Geoscience students from the University of Utah took the top prize in this year’s Imperial Barrel Award competition, beating out 10 other teams from geology and geophysical departments from around the world.
The finals were held in Pittsburgh right before the start of the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition.
For the second year, the awards ceremony was held immediately before the convention’s opening session – emceed by IBA co-chairs David Cook and Chuck Caughey, and featuring swirling lights, rollicking music and a celebratory atmosphere – and was attended by a crowd estimated at more than 500.
The winning team, representing the Rocky Mountain Section, received individual medals and a $20,000 prize for their school’s geoscience department.
Finishing second (Selley Cup winners) was the team from the University of Oklahoma, representing the Mid-Continent Section, which earned individual medals and $10,000 in scholarship funds for the department.
Finishing third (Stoneley Medal winners) was the team from Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, representing the Middle East Region, which earned individual medals and $5,000 in scholarship funds for their department.
The remaining eight finalists each earned $1,000 in scholarship funds for their schools plus individual medals for themselves as IBA finals participants.
The IBA program gives teams of students the chance to evaluate the petroleum potential of a sedimentary basin and to test their creative geological interpretations. Their work must be completed in a six-to-eight week period, with results presented to – and judged by – an independent panel of petroleum industry experts.
A total of 107 teams from 30 countries, involving at least 535 students, competed in this year’s IBA program.
A full report will be included in the July EXPLORER.