed papers can be published online, as soon as a paper is accepted for publication. If you are an Associate Editor or a Technical Editor, some benefits will be observed as well, including automatic reminder emails, training documents, and more effective communications.
Our August issue has quite a few papers on enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) applications. The paper,"Effects of Steam on Heavy Oil Combustion" looks at the reaction kinetics of a specific heavy oil in the presence of steam using kinetic cell experiments. Significant differences were observed between wet and dry combustion and the presence of water affected reaction kinetics. Increasing water fraction was influential, but reactions were more sensitive to water fraction at a range of injection rates. Moving into ASP applications, the paper, "Mechanistic Modeling of Alkaline/Surfactant/Polymer Floods" models an ASP coreflood considering aqueous reactions, alkali/rock interactions, and phase behavior of soap and surfactant mixtures. The mechanistic coreflood simulation showed that the soap/surfactant concentration gradient is one of the reasons for the effectiveness of ASP floods and acts as a salinity gradient design. Three-phase compressible flow modeling using streamline simulators is a challenging task. In the paper,"Experiences With Streamline-Based Three-phase History Matching," the authors describe a transformation of the field production data that makes the streamline approach more applicable. They also generalize their approach to incorporate flowing bottomhole pressure in three-phase history matching. The Buffalo field air injection project is one of the oldest High-Pressure Air Injection (HPAI) projects and has been operational since January 1979. "Buffalo Field High-Pressure-Air-Injection Projects: Technical Performance and Operational Challenges" outlines several technical and management aspects after 30 years of field experience where an additional 9.4% of incremental oil recovery was achieved by the HPAI project. Continuing with the EOR theme, the paper, "Effective EOR Decision Strategies With Limited Data: Field Cases Demonstration" outlines an EOR decision making workflow that uses look-up tables, correlations, searches for analog reservoirs along with analytical, or simple numerical simulations to estimate field performance. The simplified approach can be used to guide the decision making process when time and/or data sources are limited. In the paper, "Fluid Flow in a Fractured Reservoir Using a Geomechanically-Constrained Damage Model for Reservoir Simulation," the authors use earthquake seismology methods to predict the extent and nature of fractured/damaged zones related to reservoir-scale faults, which can be incorporated in reservoir modeling to better capture anisotropy effects. Condensate buildup and non-Darcy flow are known to reduce the productivity of hydraulically fractured wells. In the paper, "Effect of Non-Darcy Flow on Well Productivity of a Hydraulically Fractured Gas-Condensate Well" the authors use a two-level local grid refinement to simulate the actual fracture width and studied the productivity of lean and rich gas condensates. Parameters including fracture length, conductivity, flow rates, and reservoir properties were considered. Productivity improvements were found to be overestimated by a factor of three if the aforementioned effects were not considered. Incorporation of 4D seismic data in history matching using streamline simulation is discussed in the paper, "Faster Seismic History Matching in a United Kingdom Continental Shelf Reservoir" where the authors apply their method to the Nelson field in the North Sea. Their results were compared to the results obtained from finite difference simulator and the reduction in model accuracy because of streamline simulation is discussed. In the paper, "An Early-Time Model for Drawdown Testing of a Hydrate-Capped Gas Reservoir"the authors treat heat transfer from the cap and base rocks as negligible during early-time production. This simplifies the energy and fluid flow equations to develop transient and boundary dominated flow models for a well completed in the free gas zone of hydrate-capped gas reservoir. The analytical model solutions were compared to the solutions obtained from a two-phase hydrate numerical reservoir simulator.
"Reservoir Technical Limits: A Framework for Maximizing Recovery From Oil Fields" presents a systematic approach to identify new activities that would increase recovery factors, facilitate teamwork and ownership, and highlight technology requirements. The approach has been applied to more than 200 fields and allowed a consistent comparison, considering each field’s technology requirements and opportunity value, thus improving project prioritization.
The value of information (VOI) concept has been with us for quite some time and continues to be an area of interest. The paper "A Procedure for Assessing the Value of Oilfield Sensors" discusses the VOI in the context of real-time oilfield sensors. The approach considers uncertainty, and the ability of the sensors to change a decision in technology and in financial terms. In the four scenarios studied, the sensors showed a positive expected benefit for all. In relative terms, the sensors showed the most benefit in the mature onshore oil reservoir and CO2 injection case. In a closely related paper, "Value of Information in the Oil and Gas Industry: Past, Present, and Future" the authors review and discuss the VOI concept in detail. They highlight how VOI is used in oil and gas industry, how such analysis are performed, and for what types of decisions. They discuss success cases, misconceptions, and challenges related to VOI, in which the ultimate goal is to improve the quality of the decision making process. The final paper for this issue investigates the effects of using different number of components for the hydrocarbon fluid in the reservoir vs. fluid in the surface facilities. The usage of more components for surface models compared to reservoir fluid flow creates discrepancies in integrated asset modeling. "Innovative Implementation of Compositional Delumping in Integrated Asset Modeling" describes a workflow to consistently model both reservoir and surface processes using a delumping model. The results were compared to integrated simulations where all stages were modeled using the detailed composition.
—Cosan Ayan, Schlumberger