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UW Hosts Energy Challenge for College, High School Students

October 25, 2016
The PetroChallenge flyer
UW will host the PetroChallenge on Nov. 5-6.

The University of Wyoming will host an energy-related competition with the world's largest oilfield service company in November.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science will host the PetroChallenge, a two-day hands-on educational event for UW students. The PetroChallenge is a petroleum exploration business game supervised by instructors from Schlumberger, a global oilfield service company.

The UW event will be Nov. 5-6 in the main atrium of the Enzi STEM facility.

One of Schlumberger’s organizational units is NExT (Network of Excellence in Training), which is focused on educational services for the oil and gas industry and higher education. This competition will utilize OilSim, NExT’s Upstream Business Simulator, and will be a problem-based event. OilSim requires group participation and each team acts as an oil and gas company, wherein students collaborate and compete against other companies to generate revenue and consider environmental, social and corporate responsibilities normally encountered in the oil industry. Download the PetroChallenge brochure here.

Students will link to software on servers in Houston and form into teams of four and conduct exploration on an area. During the game they will learn about the various geoscience, engineering and business aspects of petroleum exploration.

The top two teams at the event will receive a gift for winning the competition. All participants will receive a PetroChallenge participation certificate. NExT currently plans to host a North American regional final event in January 2017 at its Houston Learning Center and will invite the top two teams from each participating university. Air travel to Houston plus hotel accommodation for the students from the winning team will be provided by NExT for teams to participate in the finals.

The School of Energy Resources also serves as a sponsor for the challenge. The event is open to all students in all colleges at UW, but capacity will be limited to the first 70 students to sign up. For more information, contact event organizer Brian Toelle at 307-766-6780 or

UW also will host a one-day event for high school students on Friday, Nov. 4 in the STEM building in Room 220.  

In the 2015 PetroChallenge nationwide, four universities from three countries (Canada, United Kingdom and the U.S.) and 209 participants took part. At the high school level, it featured 30 schools from three countries (Iceland, Norway and the U.S.) and 1,344 participants.

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