Planning Time Begins for 2009 IBA

By now, most EXPLORER readers are familiar with the AAPG Imperial Barrel Award Program – the basin analysis and prospect presentation competition for integrated technical teams of five graduate students and one faculty adviser.

In 2009 university teams from all over the world will once again compete in local Section or Region IBA competitions for the opportunity to attend the June AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver – all travel and lodging expenses paid – where they will participate in the global IBA finals competition. 

Last year, 34 teams participated in the 2008 IBA program. Expectations are high for the 2009 competition with at least 40 schools expected to sign up. While all interested schools are encouraged to apply, in some cases, Section and Region qualifying competitions will be limited to the first five schools that apply.

While there is no denying that participation in the IBA program means extra work for students and faculty, these efforts can launch a career, secure a job, showcase a university, enhance a geoscience department and discover a new star recruit.

  • Students receive valuable feedback from the industry judges and can post globally recognized IBA experience to their résumé.
  • Faculty and universities gain industry insight, retain the IBA dataset to use as a teaching tool and, for the top three winning teams, receive large cash prizes for their university departments.
  • Judges and sponsoring companies gain first-hand access to view the team presentations, attend the student reception and recruit the best and brightest job candidates. 

For the last several months the IBA Committee, chaired by Connie Mongold, has been busy evaluating last year’s program and implementing program improvements to ensure to the extent possible a fair and level playing field for 2009. Improvements can be found in five areas – datasets, software support, judging, sponsorship and student peer mentoring.

Datasets
  • The 2009 IBA competition will feature new datasets from basins around the world. The choice of which data set will be sent to which university will be made at the discretion of the IBA Committee, and universities will not be permitted to select their own dataset.

Seasoned explorationists know that data is sometimes incomplete or erroneous. Just as in the real world, IBA datasets contain imperfections – some intentionally.

  • Datasets will be released to each participating university eight weeks prior to the local Section or Region competition date. This will ensure all teams have equal time to analyze the data and prepare a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation.
  • Datasets will be sent in a format compatible with the participating university’s software.
  • To minimize shipping problems and expedite timely delivery, datasets and competition instructions will be sent to each university team in the form of a computer memory stick.
  • Seeking contributions of datasets! As the program grows, so grows the need to add new datasets to the IBA library.

The definition of a dataset includes a 3-D survey (400 km2 – 1000 km2); 2-D survey lines (1000 km2 – 5000 km2); and a full suite of wireline logs from four-six wells, with formation and time picks.

To contribute a dataset, contact Steve Veal .

Software Support

Schlumberger will donate Petrel seismic to simulation software to IBA teams, according to donation guidelines.

Judging
  • All 2009 judges will be new to avoid any possibility of bias from previous IBA competitions.
  • The IBA judging form and criteria will be uniformly applied in all Section and Region qualifying competitions and in the global finals competition.
  • Panels of three industry judges will be selected and assigned to judge teams from universities other than the alma mater of the judges.
  • No two judges on any one judging panel may be alumni of the same university.

Individuals or companies interested in serving as a judge may contact Bob Stewart , IBA Judging Sub-Committee chair.

Sponsorship
  • For maximum exposure, industry companies are encouraged to sponsor both the local Section or Region competition plus the global finals competition.
  • Sponsors of a Region or Section qualifying competition may also attend the global competition. In fact, sponsoring companies are encouraged to send recruiters to the local qualifying competition and the global competition.
  • Companies interested in financially sponsoring the 2009 IBA program are invited to contact Erik Mason , IBA Sponsorship Sub-Committee chair.
Student Peer Mentoring
  • The IBA experience made such a positive impact on participating students last year that several students have formed the IBA Student Advisory Sub-Committee, to provide support and peer-to-peer mentoring of university IBA teams.
  • Teams seeking this service may contact Cameron Campbell , formerly of San Diego State University.
  • Other past IBA participants interested in serving on the IBA Student Advisory Sub-Committee may also contact Campbell.

All IBA teams traveling from outside the United States are strongly encouraged to apply now for a visa. Although the global finals competition held during the AAPG convention in Denver is months away, the visa approval process can take considerable time. Waiting to apply for a visa until after the qualifying IBA competition in your Region may be too late.

For the general timetable and more information about the 2009 competition, go to the Imperial Barrel Award web site, or contact Carol McGowen or Mike Mlynek .

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Regions and Sections

Regions and Sections Column - Carol McGowen
Carol Cain McGowen is the development manager for AAPG's Regions and Sections. She may be contacted via email , or telephone at 1-918-560-9403.

Regions and Sections is a regular column in the EXPLORER offering news for and about AAPG's six international Regions and six U.S. Sections. News items, press releases and other information should be submitted via email or to: EXPLORER - Regions and Sections, P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, OK 74101. 

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