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PetroWiki:Appropriate content

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PetroWiki focuses on technical information for professionals working in the oil and gas exploration and production industry. Like the Petroleum Engineering Handbook (PEH), it is primarily information explaining various processes or approaches and when they may be appropriate or an explanation of how to do something. While PetroWiki differs from Wikipedia, many of Wikipedia’s suggestions regarding appropriate content apply equally well. See Five pillars and What Wikipedia is not.

SPE expects that the content in PetroWiki will grow organically from the original PEH content as members contribute their knowledge and expertise. But it is important to remember PetroWiki’s purpose as a “reference handbook” and to contribute information that one might reasonably expect to find in a reference handbook. The plus to PetroWiki is that the page constraints of a printed book don’t limit the amount of valuable reference material that can be included.

Content guidelines

These are guidelines only and there may be valid reasons for doing something counter to these guidelines. SPE and page moderators will determine whether particular content is appropriate.

Things to include

  • Descriptions of technologies, theories, applications, field-proven practices
  • Calculations and “how-to” references
  • References to support the content; references should be to materials readers can access, not things like “personal communication” or internal company documents
  • Pages on specific fields or reservoirs, providing a history on its discovery, primary, secondary, and enhanced recovery techniques, application of technologies, milestones, etc.

Things to avoid

These will probably be removed by moderators or other contributors

  • Material that maligns individuals or companies or could be construed as a personal attack
  • Opinion unsupported by references
  • Calling things “best practices” or “recommended practices” – proven, commonly used, effective under X conditions or in Y-type reservoir, and similar descriptions are better ways to describe technologies or applications
  • Commercial content – while companies and specific products may be mentioned, the use of these companies or products should not be promoted
  • Marketing brochures or brochure copy
  • Pages covering specific companies
  • Pages covering trade name products
  • Content that reflects self-promotion
  • Including copyrighted material for which you do not have prior written permission
  • Incorporating internal company materials without prior written permission from the (your) company

Representing alternate approaches

Where two different, but technically sound, approaches to a particular issue exist, PetroWiki should include discussion of both with appropriate references. It may make sense to place both discussions in the same page, or they may be two different articles. If the two theories fall on different pages, appropriate links between the pages should be established to allow readers to examine both and draw their own conclusions regarding what is applicable in their particular situation.

Content will change

Recognize that PetroWiki is a collective resource, and your contributions are likely to be edited by others. Please remember that it isn’t important to see your exact words on a page; what’s more important is the availability of a technically credible resource that those new to the industry or working in a new area can use to learn about a topic and discover links to additional materials on that topic. The nature of a wiki is such that over time, almost all pages will grow and change as technology advances, more users contribute their experience and links to other material, and understanding improves.

If you see content that is incomplete or possibly reflective of a particular situation only, consider adding content to expand the perspective, or recruit someone with expertise to do so. If you see content that you believe is inappropriate or overly commercial, you can report it to the PetroWiki Manager at