A team of University of New Orleans graduate students won the 2015 Gulf Coast Regional Imperial Barrel Award in Houston, Texas and will advance to the international finals next month in Denver, Colo. The Imperial Barrel program, which is organized by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, pits geosciences teams from universities around the world against each other in a competition to analyze an oil and gas reservoir.
UNO’s team beat out 10 regional competitors during the April 16-17 event from universities including Auburn, University of Alabama, Texas A&M, University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston and LSU.
The team members are John Norbert Kramer, Elijah Ayobami Adedeji, Joshua Flathers, Joseph Paul Frank and Christopher M. Johnson. The faculty adviser is Royhan Gani, associate professor of earth and environmental science, and team is assisted by Toby Roesler of Stone Energy and adjunct faculty member Michael Fitzgerald. The $3,000 prize will go toward scholarships in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science.
“Winning this high profile competition brings fantastic exposure to the University of New Orleans,” Gani said. “For both prospective students and industry recruiters, this shows that UNO has one of the top geoscience programs in the region.”
In the regional, teams analyze a dataset in the eight weeks prior to the competition and deliver their results in a 25-minute presentation to a panel of industry experts. The judges select a winner based on technical quality, clarity and originality of presentation as well as team’s ability to answer questions.
UNO is one of 12 regional winners that will participate in the international competition held in Denver on May 29-30.