OU Petrobowl Team Makes History with Fifth International Win

OU 2021 Petrobowl Team



The University of Oklahoma Society of Petroleum Engineers student chapter has made history again, claiming their fifth title as SPE PetroBowl® International Champions. In doing so, the team bested their own record, made at last year’s competition, when they became the first team to reach four international championships.

“This incredible international victory by the OU PetroBowl® Team speaks to the heroic efforts and dedication of this group of students,” said J. Mike Stice, dean of Mewbourne College. “More broadly, their win marks the fifth time that the University of Oklahoma has won this international competition, placing us in a category that no other institution has reached. This win and the ones that came before it speaks to the ongoing tradition of excellence in the area of petroleum engineering at the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.”

Petrobowl®, founded by the Society of Petroleum Engineering in 2002, matches SPE student chapter teams against each other for fast-paced quiz competitions. Students answer both technical and nontechnical questions about the energy industry.

The OU team advanced to the international championship after winning the virtual 2020 SPE PetroBowl® Competition.

The OU team was comprised of petroleum engineering Ph.D. candidate Felipe Cruz, petroleum engineering master’s student Juan Camilo Acosta and chemical engineering Ph.D. candidate Marco Tulio Portella. They answered questions that tested everything from detailed technical knowledge all the way to current events in energy.

“The industry is putting a lot of commitment to developing areas such as carbon capture, hydrogen and geothermal, and this could be observed by the type of questions asked in this year’s PetroBowl®,” said Cruz. “The win also represents hard work done by officers, advisors, members of the SPE student chapter and donors, all of whom helped the team. This win is just one example of the many successes Mewbourne College students display in their educations, technical organizations and research activities.”

“I would like to congratulate the team and all of OU’s SPE Student Chapter for ensuring that the PetroBowl® traveling trophy stays on the 12th floor of Sarkeys Energy Center for one more year. The win shows that our students have breadth and depth of knowledge in all areas of petroleum engineering and the energy industry,” said Runar Nygaard, director of Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering.

The OU team’s victory was decisive, with each round’s scores:

  • Round 1: OU vs. French Institute of Petroleum – 145 to 5
  • Round 1: OU vs. Federal University of Petroleum Resources – 64 to 35
  • Round 2: OU vs. Universidad De Oriente Núcleo Monagas – 85 to 76
  • Quarter-Finals: OU vs. The University of Texas at Austin – 60 to 10
  • Semi-Finals: University of Oklahoma 160 Vs 115 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Finals: University of Oklahoma 175 Vs 95 University of Stavanger

OU teams claimed victory in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2020, and 2021.

“PetroBowl® has reached its 20th year, and it continues to grow,” said James Whitaker, senior and the team’s young member programs manager. “Travel restrictions have forced many changes on the program, but with that has come greater engagement and competitiveness showcasing the top talent from students around the world. Each year the standards get higher and higher, so for a team to have won as many times as the University of Oklahoma, it is truly astounding. The program has been designed to showcase the best students, so to break the record and become five-time champions shows how special the students at OU really are!”

The team’s dedication not only yielded victory but also provided invaluable learning experiences for the student team members.

“I believe what really stands out at OU and makes us capable of winning twice in a row is our ability to anticipate industry needs, which is reflected in a change of coursework and research, directly influencing the PetroBowl® team performance,” said Cruz.

While excited for their win, the team is already looking to next year’s 2022 competition.

Want to give to OU’s PetroBowl® team? Simply give at  this link and write “Petrobowl” in the comments section.


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