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Imperial Barrel Award

The AAPG's Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA) is an annual competition involving 5-student teams from universities all over the world who compete in the area of energy exploration and sustainability. The teams compete against other schools in the same Section or Region, and the winner will participate in the International competition, challenging the other worldwide regional winners.

2012 IBA Team and Dr. Lock celebrate the first victory of the International Imperial Barrel Award for UL Lafayette

Over eight weeks, the team analyses real datasets including information on basin's geology, energy system elements, geophysics, and production infrastructures. During the competition, the team members use state-of-the-art technology, they receive feedback from industry advisors, and network with potential employers.

The main goal is to identify prospective resources and determine their viability. The team reports its verdict during a 25-minute presentation to industry experts, who select a winner based on technical quality, clarity, and the presentation's originality. 

The School of Geosciences at UL Lafayette has fielded a team every year since the Imperial Barrel contest's inception. The School's teams won the international competition in 2012, 2014, and 2018.

UL Lafayette is the only team to repeat as champions for the third time, a record that stands!

"This doesn't place the School's teams in exclusive company. It's more like a private club. Over the years, the teams achieved a level of preeminence that's not likely to be equaled anytime soon. It reflects the quality of students the School of Geosciences attracts and the strength of our graduate program" - Dr. Carl Richter, Associated Dean of Ray P. Authement College of Sciences and Professor at the School of Geosciences




Team's faculty advisers:

Dr. Davide Oppo, Assistant Professor of Geology 2022 - Present
Dr. Raphael Gottardi, Associate Professor of Geology 2018 - 2021
Dr. Brian Lock, Professor Emeritus 2008-2017

History of IBA at UL Lafayette


Imperial Barrel Award Competition - International Final

Year IBA First Place
Imperial Barrel Award
IBA Second Place
Selley Cup
IBA Third Place
Stoneley Medal
2007 U. of Aberdeen Imperial College, London U. of Oklahoma
  Seven teams were invited to participate - no regional competitions in 2007
2008 U. of Oklahoma Imperial College, London Texas Christian U.
2009 Moscow State U. U. of Nebraska Memorial U., Newfoundland
2010 Institut Franҫais du Petrole U. of Calgary King Fahd U., Saudi Arabia
2011 U. Texas at Austin* U. of Southampton Sultan Qaboos U., Oman
UL Lafayette*
Khon Kaen U., Thailand Colorado School of Mines
2013 U. of Utah U. of Oklahoma Sultan Qaboos U., Oman
UL Lafayette*
U. of Oklahoma Colorado School of Mines
2015 Royal Holloway U., England Pennsylvania State U. King Fahd U., Saudi Arabia
2016 U. Texas El Paso Pennsylvania State U. Colorado School of Mines
2017 U. of Houston* Eotvos Lorand U., Hungary Curtin U., Australia
UL Lafayette*
San Diego State U. Pennsylvania State U.
2019 U. of Houston* U. Lasalle U. of Oklahoma
2020a IFC, France  King Fahd U., Saudi Arabia U. of Calgary
2021b U. Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Sultan Qaboos University, Oman U. degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy
2022 Institut polyt. UniLaSalle, France
UL Lafayette*
Industr. Univ. of Santander, Colombia
2023 King Fahd U., Saudi Arabia
UL Lafayette*
Universidad Central del Ecuador

*   Gulf Coast Section Member
a) UL Lafayette won the Technical Innovation Award
b) UL Lafayette won the Teamwork Excellence Award

North America Region, Regional Competition

Year First Place Second Place Third Place
UL Lafayette
Colorado School of Mines Texas Christian University
UL Lafayette
University of Calgary Texas Christian University


Gulf Coast Section, regional competition 

Year First Place Second Place Third Place
UL Lafayette
U. of Houston Stephen F. Austin State U.
2009 Texas A & M University U. Texas at Austin U. of Houston
UL Lafayette
U. Texas at Austin Louisiana State U.
2011 U. Texas at Austin Louisiana State U.
UL Lafayette
2013 Texas A & M University U. Texas at Austin U. of Houston
UL Lafayette
Texas A & M University U. of Houston
2015 U. of New Orleans
UL Lafayette
U. of Texas at Austin and Stephen F. Austin State U.
2016 U. of New Orleans U. of Houston Texas A & M University
2017 U. of Houston
UL Lafayette
 (none recognized)
UL Lafayette
U. of New Orleans Auburn U.
2019 U. of Houston U. Texas at Austin Auburn U.
UL Lafayette
U. of Houston Auburn U.
UL Lafayette
U. of Houston Stephen F. Austin University

The Teams over the years

Year   Team members Dataset
2023 Abigail Watson Finnmark Platform, South Barents Sea
Margaret Dittman
Peyton Dardeau
Savana Anderson
2022 Hannah Hawkins Alaska, US
Bryan McCallister
Michael Young
Camron Mire
Aaustin Felmy
2021 Daniella Cimadomo Faroe, UK
Wiley Griffin  
Kristen Morris  
Silas Adeoluwa Samuel  
Matthew S Harnish  
2020 Natalie Helm Gulf of Mexico, USA
Samsideen Olamilekan Ajala  
Ricardo Penaloza  
Gage Hendricks  
Joshua Cecil  
2019 Jacob Chicola  Basque Cantabrian Basin, Spain
Abigail Breaux   
Grace Stone  
Garrett Goettel  
Cyle Chapman  
2018 Victoria Chevrot Great Bight Basin, Australia
Greg Ferguson  
Kohl Koppens  
Lauren Martz  
Roxana Vaught-Mijares  
2017 Daniel Friedman Northwestern Shelf, Australia
Nicholas Jarrett  
Amanda Johnston  
Kevin Reece  
Sydne Workman  
2016 Anne Brennan Taranaki Basin, New Zealand
Hunter Lipman  
Zack Ghalayini  
Joseph Morris  
Nathan Quick  
2015   Logan Adams Finnmark Platform, South Barents Sea
Jade Bujard  
Daniel Conlin  
Duncan MacIntosh  
Tim Shane  
2014 Jordy Babineaux Noord-Holland Platform, Schagen, Netherlands
Samuel Ely  
Nick Geyer  
Jolie Helm  
Daniel Sutton  
2013   Matt Hebbard Penobscot Lease, Scotian Shelf, Canada
Samantha Leone  
Christopher Murley  
Buddy Simonis  
Jin Watkins  
2012 Daniel Dudley Colville Basin, North Slope Alaska
Joey Grimball  
Chris Hatamian  
Mike Lahey  
Sarah Beth Maxwell  
2011   Kaare Egedahl Great Bight Basin, Australia
James Lindsay  
Adam Kruse  
Oscar Pacheco  
Nicholas Whitcomb  
2010   Ryan Armbruster Cooper and Eromanga Basins, Australia
Javier De Palacios  
Ling Jing  
Josh Reamer  
Lauren Salathe  
2009   Mark Etienne Southwest Barents Sea
Roark Franklund  
Shawn Kusiyama  
Emily Palmer  
Matt Tinley  
2008   Fleur Bases Viking and Sogn Graben, North Sea
Derek Hargrave  
John Rosen  
John Salsbury