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For The Second Consecutive Year, Auburn University Students Shine at Imperial Barrel Award Program

Published: 04/09/2019

Congratulations to Connor Cain, Alicia Fischer, Raeann Garcia, Sharif Mustaque and Ozan Turkes, graduate students from the Department of Geosciences, for placing in the top three of the Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) program for the second time and also the second time in our state’s history.

Last year, Auburn University was one of the top three schools of this prestigious competition for the first time unseating the prior champion, the University of Houston. This year the team competed against University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M University, and University of Southern Mississippi in the group stage and beat them to progress into the final round to compete with University of Houston and University of Texas at Austin for the top three positions.   

Schools from the Gulf Coast region including the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas compete by analyzing a dataset consisting seismic, well logs and geochemical data for eight weeks before the official competition in Houston, TX. These graduate students collaborate and prepare a presentation that is delivered to industry experts from around the world. This year the team was provided with a dataset from off-shore New Zealand to evaluate and identify petroleum prospect in the area.

“Students’ eyes open up when they receive the dataset. They quickly learn teamwork on how to make a creative technical evaluation from a very limited dataset, and on a strict deadline,” said Dr. Ashraf Uddin, the IBA team’s faculty advisor. “Our students become happy to be able to accomplish here what the industry experts do in their professional careers in petroleum exploration.”

Additionally, Joseph Beck and Jonathan Collier, members from the Geosciences Advisory Board acted as mentors to the students, along with Neville Crowson from Energen Resources who helped the team with seismic data interpretation.

The IBA is a joint program of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the AAPG Foundation.

 

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