Five years ago AAPG adopted the Imperial Barrel Award program from the Imperial College in London, England – and what once was a program focused on the North Sea with interpretations created using color pencils has become a worldwide event.
Today, the IBA focus is on new technology and complex, real-scenario datasets for basins from around the world.
To reflect that progress, a new look also has been given to the IBA website – a design that captures the global scope of the competition, emphasizes its importance to encourage young geoscientists in their profession and feeds the excitement that is beginning to ramp up as the final competition approaches.
♦ Countdowns to important deadlines.
Throughout the competition there are deadlines to sign-up, acquire databases, provide visas and, of course, actual competition dates. The site’s countdowns change to reflect the next critical step in this six- to nine-month experience.
♦ Specific sections devoted to each region- and section-wide preliminary competition as teams vie this month for the honor to represent their Region at the AAPG annual meeting.
♦ A past competitions section highlights the growth of the IBA program.
The 2007 highlights reflect the very local focus that IBA began with; only Sections in the United States competed against a couple of European Region teams.
But immediately in 2008 you see where all other regions caught the vision, and from that point on IBA has grown.
♦ Testimonials and reports from different competitors or competitions are included in the site.
There are some serious awards to receive for the efforts of those who participate.
The IBA gives out over $50,000 to winning and participating teams.
The software, datasets and volunteer time add up to several hundred thousand dollars in donations.
But the real value may be what the participants gain from the experience.
Students who compete learn what is going to be expected of them in order to convince their client that a play has potential, or not, and why the data indicates this is where you should (or should not) find a reservoir.
To be forced to apply the textbook information to real data under the guidance of a professor or corporate professional in a scenario that matters is one of the benefits afforded each competitor.
Soon the IBA will have a mobile version that will make it even easier to keep up with what is happening throughout the year.
This should be an area of aapg.org worthy of repeat visits.