UH Team Places Second in 2016 Gulf Section of AAPG's Imperial Barrel Award Competition

Team Presented an Evaluation of the Viking Graben, North Sea

Under the leadership of team captain Shenelle Gomez, the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences’ Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) team placed second at the annual American Association of Petroleum Geologists IBA Competition for the Gulf Section. The five-member team consisted of graduate students in geology and geophysics, including Gomez, Jordan Dickinson, Lingfei Mao, Jing Hua and David Mora.

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) Team
The UH Imperial Barrel Award Team – Front row: Shenelle Gomez (team captain, Ph.D. student, geology); Back row from left: David Mora (M.S. student, geophysics), Jing Hua (M.S. student, geophysics), Lingfei Mao (M.S. student, geophysics), and Jordan Dickinson, M.S. student, geology)

The competition, held April 15 at the BP Lower 48 offices in west Houston, involved 12 teams from 12 universities. Each university team analyzed a dataset in the eight weeks prior to the competition and delivered their results in a 25-minute presentation to a panel of industry experts.

The EAS team’s faculty advisors included Drs. John Castagna, Paul Mann and Julia Wellner, and the team's industry advisors were Dr. Mark Richardson (ExxonMobil) and Mike Liebelt (independent). The team received a trophy, small gifts and a check for $2,000 that will be presented to the UH AAPG student group, the Wildcatters.

The Imperial Barrel Award Program is an annual prospective basin evaluation competition for geoscience graduate students from universities around the world. University teams compete to win scholarship funds for their geoscience department and the international recognition that comes from competing or winning in the competition. The program is rigorous and contributes to AAPG's mission of promoting petroleum geoscience training and advancing the careers of geoscience students.

Teams competing in the Gulf Section event came from universities spanning four states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and forming the Gulf Section of the AAPG.

Five of the participating teams were from universities in Texas – University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas A&M University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Rice University and UH. Three of the teams were from Louisiana, representing Tulane University, University of New Orleans and University of Louisiana, Lafayette. The remaining teams represented Mississippi (Mississippi State University), Alabama (Auburn University and University of Alabama) and Florida (University of Miami).

The winners of the competition included:
First Place: University of New Orleans (Study Area: Barents Sea, Arctic Sea)

Second Place: University of Houston (Study Area: Viking Graben, North Sea)

Third Place: Texas A&M University (Study Area: North Slope, Alaska)

The University of New Orleans will advance to the IBA world competition where they will compete with winners from other regions of the world. The event will take place at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Calgary, Canada, in mid-June.

Since 2012, the UH IBA team has maintained the longest record of consistency in the Gulf Coast Section by placing in the top three of the competition in four out of the five years. Names of team member and photos of all teams are shown at the links below.

Event Program

Archived News Articles on Previous UH Teams Participating in the Annual Competition:

2015 Team: http://www.geosc.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2015/0422-iba-comp.php
2014 Team: http://www.geosc.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2014/0325-iba-competition.php
2013 Team: http://www.geosc.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2013/0424_aapgAward.php
2012 Team: http://www.geosc.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2012/0403_ibaCompetition.php