Thursday, March 27, 2014

UNO Imperial Barrel Award Team Honored at Regional Competition

Imperial Barrel Award Team Honored at Regional Competition(from left) David Cross, Karen Marchal, Rachel Carter, adviser M. Royhan Gani, J.P. Marlbrough and Leah Grassi.

The University of New Orleans' 2014 Imperial Barrel Award team placed fourth in a field of 13 universities at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' Gulf Coast Regional Competition held in Houston March 20-21. The Imperial Barrel Award program pits geosciences teams from universities across the world against each other in a competition to analyze an oil and gas reserve. In the regional competition, only the top four teams receive awards.

"We have a feeling of great pride based on our achievement at the regional competition," said M. Royhan Gani, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, and team adviser. "To have such a great finish among so many other prominent universities and in the presence of so many oil company representatives, this was a great showcase of the quality of the UNO geology program and the quality of our student body."

The UNO team is made of the following graduate students: team leader Rachel Carter, David Cross, Leah Grassi, J.P. Marlbrough and Karen Marchal.

The Imperial Barrel Award program is broken into 12 regions and, of those regions, the Gulf Coast region has the reputation of being the most competitive, Gani said.

UNO's representatives bested teams from other universities including LSU, Tulane, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Alabama and Rice University. The 2014 regional winner, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, will compete in the international competition in Houston in April.

In this year's competition, the teams analyzed a dataset that including geology, geophysics, land, production and other information in the weeks leading up to the competition. The teams delivered a 25-minute presentation to a panel of industry experts. The judges then questioned the team members on their understanding of the data.