Oil and Gas Horizons – a Success Story Continues…

Arriving in Moscow on a freezingly cold Tuesday afternoon, we were accompanied to our dormitory. Already at the airport, we met some old friends from Krakow, who had arrived just a few minutes earlier. The next morning, after breakfast, the congress participants left for the university. The opening ceremony was dominated by a discussion of arctic operations under the motto “Arctic – From Ideas to Actions”. Several aspects from technical challenges to political conflicts were mentioned by the high-ranked experts on stage.

In the afternoon, our delegation got a short private tour of a whole new training center sponsored by Rosneft. In the light of the recently established cooperation between our universities, this high-tech lecture rooms are particularly interesting even for us Leoben students, since they might become  your potential lecture rooms as well!

In the meantime, the 2018 SPE President Darcy Spady had started his presentation. In his motivational speech, he talked about his career and how he thinks that working in small companies with a more family-like environment is the best working experience he could imagine. He also talked about the importance of being an expert, and how this expertise helps one’s career.

The last session of the day were the Student Paper and Poster Contests. Split into more than 10 sections, about 100 presentations were made on research and development projects made by students. The Leoben delegation was represented by Markus Hofmeister in the Alternative Energy section, and by Florian Gamperl (Drilling). Both students participated with topics from the Literature Review Project.

Wednesday began with a Career Fair and in parallel a contest sponsored by Schlumberger. While students got the opportunity to talk to representatives of the sponsoring companies, inform themselves about job opportunities and career development, they could also get some hands-on experience in petroleum engineering decision making: The goal was to define an ideal drilling spot for an exploration well based on the reservoir structure map. This was followed by the PetroOlympic Games, a series of fast-paced questions about all aspects of the petroleum business, in which 5 teams of 6 students each competed against each other, showing their knowledge about the industry.


Chapter representatives having fun at the Round Table
Chapter representatives discussing at the Round Table

After the lunch break, our delegation participated in a Round Table of Student Chapters, presided by Mr. Spady. We discussed the most efficient ways of networking, and how to make the most of your SPE membership – with the unsurprising conclusion that the most important thing is to participate in as many events as possible, talk to your fellow students and present your own research work.

But the undoubted highlight of the day was the official closing ceremony of the congress. Not only the food at the gala dinner was excellent, but also the entertainment program, a mixture of Russian folklore and youth culture together with short speeches of the organizers and university representatives was very interesting. Moreover, the winners of the Paper and Poster Sessions were announced: We are proud of our representatives for winning the second place in the Drilling category, and the first place in the Alternative Energy section! Moreover, we would like to congratulate our member Markus Hofmeister for helping his team to win the PetroOlympic Games!

Our representatives Markus (left) and Florian (right) at the Award Ceremony
Our representatives Markus (left) and Florian (right) at the Award Ceremony

Such great success had to be celebrated, and what better way to do that than in a club? The official afterparty was another platform to celebrate, and to network. Good mood until the early morning hours dominated, and we went to bed tired, but excited of what had been so far, and what would be yet to come…

Oil and Gas Horizons officially ended with trips to various sponsoring companies: Salym Petroleum, for example – a joint venture of Gazprom and Shell – is a rather small company, but they are highly innovative, operating their whole oil fields in Siberia remotely using the “Smart Oil Field” concept as one of only few companies worldwide. Other company visits included Halliburton’s Moscow office, Deloitte and the university’s drilling department, with its offshore drilling simulator, which never ceases to amaze the students from Leoben (as our regular readers will probably know already).

Sightseeing in Moscow - Moscow City, in front of some of Europe's talles sky scrapers
Sightseeing in Moscow – Moscow City, in front of some of Europe’s talles sky scrapers

After reuniting for lunch, we were split up again for guided tours of Moscow. While the “novices” were taken to the “must-see” places like the Red Square, Kremlin and Arbat, the regular Moscow visitors were introduced to Moscow’s secret places, such as the area around the Patriarch Ponds, not only the main setting of Mikhail Bulgakov’s famous novel “Master and Margerita”, but without question one of the most beautiful parts of this amazing city.

All good things pass, and it was soon time for us to say good bye again, to return home. It was a great honor to be able to participate in such a truly amazing and outstanding event. Thank you very much for our great time at Gubkin university – and of course a great thank you to the organizers for making this event an unforgettable experience! Спасибо вам большое!

