Preparations are already under way for one of AAPG’s flagship events, the prestigious 2019 Imperial Barrel Award competition. Registration opens Sept. 14, 2018.
A joint program of AAPG and the AAPG Foundation, the annual IBA competition gives teams of graduate geoscience students the opportunity to win scholarship funds in a global arena of rigorous competition. Using their knowledge of geoscience and applied practical skills, the teams conduct analysis on actual real world datasets provided by some of the top petroleum energy companies on the planet.
In their data analyses, teams are required to complete a technical assessment of the basin/area assigned, define key elements and risks of the petroleum systems and make recommendations for future exploration activity.
The teams’ analyses results are presented before a panel of industry experts at their respective AAPG section and region semifinals. The judges select the top winning teams based on criteria of technical quality, clarity and originality of presentation. These top-tier teams then continue to the final global competition at AAPG’s Annual Convention and Exhibition held May 19-22, 2019, in San Antonio.
At the finals, each team is allowed 25 minutes to present before the judges’ panel. Winners are announced and awards are presented at the IBA awards ceremony, held immediately before the ACE opening session.
Awards include the first place Imperial Barrel Award with a scholarship award of $20,000, the second place Selley Cup with a scholarship award of $10,000, third place Stoneley Medal with a $5,000 scholarship award, and remaining teams each receive honorable mention and $1,000 in scholarship awards.
AAPG, the AAPG Foundation and corporate sponsors provide funds for the winning semifinals teams to attend the global finals competition at ACE, including transporation, housing and convention registration.
Value to Their Career Potential
The IBA affords students the opportunity to prepare for their future careers in the energy industry and network with potential employers, to flex their theoretical and practical skills using state-of-the-art technology and actual materials, to work on a collaborative team, to gain experience in presenting their findings and to earn honors, accolades and scholarships associated with the competition.
Dean Lee R. Kump of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Pennsylvania State University said the experience of participating in the IBA “helps students learn about the science behind oil and gas prospecting” and “fosters scientific research, inspires high professional conduct, increases public awareness of geology and creates professional development within the field.”
The team from Penn State brought home the third place Stoneley Medal from last year’s global competition and the second place Selley Cup in 2016.
AAPG has operated the IBA competition as a program concept since 2007, but the “Barrel Award” itself originated in 1976 at Imperial College in the United Kingdom. At that time, students interpreted seismic data from the North Sea using colored pencils.
Today, under the auspices of AAPG and the AAPG Foundation, the IBA competition has expanded to include more than 4,500 student participants representing nearly 500 universities from every AAPG section and region, and in almost every country in the world.
Technology has also changed since that time. A number of companies donate software for use in the IBA competition each year, including AAPG Datagpages, dGB Earth Sciences B.V., Hampson-Russell, Ikon RokDoc, LMKR, Palisade, Paradigm, PRA, Serius, Schlumberger, SeisWare-Recon and IHS Markit.
The IBA competition encourages excellence in tomorrow’s geoscientists, the quest for new technologies and creative problem solving in the energy sector and contributes to strengthening the future of the petroleum industry.
To find out more about the IBA competition, visit the 2019 AAPG Imperial Barrel Award website at iba.aapg.org or email a programs coordinator at [email protected].