Curtin Malaysia petroleum engineering students win bronze in PetroCup World Student Olympics

Miri – 20 September 2022 – ‘Team Carbon’ comprising five petroleum engineering students from Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia), having placed third in the South Asia Region, won a bronze medal in the recent PetroCup World Student Olympics 2022.

Team Carbon comprised team leader Mahibul Islam Bappy, Eslam Samer Soliman Mohamed Talaia, Eugene Jian Jun Chai, Danesh Anandan Naidu and Abdurrazzaq Amani Bin Azli under the guidance of lecturers Dr. Mahmood Bataee and Dr. Ziad Bennour from Curtin Malaysia’s Department of Chemical and Energy Engineering.

The PetroCup World Student Olympics, organised annually by Nafta College in Russia, is a one-of-a-kind online competition designed to simulate real-life activities that take place in an oilfield. It is run on Polyplan, an interactive training and testing programme that tests teams on different upstream activities, such as exploration, field development, well testing, well intervention, and well reservoir management. Polyplan creates a digital twin of synthetic petroleum assets so that the teams can see the production analysis over many years of virtual field exploration and development.

Universities including Curtin Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, PetroVietnam University, Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), University of Petroleum and Energy Studies India, and Chulalongkorn University Thailand participated this year.

In the competition, the Team Carbon members took on the roles of Asset Manager (managing the decision-making process), Reservoir Engineer (redevelopment planning and setting production goals), Simulation Engineer (analysis of current reserves structure), Geologist (analysis of initial reserves structure), Petrophysicist (analysis of core and open hole data logs), Well and Log Analyst (analysis of production logs), and Well Test Engineer (analysis of production history and well test data).

The competition consisted of five trials with a limited time frame. During these trials, aspects such as building and changing surface facilities, drilling, side-tracking, workovers, life setting for production and open-hole logging, cased hole logging, well testing, and production analysis were done. Following each trial, the teams’ scores were tallied.

Describing the competition as extremely challenging, Team Carbon nevertheless persevered and emerged among the top teams. The team worked together relentlessly on tackling the problems posed, discussing various options and novel approaches to issues. This instilled a strong sense of confidence and teamwork, they said. They also credited their success to the support and motivation of event host Vladimir Krichevsky and their team mentor, Alfiya Mustafina.

Associate Professor Ir. Stephanie Chan Yen San, Head of the Chemical and Energy Engineering Department, said she was delighted to see the achievements of the students in the PetroCup.

“Being able to simulate real petroleum industry conditions and tackle real-world problems in the competition demonstrates the capabilities of our students and their readiness for work in the industry,” she said.

Meanwhile, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Professor Tuong-Thuy Vu, in conveying his congratulations to the students, said it was heartening to see Curtin Malaysia’s engineering and science students continuing to excel in national and international competitions, citing the PetroCup as one of the engineering world’s most anticipated and hotly-contested competitions.

Prof. Vu also commended Dr. Mahmood and Dr. Ziad for being excellent advisors to the students, saying that the team’s outstanding performance was largely due to their guidance and motivation.

Curtin Malaysia offers Curtin’s four-year Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Petroleum Engineering, which involves chemical engineering, drilling, fluid flow through reservoirs, formation evaluation, geology, hydrocarbon phase behaviour, oil and gas field development, petroleum production technology, thermodynamics and well completions engineering.

Curtin is ranked No. 43 for petroleum engineering in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.

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Curtin Malaysia’s Team Carbon.