1st International Oil and Gas Majoring Students Forum

The first International Oil and Gas Majoring Students Forum “New Generation: Across the Universe” was held from February 28th to March 6th 2016 in the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas in Moscow. The main aim of this forum was to bring together the world’s best students studying different branches of oil and gas sciences, so they can share their knowledge and experience.

28th of February 2016

On the 28th of February we arrived at 14:30 at the airport in Moscow. The country greeted us with beautiful sunny weather and a little bit of snow. From there on we were brought to the dormitory by car. We finished the day with the famous Borscht, a traditional Russian soup.

29th of February 2016

The second day of this event started with the opening ceremony at the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. Afterwards the Schlumberger Business Case was held. In this friendly competition teams consisting of at least 4 people needed to solve a complex task regarding the production of Gas Condensates in a limited amount of time. The event took the rest of the day, and in the end the team of our German friends from RWTH Aachen won the competition. In the evening a gala dinner was held. The dinner was accompanied by some great performances of Russian students.

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1st of March 2016

This day was planned to give the students a better view on actual business problems and how the industry is going to change in the future. New technologies and the most prospective areas all over the world were introduced by world class experts. After lunch, the so called “Career Fair” was held. In this event groups of students had the opportunity to see departments of the university and listen to the latest achievements in the scientific work of universities personnel. One of the most impressive parts was the department for transportation which showed their brand new simulator for pipeline dispatching training, as well as the drilling ship simulator, which some of our students had the chance to visit last year already.

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The day was concluded by the “Russian Cuisine festival”. This delicious event gave the unique opportunity to taste different foods from regions all over Russia and other countries. Afterwards it was time for some Ice skating. All the participating students were playing games, trying out ice hockey and enjoyed the great atmosphere.

2nd of March 2016 

After the wake-up call, busses brought us to the city centre of Moscow. There we visited one of Russia’s brightest buildings, the Kremlin. Inside the Kremlin it was time for some history. Local guides from the Museum explained the fascinating Russian history to all of us. The end of the day was concluded with the Miss University Contest 2016. At this event 10 beautiful ladies representing the different departments of the university were competing against each other, to crown their self in the end with the title “Queen of Oil”. Amazing artistic skills, singing and even acting performances showed the great diversity of skills that all these women have.

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3rd of March 2016

Early in the morning we packed up our suitcases and got onto the buses because it was time to go to Zaluchie. After 6 hours on the bus we arrived there and were welcomed with some traditional Russian bread. After getting comfortable with our rooms, the winter camp in Zaluchie was opened with another Russian speciality, a small cup of Vodka. Afterwards it was time for some open air activities. Sliding down a hill, pillow fight, rope pulling and dancing were accompanied by some traditional Russian Music.

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4th of March 2016

The second day in Zaluchie was used to provide us with some meaningful talks about the way to success, how to prepare a scientific paper and the technical presentation part afterwards. After enjoying some free time in the Russian winter, a wonderful performance of horse riding together with some traditional Russian winter games made this evening really unique. Finally the closing ceremony was held which marked the official end of this forum. Nevertheless in the evening the great celebration continued and the day ended with a disco night.

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5th of March 2016

Waking up was hard after enjoying such a great evening until 3 o’clock in the morning. Nevertheless the breakfast was the best reason to get up earlier. After breakfast we were waiting for the busses while enjoying the Russian winter one last time. Then we got onto the busses which brought us directly to the dormitory in Moscow.

6th of March 2016

Our plane left at 15:35 from Moscow Domodedovo to Vienna. This was the final end of this great journey.

We would like to thank the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas for providing us with this unique opportunity. It was really amazing to see how much effort went into the preparation of this Forum. All of the volunteers were great and gave everything they had to make this event unbelievable.

Finally speaking from the heart, leaving Moscow was hard after this great experience. Nevertheless it doesn’t felt if there was something left back. It felt much more like each and every participant and Russia itself gave us something valuable which we could take back home.

This is what makes this event so special. It shows that it is not about the price of oil, it is about all of us and there is no hurdle we cannot take if we work together without any borders.

