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University of Texas El Paso Wins 2016 Imperial Barrel Award in Calgary


The UTEP IBA team won the international competition for the Imperial Barrel Award sponsored by the AAPG and the AAPG Foundation.  This was UTEP's ninth year participating in the competition and first championship.  Team members included Andy Anderson: Chicago, Illinois, Eric Bergersen: Houston, Texas, Andre Llanos: El Paso, Texas, Patrick Rea: Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and Alan Vennemann: Fort Thomas, Kentucky. 

AAPG's Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA) 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.

Faculty Advisor Rip Langford stated " We are extremely grateful to the support from the Southwest Section of the AAPG.  Particularly those individuals who contributed their valuable time to making this happen.  We encourage other teams to participate and departments to support their students in this.  It's the best learning experience possible.  Regardless of outcome, students will benefit tremendously." 

Team member Eric Bergersen commented , "I think we are all still in shock that a school from West Texas can go into a global competition consisting of 176 schools from 41 different countries and not only compete but win. It is a true testament to the team we had this year, I have never been part of a group that functioned with such synergy as our IBA team. We didn't set out to win anything but rather to gain as much insight about the energy industry, and what better way than using state of the art software and real life offshore datasets. This was hands down the most exciting experience of our academic careers, although the hours were long and strenuous, we had a lot of fun together."

Second place was awarded to Penn State representing the Eastern section while third place went to Colorado School of Mines of the Rocky Mountain Section.

Congratulations from the Southwest Section AAPG