College of Engineering & Mines

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UND/University of Memphis team recognized for outstanding work in 2021 Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) EVOLVE Program

A team of six Ph.D. and B.Sc. students from the University of North Dakota and one Ph.D. student from the University of Memphis participated in the 2021 Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) EVOLVE Program. The EVOLVE program for 2021 mentorship attracted participation from twenty-two universities worldwide. Each team was assigned a basin in which they had to apply project management, teamwork skills, and business values within the context of exploration. Additionally, with the guidance from SEG mentorship, the team appraised and implemented production and enhancement scenarios for a specific basin from given data. The University of North Dakota was provided with a dataset from a predominant oil and gas field in Australia that included seismic and well data for the Cooper Basin.

Upon completing the program, the team was recognized in three different categories for outstanding work in the following areas, Best Investment Opportunity, Best Project Manager, and Best Carbon Capture Analysis. The category of “Best Investment Opportunity” is judged based on the outcome of how realistic and successful the investment opportunity could be if applied in a real scenario. The team manager was Moones Alamooti, selected for the “Best Project Manager.” The category is judged on scheduling, production, communication, involvement in building team skills, and tactical execution of the long-term strategic vision. Additionally, the team was recognized for having the “Best Carbon Capture Analysis” led by Shane Eiring. This category was judged on proposing a realistic carbon mitigation strategy for the field development planning phase through production termination.

The University of North Dakota-University of Memphis team was led by Moones Alamooti (Ph.D., Team Captain, Geophysics, UND), Shane Namie (Ph.D., Engineering Geology, UND), Francis Idachaba(Ph.D., Petroleum Engineering, UND), Jerjes Porlles (Ph.D., Petroleum Engineering, UND), Shane Eiring(B.Sc., Petroleum Engineering-Petroleum Geology, UND), Nnaemeka Ngobidi (Ph.D., Geology, UND)and Roshan Raj Bhattarai (Ph.D., Geophysics, University of Memphis). The team’s faculty advisor was Dr. Vamegh Rasouli, Department Chair and Continental Resources distinguished Professor at the Department of Petroleum Engineering, University of North Dakota.

In addition to a faculty advisor for guidance on petroleum exploration, the SEG EVOLVE program enlisted the help of many industry mentors to advise all the teams, including Allen Bertagne (founder of the SEG EVOLVE Program), Dr. Michael Forrest, and Dr. Gordon Holmes. The SEG EVOLVE Program is a non-competitive, annual prospective basin evaluation program that lasts five months and gives students hands-on experience. For Example, completing interdisciplinary subsurface integration projects utilizing real-world seismic, wireline, core, production, and other data. The program, primarily sponsored by industry stakeholders such as Schlumberger, IHS Markit, Rose & Associates, and ENVERUS, allows students to use cutting-edge technology such as Petrel interpretation software for technical integration of real-world datasets to recommend the “Best Investment Opportunity” to a board of potential investors.

Slide presentation titled "Investment Oportunity"
The Investment Opportunity Evaluation by the UND SEG EVOLVE team across the Cooper Basin.


Similar to the renowned AAPG IBA Program, the EVOLVE Program also provides students with the ability to gain a fundamental understanding of the economics involved in prospecting by examining the study area from a petroleum engineering perspective.

As stated on the SEG website, the EVOLVE program provides an emphasis on collaboration across all teams with the promise that “you will experience the ambiguous, elusive, and poorly understood world of Mother Nature and face the challenge of drawing conclusions and making decisions with insufficient information.”

UND and University of Memphis SEG EVOLVE team photo

Our university students have direct experience executing interdisciplinary subsurface integration projects utilizing real-world seismic, wireline, core, production, and other data through bi-weekly virtual meetings with program mentors and other teams. By effectively combining exploration, reservoir assessment, field development planning, and production improvement scenarios, the team members successfully combined project management, collaboration abilities, and economic values. In addition, the team received help from industry mentors, allowing each member to address actual difficulties similar to those found in real-life scenarios.

For five months, the team used Petrel to evaluate 2D and wireline data and Techlog and Petra to assess the petrophysical aspects of their allocated basin structure.

The team had its final presentation in May 2021 in front of 15 judges who represented various significant industrial firms from across the world. The team not only gave a virtual presentation at the 2021 SEG Annual Meeting, where they concentrated on selling their primary potential, but they also published a paper on this study at the IMAGE ’21 conference.