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Texas A&M 2018 Imperial Barrel Award Team

Congratulations to the Texas A&M University Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) team for winning second place in their division at the Gulf Coast Section of the IBA Competition!

Jun 1, 2018

The Texas A&M University IBA team won second place in their division at the 2018 Gulf Coast Regional Imperial Barrel Award Competition sponsored by the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). The students competed March 23, 2018 against 10 other universities from Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. The competition was held at the Anadarko headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas where the team presented a detailed petroleum systems analysis of their study area.

This year’s IBA team included geology master’s students Jay Dobbs, Brandon Geddie, Ryan Kissinger, and Maria Pesek, and geophysics master’s student Samuel Price.

The team’s faculty advisor was Dr. Andrea Miceli Romero, a research professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, who works closely with the Chevron Basin Modeling Center of Excellence. The team was mentored by two former student petroleum geologists, Vernon Moore (Marathon Oil) and Tim Powell (independent).

Dr. Andrea Miceli Romero stated that the Texas A&M IBA team, “did a fantastic job during the presentation and questions round showing tremendous technical excellence and professionalism. The judges and other attendees were extremely impressed by their presentation.” Dr. Miceli Romero added that she is, “very proud of them and [commends] them for all the hard work they put in during [those] past 8 weeks,” and thanked all the faculty, staff, students, and industry advisor mentors (Tim Powell and Vernon Moore) for their constant support.

The annual Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) Competition consists of five graduate students specializing in either geology or geophysics. These teams have eight weeks prior to the competition to analyze a basin dataset and come up with potential prospects. Students complete a technical assessment of the basin’s petroleum potential and then recommend a “drill” or “no drill” plan for future exploration. This petroleum system analysis of the basin is given in a 25-minute presentation to a panel of industry experts. The graduate students participating in IBA gain experience using real technology on a real dataset and benefit from the feedback provided during the competition.

Congratulations to the 2018 Texas A&M University IBA team for representing the Texas A&M University Department of Geology and Geophysics! For more information about the IBA program, visit:


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