In the first Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) student competition that was held at the AAPG Convention in Long Beach, the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) won first place, which netted the team $20,000 in scholarship funds, a trophy and individual medals.
Imperial College in London has been offering the prestigious Barrel Award for the past 30 years. This year AAPG offered the competition and awards at the annual convention as the Imperial Barrel Award.
Nine universities from around the world offering master’s-level degrees in petroleum geosciences were invited to participate in the competition.
The second place team was Imperial College, winning the Selley Cup, which provides $10,000 in scholarship funds, a trophy and team medals.
The University of Oklahoma was the third place team and won the Stoneley Medal, which provides $5,000, a trophy and team medals.
The group competition is a global exploration geosciences project focused on the assessment of the petroleum potential of a basin. Teams were provided a complete data set and had a few weeks to complete a technical assessment of the basin’s petroleum plays and prospects.
On the Friday prior to the convention, teams gave a 25-minute presentation of their work, made recommendations for future activity and faced 10 minutes of questioning by judges. A panel of industry experts judged the technical work and presentations and provided written evaluations for the students.
“IBA provides a unique opportunity for students to gain valuable experience by participating in an exploration evaluation, presenting to a panel of senior industry experts and competing to win scholarship funding,” said Steve Veal, director of the AAPG European Region office in London.
Mike Mlynek, AAPG student coordinator, said seven universities participated in the inaugural year of the AAPG competition. Other competitors were the University of Houston, Gubkin Russian State University, University of Wyoming and California State University-Long Beach.
The event’s sponsors were Aera Energy, Schlumberger, Occidental, Wagner & Brown Ltd., ConocoPhillips and AAPG.
Companies and schools interested in participating in next year’s competition should see how it works.