UNO Graduate Students Win Petroleum Prize

A team of University of New Orleans graduate students won the 2016 Gulf Coast Regional Imperial Barrel Award in Houston for the second straight year and will advance to the international finals in June. It’s the first time that a team has claimed back-to-back Gulf coast titles in the nine-year history of the event.

The Imperial Barrel program, organized by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, pits geosciences teams around the world against each other in a competition to analyze an oil and gas reservoir.

UNO’s team beat out 11 regional competitors including Texas A&M, Rice, the University of Houston, Tulane, the University of Alabama and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The team members are Ryan Jones, Zexuan Wang, Will Morrison, team leader Josiah Hulsey, and Celeste Woock. The faculty advisor is Royhan Gani, an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, assisted by industry mentors Toby Roesler, of Stone Energy, and Benjamin Kirkland, of Nexen Petroleum.

The $3,000 prize will go toward scholarships in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

In the regional competition, teams analyze a dataset for eight weeks and deliver their results in a 25-minute presentation to a panel of industry experts.

UNO is one of 12 regional winners that will participate in the international competition in Calgary, Alberta, on June 17-18.

From: The New Orleans Advocate, April 25, 2016