No matter your field of expertise or geographical area of operations, JPT’s Technology Focus feature addresses your career and research paths. During the more than 25 years of its appearance in the magazine, the feature has presented synopses of important papers in summarized form. A review of the Technology Focus topical calendar through the years reflects milestones in industry developments and innovations, and the magazine’s ability to adapt to meet the needs of its readers. Indeed, the inception of the feature was a response to such a challenge.

Each year, thousands of high-quality technical papers are presented at SPE conferences and the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). These papers are the embodiment of SPE’s mission to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge about the world of upstream E&P.

In the late 1990s, JPT staff recognized a need to expand the intersection of SPE’s members with the crucial work outlined in the technical papers written by their colleagues. While SPE’s stable of peer-reviewed journals had always played a critical role in its mission, the rigorous review structure meant that these papers, published in full, might not see audiences for some time. Annual proceedings volumes collected the year’s research literature, but time constraints also limited the number of members who could explore these publications.

The solution was the Technology Focus feature, in which conference papers dedicated to a broad spectrum of industry topics were chosen by subject-matter experts and condensed by SPE staff to convey key findings and illustrative case studies. The Tech Focus concept meant that SPE readers could find the best research and industry innovation at their fingertips each month. These papers were not peer reviewed, but the members of the JPT Editorial Review Board charged with their selection were recognized experts who reviewed hundreds of abstracts in order to choose only a few papers for inclusion. Since the feature’s launch, hundreds of SPE members from a wide range of major operators, service companies, technology specialists, academic institutions, and research facilities have served as reviewers.

Tech Focus’ first decade-plus of publication, from 1997 through 2010, established and refined the pattern by which tech papers were selected, synopsized, and organized for presentation. Before 1997, JPT had run Technology Briefs that had the same idea, but these were irregular, applied only to tech papers with a length that would make publication in JPT impractical.

For the first couple of years of the Tech Focus, however, each issue of JPT contained between two and three topical groupings of synopsized papers. The initial topics were broad, familiar ones (EOR, Drilling Technology, Fracturing, Offshore Development, Stimulation, and Reservoir Management, for example) as JPT Technology Editor Dennis Denney, who was responsible for the development of the feature, tested the waters and built a review board of industry volunteers to assist with the task of reviewing abstracts, reading full papers of interest, and selecting papers for synopsis.

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