European champions in petroleum

The University of Stavanger (UiS) defeated 22 other university teams in the PetroBowl quiz earlier this month. The champions will represent Europe in Dubai in September.

  • /01. Store bilder for nye - min. 1400 piksler/Studenter/petrobowl bred.JPG (rw_largeArt_1201).jpg
    European Masters in Petro Bowl 2016. From the left: Camilo Andrés Cárdenas Medina, Vebjørn Langåker, Madhan Nur Agister, Jugal Bodawala, Sindre Forset Lokken and Jon Oscar Spieler.
  • /01. Store bilder for nye - min. 1400 piksler/Studenter/Pris PetroBowl.jpg (rw_largeArt_1201).jpg
    "Our victory shows that UiS holds the highest petroleum competency level in Europe", says Jon Oscar Spieler, one of the six petroleum students in the UiS team.
  • /01. Store bilder for nye - min. 1400 piksler/Studenter/UiS finale Petrobowl.jpg (rw_largeArt_1201).jpg
    The victory over Politecnico di Torino in the final. "We kept our heads clear and played it safe." (Photo: SPE Stavanger Student Chapter).

"We are very proud of our victory. It shows that UiS holds the highest petroleum competency level in Europe", says Jon Oscar Spieler, one of the six petroleum students in the UiS team.

The first time that Norway and UiS entered a team in the PetroBowl quiz was in 2013. Three years later, the UiS team are European champions and ready for the world cup, the PetroBowl Championship, in Dubai.

What is PetroBowl?

In PetroBowl, teams of students from all around the world are pitched against each other in a fast-paced competition that covers technical and non-technical aspects of the petroleum industry. The competition went global in 2013 and expanded to six regional qualifying rounds in 2015. In 2015, 103 teams from 28 countries competed against each other in six regional qualifier contests.

Earlier this month, the regional PetroBowl competition for Europe was held in Stavanger, hosted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Their victory qualifies the UiS team for the global PetroBowl competition that will be held in Dubai in September. The teams come from universities around the world, including the United States, Brazil, China, Italy, Sudan, Norway, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. US participants are in the majority, representing prestigious institutions such as the University of Texas, University of Houston, Stanford University and Penn State.

The UiS team

The UiS students are all on master’s and bachelor’s courses within the petroleum programme at UiS:

Jugal Bodawala from India is doing a master’s degree in Petroleum Reservoir Technology; Madhan Nur Agista, Indonesia, is doing a master’s in Petroleum Natural Gas Engineering; Camilo Andrés Cárdenas Medina, Colombia, is doing a master’s in Petroleum Well Engineering; Jon Oscar Spieler, Norway, is doing a master’s in Petroleum Well Engineering and Sindre Forsetløkken is doing a bachelor’s degree in petroleum technology.

Naturally, the team also has a manager: Vebjørn Langåker from the SPE Stavanger Student Chapter has been in charge of organising and training the team for the competition.

The red button

Technically speaking, the quiz resembles an American game show: Two teams compete at a time, and the first person to press the red button answers the question. The questions cover technical petroleum industry areas, concepts, the history of the petroleum industry, calculation and many other things.

"The one-on-one games last for eight minutes. Questions are not repeated and there is no time for thought. If you know the answer to the question, you press the red button. If the answer is correct, your team gets 10 points and a bonus question in which the team is allowed to confer. If the answer is wrong, 5 points are deducted from the team's score", explains Camilo.

"In the United States, a win at the PetroBowl is highly prestigious for the petroleum universities. This is also where the competition began. It is a very important competition there, with especially fierce rivalry between the Texas universities. Several Texan universities offer specialisations that are suitable for the PetroBowl contest. Even professors train their teams before the competition", says Madhan.

Magical recipe

"The quiz focuses on petroleum-related issues that we have learned about through our studies. We brushed up on our old curriculum before the regional competition. We prepared well, and reviewed questions from previous years", says Jon Oscar.

"Our manager, Vebjørn, has cleverly chosen a team with many different specialities within the petroleum field. Together, we cover broad areas within Natural Gas, Drilling Technology and Reservoir Engineering, as well as basic knowledge within petroleum technology. That is the magic recipe for our team", says Jon Oscar.

NTNU was the greatest rival

"There was a total of 23 teams in the European qualifier this year. The toughest team to face in the competition was Politecnico di Torino in Italy", says Madhan.  But our greatest rival was definitely NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology):

"Meeting NTNU, not to mention knocking them out, was very enjoyable. At that point in the competition we were pleased to be the best of the Norwegian universities", says Sindre.

"Our advantage during the competition was that we were very relaxed. We had no great expectations about how we would do in the competition, nor did we know how much we knew in relation to the other teams. In other words, there was no pressure on us. We were also the home team, and I guess that created extra peace of mind", says Jon Oscar.

They were elated by their victory over Politecnico di Torino in the final.

"We kept our heads clear and played it safe. The other team buzzed in on the red button before they knew whether they could answer the question. That led to incorrect answers and points deducted", says Jugal.

To Dubai!

The UiS team is excited about the finals in Dubai. "We will probably be in Dubai for the entire annual SPE conference, which lasts for three days. The PetroBowl competition is part of the conference and will be held on the last day. We have already joined new networks internationally, and are looking forward to meeting many new contacts. But first of all, we must get some sponsors for the trip, and we also need to do a lot of swotting up", concludes Camilo.


Text / Photo: