French Team Takes Top Honors in 2010 IBA


Graduate students representing the Institut Francais du Petrole took the top prize in this year’s Imperial Barrel Awards competition, beating out 11 other teams from geology and geophysical departments from around the world.

The finals were held in New Orleans right before the start of the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition.

The IFP win marked the second consecutive year that a team representing AAPG’s European Region claimed first place in the global competition, which carries individual medals and a $20,000 prize for their petroleum geoscience department.

Members of the IBA winning team are Matthieu Bregeaut, Jeanne Pelé, Francys Espaillat, Herman Rojas and Shiladitya Sengupta. The faculty adviser is Anne Duhem Jardin.

Finishing second (Selley Cup winners) was the team from the University of Calgary, representing the Canada Region, which earned individual medals and $10,000 in scholarship funds for the department.

Finishing third (Stoneley Medal winners) was King Fahd University, representing the Middle East Region, which earned individual medals and $5,000 in scholarship funds for their department.

The remaining nine finalists each earned $1,000 in scholarship funds for their respective schools plus individual medals for themselves as IBA finals participants. The finals teams were (alphabetical order):

  • Africa Region – Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
  • Asia-Pacific Region – China University of Petroleum, Beijing.
  • Latin America – EAFIT University, School of Geology, Medellin, Colombia.
  • Eastern Section – West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.
  • Gulf Coast Section – University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
  • Mid-Continent Section – Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.
  • Pacific Section – San Diego State University, San Diego.
  • Rocky Mountain Section – Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo.
  • Southwest Section – University of Texas at Arlington.

The IBA program gives teams of students the chance to evaluate the petroleum potential of a sedimentary basin and to test their creative geological interpretations. Their work must be completed in a six-to-eight week period, with results presented to – and judged by – an independent panel of petroleum industry experts.

A total of 57 teams from 18 countries competed in this year’s IBA program.

Past IBA winners were teams from:

  • 2009 – Moscow (Russia) State University, Moscow, Russia.
  • 2008 – The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.
  • 2007 – The University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

For more information on the IBA program go online to