UiS students to PetroBowl world championship

As the only Scandinavian team, the UiS team will compete with 31 other student teams from all over the world in October.

Five students. The UiS team: Alisher Narzullaev, Svein Kåre Dahle, Marcelo Gerardo Landivar, Diego Felipe Acevedo Parra og Khushal Adlakha.

PetroBowl features student teams challenging each other in a quiz style trivia game. Questions focus on technical and non-technical aspects of the oil and gas industry.

Mental game

The UiS team consists of five master’s students, four of which are from the Department of Petroleum Engineering and one from the Department of Industrial Economics, Risk Management and Planning.

In the regional finals in Krakow, they were among the top five teams and in October they will travel to the world final in San Antonio, Texas. A total of 32 teams, including five teams from each continent and the top two from last year, will compete for the title world champion in petroleum knowledge.

In the competition two teams go head to head answering technical and non-technical questions.

– It is the most global oil and gas competition for students, and the competition is very tough, said Khushal Adlakha.

Together with Alisher Narzullaev, Svein Kåre Dahle, Diego Felipe Acevedo Parra and Marcelo Gerardo Landivar, he makes up the UiS team.

The team was put together after The UiS SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) student chapter hosted an internal PetroBowl quiz in January to select the best student to represent the University in the competition.

International team

To be as well prepared as possible, they each specializes on topics like drilling, natural gas, industrial economics and geology.

– We never know what kind of question they will ask next. It can be both technical and non-technical. They may ask for random things like "When did Japan run out of oil?, says Narzullaev.

The team consists of members from Uzbekistan, Colombia, India, Bolivia and Norway.

– An international team is a big advantage. For instance, if there is questions about the CEO of a big  company, at least one of us can pronounce the name, says Landivar.

The competition is similar to an American game show, where the teams press a red button, and have five seconds to give the correct answer.

– It is a mental game, and in the beginning we had quite a few nerves. Now we are better prepared for the pressure, says Parra.

Better students

Much of the summer will be spent memorizing questions from previous competitions. Although the preparations is time consuming, the students reckon it’s time well spent.

– We get a realistic overview of the oil history, and we learn a lot more than just theory. It is useful to know as much as possible about the industry we are aiming to work in after our studies, says Dahle, who is the team captain.

– Representing UiS is a big responsibility, and we learn to cope with pressure and we learn to cooperate. These experiences are very useful, Parra adds.

Much more than a competition

2013 was the first year PetroBowl accepted teams from outside the US, and last year the UiS team was European champions.

Even though the competitive spirit is high, there is much more to it.
– This is a great opportunity to meet students from all over the world and grow a global network, says Dahle.

Challenging times in the oil industry affect the competition. This year the team is struggling more than before to get sponsorship.

– While preparing for the competition, we are also looking for sponsors. We need funds so we get to the United States, says Adlakha.

Text and photo: Karoline Reilstad