15 February, 2017

Latin America & Caribbean Region holds successful Semifinal Competition in Port of Spain


Universidad Industrial de Santander, of Bucaramanga, Colombia won the 2017 LACR IBA Semifinals. Universidad Simón Bolívar of Caracas, Venezuela took second place.

After 4-month season involving 15 teams from seven countries, the Latin America & Caribbean Region has a new Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) winner. The 2016-2017 competition involved two rounds, a virtual competition with all teams on December 2 and the in-person semifinals with the top four finishers on January 27.

The semifinal competition, held at BHP Billiton Offices in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, was made possible through the generous support of Chevron, Shell, BHP Billiton and the Mexican Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Event participants included four teams with five students and one faculty advisor each, four highly qualified judges, and three AAPG volunteers.

Judging the competition were Vishal Nagassar (BHP Billiton), Jarrett Pierce (BHP Billiton), Claire Hobday (EOG Resources), and Peter Goddard (Shell).

The day started with a greeting by BHP Trinidad & Tobago Country Manager Vincent Pereira, who welcomed participants and wished them all the best.

The competition started at 9:30 am with the presentation of Universidad Simón Bolívar (Venezuela), followed by Universidad Nacional y Autónoma de México (México), Universidad Industrial de Santander (Colombia), and ending with University of the West Indies (Trinidad & Tobago).

Each presentation lasted 25 minutes, followed by 10-minute Q&A session in which judges asked team members to explain different aspects of their work.

After completing their presentations, team members enjoyed lunch then listened to a technical presentation by BHP staff.

In the meantime, the judges had the difficult task of choosing the winning team. Deliberations involved two hours of technical discussions, feedback, and comments about all teams. In the end, judges were happy to have a unanimous decision in choosing a winner.

The day ended with a reception held at the Courtyard by Marriott poolside. BHP Billiton also sponsored the reception, which included the IBA participants, judges and coordinators, as well as representatives from BHP, Petrotrin, the T&T Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Ramps Logistics, Shell and members of the AAPG T&T YP Chapter and University of the West Indies Student Chapter.

After allowing plenty of time for networking, coordinators and industry guests presented certificates to all judges and participants, as well as plaques and medals to the top two teams.

Universidad Simón Bolívar took second place, and the Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) of Bucaramanga was named the Latin America & Caribbean Region Semifinal winner.

UIS team members will travel to Houston, Texas next month and represent the Region at the IBA Global Finals held at the George R. Brown Convention Center on April 1.

Congratulations to all the teams and especially to Universidad Industrial de Santander. We wish you the best of luck in the finals! We want to thank to the judges and sponsors for all the help and participation in the competition. Thanks also to AAPG LACR Region Treasurer Xavier Moonan who was responsible for making this one of our most successful IBA events ever.