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Sarkeys Energy Center, home to the University of Oklahoma's Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, is pictured. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]
Sarkeys Energy Center, home to the University of Oklahoma's Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, is pictured. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]

OU geologists win competition

A team of undergraduate and graduate petroleum engineering students from the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma won first prize at a regional competition that tested their knowledge and skills, school officials announced.

Its win at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ annual PetroBowl North American regional qualifier competition gives it the chance to compete in the championship in Denver later this year.

PetroBowl, officials said, is a technical quiz competition for students at universities with petroleum engineering programs around the world.

OU is one of just three universities that have won the PetroBowl championship three times since the competition began in 2002. The others are the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Colorado School of Mines.

“I am thrilled that our petroleum engineering team won the North American qualifier competition,” said Mike Stice, dean of OU’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. “This PetroBowl team has distinguished themselves and our university in one of the most sought-after competitions in their field. It is my hope that 2020 is the year we become the first university to bring home the championship for a fourth time!”

Team members credit much of their success to their coach, recent OU doctoral graduate Son Dang. After completing his doctorate, Dang was offered a job in Houston, but still traveled biweekly to Norman to help students prepare.

“We read everything we could find,” said team captain Ashutosh Sharma, a graduate petroleum engineering student. “We studied about the history of the oil and gas industry, stayed up on current events, and read and reread books like The Prize by Daniel Yergin.”

Staff reports

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