GEO 2018, which was March 5-8 in Bahrain, included several days of educational and career-boosting content for young professionals and students.
Inaugurated in 1994, GEO is the largest and best attended technical event of its kind in the Middle East Region. A world-class exhibition and an exceptional technical conference with presentations by key industry figures combine to offer exceptional networking, business and educational opportunities to all oil and gas professionals with an interest in the future development of the Middle East’s hydrocarbon resources.
This year, the YPs and students program was full of activities by merging the programs of the three top geoscience societies: AAPG, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
The program started one day prior to the GEO Conference with the Imperial Barrel Award competition. For the first time in the Middle East, a total number of nine universities participated in the competition from five countries with about 44 students participating in the 2018 Middle East Region IBA. Participating teams of graduate and undergraduate students from geology departments have eight weeks to analyze a real dataset, with the winning team going on to represent the Middle East Region at the international IBA competition finals during the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Salt Lake City. This year, Sultan Qaboos University will be representing the Middle East Region.
On the first day of the GEO Conference, YPs and students had a soft skills course, “The Art of Science,” the aim of which was to understand the considerations for choosing a research portfolio, make a work plan for research, learn common pitfalls and opportunities in research, describe the elements of efficient oral communication, and comprehend fundamentals of time management.
The next day started with Dhahran Geoscience Society Core Workshop where the YPs and students worked with real cores from Saudi Arabia, sponsored by DGS. Following that, the EAGE GEO Quiz competition started with 23 teams competing to win a travel grant covering a round trip ticket and free registration in the EAGE 80th Conference and Exhibition, as well as EAGE support for part of the accommodation expenses, held from June 11-14 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Here the team will participate in the global EAGE Geo Quiz and compete against students from all over the world. The winning team was from Petroleum Institute of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
After the GEO Quiz, undergraduate and graduate students presented 19 e-poster presentations, with the winner receiving a signed copy of the book, “Out of the Desert,” by H.E. Ali Al-Naimi.
After the e-poster session, the Meet and Greet Session started, and according to the student vote, it was one of their favorite sessions. The purpose of the Meet and Greet event is to give YPs and students the opportunity to ask industry professionals questions about career development, life after university and other questions about the industry.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Ramadan Ghalayini, who related his experience of being a young professional in the oil and gas industry. After the speech, YPs and students interacted with industry professionals, including H.E. Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al- Khalifa, minster of oil for the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The following day, the program started with the continuation of the student posters, followed by the SEG/DGS Challenge Bowl. The winning team was from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. The next course was offered by DGS: “Tectonics of the Arabian Plate Petroleum Systems from Basin to Prospect and Field Scales.” Thank you to DGS for offering this high-quality technical course.
The last session was a panel discussion, “Technical versus Academic,” which is the choice YPs and students make after graduation – either to join an oil and gas company or complete their higher education and continue in academia.
Thank you to the sponsors of the event: Saudi Aramco, Petroleum Devlopment Oman, Schlumberger and BGP. Also, thanks to the AAPG Middle East Region office for their great efforts and support. Thank you to DGS for offering courses to the YPs and students and helping in organizing the events. Thanks to the GEO2018 Young Professional and Students Activities Committee.