DHAHRAN, May 12, 2010 -- A team of four earth-sciences students from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) took third place recently in the 2010 Imperial Barrel Award Competition held during the annual convention of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) in New Orleans.

KFUPMThe KFUPM earth-sciences team is seen here with its advisers and mentors. The team took third place in the 2010 Imperial Barrel Competition.

The competition pits university student teams against one another using data sets from basins around the world to perform comprehensive analyses. In this year’s competition, the KFUPM students were given 2D/3D seismic and well data about the Viking Graben basin under the North Sea to come up with their award-winning presentation.

In March, team members Maaruf Hussain, Saleh Al-Humaid, Saud Al-Zainaldin and Mohammed Al- Sadah along with adviser Dr. Khalid Al-Ramadan took first place in the IBA-Middle East Region competition, which qualified them for the final round.

The third-place win earned the team the Stoneley Medal, named after the late Robert Stoneley, who conducted geological surveys of the Arctic, Antarctic, Tanganyika, Angola, New Zealand, Canada, Alaska, Ecuador and Iran. Stoneley, who worked for BP, also led the team responsible for the discovery, early appraisal drilling and evaluation of the Prudhoe Bay field off Alaska.

The Stoneley Medal also includes a cash prize of $5,000 and individual medals for the team members. First place was won by the French Institute of Petroleum with second place going to Canada University of Calgary.

The KFUPM team members have made their university, fellow students and faculty proud by winning third place in the Global IBA competition, said Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Shaibani, chairman of the university Earth Sciences Department.

The IBA started in 1976 at Imperial College of London. It has been adopted by the AAPG, the largest professional geological body in the world, as a means of promoting excellence in university-based exploration geoscience training.