Section’s New Competition Funds Scholarships

The SPE Gulf Coast Section (GCS) held its first annual OilSim Competition in April to raise funds for petroleum engineering scholarships.

At the Frontline Group’s office in Houston’s Energy Corridor, eight teams of professionals and students took part in a contest to discover, produce, and manage the best possible virtual oil fields, using Schlumberger’s OilSim training software.

Teams received points not only for the production and profit their fields generated, but also for good corporate citizenship. Players had the option of conserving money by forgoing necessary, real-world safety measures, such as blowout preventers. However, with each safety measure taken, teams earned “credibility points,” which also figured into their final scores.

In addition to operational challenges, the teams participated in a round that forced them to farm out a percentage of their acreage to opposing teams in order to simulate the collaborative aspects of oil and gas ventures.

Alexandra Joven, who played on the winning team, sponsored by Oxy, enjoyed the “exposure to all of the [operational] disciplines.” Her teammate, Hamad Behzadi, said that the competition was a “fast and furious approach to exercise all aspects of asset development.”

Last year, the GCS provided scholarships for 33 incoming freshmen and renewed 70 scholarships for previously sponsored students.

For additional training, mentored experiences, and other learning opportunities, visit

From left to right: Senior reservoir engineer Hamad Behzadi, geologist Jillian Mallis, and production engineer Alexandra Joven competed on the winning team at the SPE Gulf Coast Section’s first annual OilSim Competition.


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