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Khalifa University Takes 3rd Place Win at the AAPG Imperial Barrel Award Program

May 18, 2022

Khalifa University proudly took home 3rd place at the latest American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Imperial Barrel Award Program-Middle East Region. The program is an annual competition for geoscience graduate students from universities around the world. Winners are awarded scholarship funds for their schools.  


The KU Team was composed of Earth Sciences graduate students Abdulquadri O. Dauda, Abdulwaris Ramoni Ajagunjeun, Ahmed Khaled Eleslambouly, Andreas Fernandez Moncada, and Omar Aldhanhani under the guidance of their team advisor Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidi, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences.


Dr. Alsuwaidi explained, “The team went through a rigorous two-month program where they analyzed a large dataset and assessed whether to invest in a particular petroleum play or not. They examined data in geology, geophysics, petrophysics, and petroleum volumetric estimations, which usually requires teamwork from experts such as geologists, petrophysicists, geophysicists, and petroleum engineers.”


The team was able to identify 13 different leads within the area that covered aspects such as environmental risks, reserves estimation, etc. They then delivered the results of their analysis to a panel of industry experts. Winners were selected based on their presentation’s technical quality, clarity, and originality.


“In oil companies, projects like these are conducted for at least a year, but the students were able to complete the analysis and assessment in two months. Participants of these competitions usually make excellent hydrocarbon explorationists,” Dr. Alsuwaidi added.


Team captain Ahmed K. Eleslambouly said, “It has been a great experience for me and the team as we accomplished work that usually takes a year or more within a very narrow time schedule. I am very proud that we were able to tackle most of the problems and come up with creative ideas and multiple leads within the study area.”


“The competition was challenging, time consuming, and required much critical thinking. Although it was tough, the outcome for me and my time was worth it and amazing in terms of learning new technical and academic skills, gaining valuable industry knowledge, and getting familiar with the workflow of petroleum and geoscience projects for well-known companies in the oil and gas industry,” Omar Aldhanhani added.


“It was hard to balance time working on the competition, our own research, semester projects and other school requirements but working with a team of enthusiastic colleagues and the constant encouragement of our faculty advisor, Dr. Mohammed Alsuwaidi, made the experience more pleasant and worthwhile. Our appreciation goes to the Earth Science Department, faculty, and Khalifa University for their support all through the preparation until the delivery of our presentation,” commented Abdulquadri Alabere.


Ara Maj Cruz
Creative Writer
18 May 2022