Sunday, 4 March | 08:30 – 16:15 | Westin Hotel

AAPG’s Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA) is an annual prospective basin evaluation competition for geoscience graduate students from universities around the world. University teams compete to win scholarship funds for their geoscience department and the international recognition that comes from competing or winning in the competition. The program is rigorous and contributes to AAPG’s mission of promoting petroleum geoscience training and advancing the careers of geoscience students.

In this global competition, university teams analyze a dataset (geology, geophysics, land, production infrastructure, and other relevant materials) in the eight weeks prior to their local competition. Each team delivers their results in a 25 minute presentation to a panel of industry experts. Students have the chance to use state of the art technology on a real dataset, receive feedback from an industry panel and impress potential employers in the audience. The IBA regional and section competition winners qualify to compete against each other in the international finals during the Annual Convention & Exhibition (ACE), taking place in the USA, for a chance to win scholarship funds for their school.

Visit the IBA website to learn more.


The 9th Regional IBA competition will take place on 4 March with students presenting their findings to a panel of industry experts. The winning team will be announced on the following day during the AAPG Middle East Reception and IBA Award Ceremony.

9 teams from Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will compete for a chance to represent their university at the global finals which are being held in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States on 19 May 2018 during the AAPG Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE)

Check this video to learn about this competition.

Sultan Qaboos University, winning team of the 8th IBA Competition, Middle East (Al Ain, UAE, March 2017)

IBA winners UAE

Sultan Qaboos University, winning team of the 7th IBA Competition, Middle East (Bahrain, March 2016)

IBA winners Bahrain

King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals awarded with the third place in the IBA Finals 2015 (Denver, Colorado, June 2015)

IBA winners USA

2018 Report7% increase in attendees at the Middle East's largest petroleum geosciences event»