Worldwide Student Teams Get Ready to Show Off Petroleum Engineering Knowledge in 2013 PetroBowl

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The 2013 PetroBowl competition, sponsored in part by PetroSkills, enters its 12th year at theSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Annual Technical Conference.

Since 2002, the PetroBowl has been a highlight of the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE). Introduced against the backdrop of an aging workforce and industry-wide concerns about attracting younger people to petroleum engineering, the PetroBowl’s fast-paced quiz format has proven to be immensely popular. Working their way through a series of single elimination brackets, teams of four students from SPE student chapters at leading universities around the world go head-to-head to answer an array of technical and non-technical questions about petroleum engineering.

Patty Davis, Americas Account Manager at PetroSkills and current Chair for Career Management for SPE GCS Board of Directors, was influential in implementing PetroSkills competition sponsorship with the SPE PetroBowl at SPE ATCE. “Back in 2002, I never envisioned that PetroBowl would be as big as it is today,” said Patty Davis “but as it has grown, so has the excitement generated from this highly anticipated yearly event.”

In a sign of just how established the PetroBowl has become, two former contestants are acting as the 2013 event’s co-chairs. Tony Fernandez, a reservoir engineer at Noble Energy, and Sathish Kulathu, a petroleum engineer at Sanchez Oil and Gas, are working closely with SPE ATCE and the PetroBowl participants to ensure that this year’s PetroBowl will go smoothly.

Sponsored by petroleum technical training organization PetroSkills, the 2013 PetroBowl competition is proving to be the most popular yet. The roster of teams accepted to participate in this year’s PetroBowl has grown to 36 SPE student chapters (with another seven on the waiting list), a significant jump from the eight teams that participated in the inaugural event over a decade ago.

“It’s exciting to see students from so many schools around the world lining up to participate in the PetroBowl,” said J. Ford Brett, CEO of PetroSkills. “The PetroBowl is an exciting event that fosters innovation among the up-and-coming technical professionals entering our industry. We’re more than happy to support it.”

The teams at this year’s PetroBowl represent universities from the U.S., India, China, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, the Netherlands, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Qatar, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Russia. Each team had to qualify for the event by answering 10 PetroBowl-style questions and were seeded in the 2013 PetroBowl by their performance in answering the qualification questions.

Many teams spend a year preparing for the PetroBowl. That’s because the students are well aware they will face a wide array of questions drawn from subject areas such as drilling and completions, reservoir and formation evaluation, calculations, general engineering, production and facilities, geology, E&P industry history and trivia, geopolitics and current events. The questions are formulated by the PetroBowl judges, many of whom are industry experts who work for members of the PetroSkills Alliance, a consortium of companies dedicated to improving competency-based training for the oil and gas industry.

The judges rely on many resources to develop their questions, including PetroSkills PetroCore Reference solution, which provides online access to industry-validated technical content from PetroSkills technical training materials and other curated content sources. In their ongoing commitment to this exciting program, PetroSkills is providing the PetroBowl judges and participants with complimentary access to PetroCore Reference for a year.

"The PetroBowl organizers put a lot of work into coming up with the right mix of questions that both challenge the students and provide the opportunity for them to showcase their knowledge,” said Ron Hinn, EVP, Technical Staff and Discipline Networks. “PetroCore Reference has been a great help.”

The upcoming PetroBowl will be held on September 30 at ATCE 2013, which is taking place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. ATCE 2013, which includes technical sessions and over 400 exhibiting companies, will open September 28 and close October 3.

This is the 12th year that PetroSkills has sponsored the PetroBowl competition. To learn more about PetroSkills and PetroCore Reference, please stop by booth 1131 at the SPE ATCE 2013 exhibition.

About the author:
Terry Lehmann is currently the Executive Vice President of Training for PetroSkills. He has over 30+ years in the oil industry working as head of Learning and Competency Development for Baker Hughes, Weatherford and, most recently, Maersk Oil. He has been instrumental in helping these large organizations and the industry in implementing competency-based training and development solutions. He has served as President of ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) in Houston, a board member on the University of Houston Graduate Advisory Board for the College of Technology HRD, and has been a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists for over 25 years.

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