To finish this there is only one more thing to say. The idea that was started at this forum is going to spread out all over the world and not only the world, it’s going to be spread across the universe.

Visiting Oil and Gas Horizons 2015

This year the seventh Oil and Gas Horizons Congress (24.Nov 2015-26.Nov 2015) took place at Moscow’s Gubkin Russian State Oil & Gas University. The congress is entirely organized by the local SPE Student Chapter and it is the largest international youth scientific and practical event in the oil and gas industry of the Russian and Caspian region. The Office Manager of the SPE Student Chapter Leoben, Daniel Hirschl, went there as a representative. The following is the whole story about his visit.

22.November 2015

On the 22nd of November at 10:00 Austrian Airlines flight OS601 departed from the Vienna International Airport heading towards Moscow, with me on this plane. After 2 hours and 30 minutes the plane touched down at the Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.

There I was welcomed by my two guides who brought me and another student to the dormitory. We took the famous Moscow Metro to go there, so I already got a glimpse of what to expect from this wonderful city. After arriving and making ourselves comfortable in our rooms we were guided to the city center of Moscow to see a lot of the historic sites, such as Red Square and of course the Kremlin. After dinner we finished our journey with the beautiful view of the Moscow city Skyscrapers.

23.November 2015

On Monday the main cultural program took place. This already showed what to expect from the congress. Students from different countries were guided by volunteers through the city. So already on the second day some new friendships were established with other students.

The journey brought us to the St. Basils cathedral, the Kremlin, the famous shopping mall GUM, the Cathedral of Christ the savior and finally we got to see the Moscow City skyscrapers again. The day was concluded by a team building event in the dormitory where students showed their skills by playing charades.

Moscow City

24.November 2015

On Tuesday the congress started. After some good breakfast in the early morning a bus brought us to the university. After the registration the opening ceremony was held. All the participants were welcomed at the congress by representatives of the university and the local student chapter. The next part was the plenary session. Experts gave some insights on special topics e.g. “New paradigm of the Oil and Gas development”. In this presentation smart technologies for the development of hydrocarbon fields were introduced to the students. In the afternoon the student paper contest took place. In different sessions (e.g. Automation and Computer Sciences, Oil and Gas Chemistry and Ecology, Geosciences, Drilling and Completion) students presented their personal work. The day was concluded with a dinner that gave an impression of the Russian cuisine.OGH 2015

25.November 2015

The second day of the congress started with the presentations of the different SPE Student Chapters. All the chapters showed how much effort they put in all of their work and how they stay motivated. One of the highlights was when the delegation from the Ufa State Petroleum Technological University performed the song “Wavin Flag”.

It was a unique moment when all the people in the room started to join their performance.  In the afternoon the PetroOlympic Games took place. In this special contest teams of six students have to solve some complex tasks and answer questions related to the Petroleum Industry. The two best teams are then competing against each other in a debate. Our multicultural team that had the profound name “AGGRRR” was able to participate in the debate. The team name was based on the nationalities of the team members (Austria, Germany, Germany, Russia, Russia, and Russia). This also provided me with the unique experience of participating in a team debate. The topic of debating was “Preservation of natural resources for the future than using them today”. Our team had to negate the topic. We managed to find a good way to express our view on the topic and finally we won the PetroOlympic games.12314451_926336574103268_6141122079611786833_o

Afterwards the SPE Student Chapters Round-Table provided the unique opportunity of discussing actual topics with leaders from other Student Chapters and how to manage the upcoming challenges together.

The congress was then concluded by a wonderful closing ceremony where all the winners were announced and it also showed the creativity of the students from the Gubkin Russian State Oil & Gas University. Some marvellous songs were combined with great dances. Finally the day was closed by a youth party where all the participants had the opportunity to celebrate together with members of the organizing committee.

26.November 2015

The last day was reserved for visiting companies. Together with some other students, I went to the office of Halliburton in Moscow. They gave us a presentation about their company and how is it structured. Afterwards we heard a presentation about Halliburtons famous Landmark software. In the end they also told us about career chances in Halliburton. The size of the company allows people to work in different disciplines all around the globe. The afternoon was free for everybody. Therefore we joined a big group of students and went ice skating in the famous Gorky Park. Afterwards we used the unique atmosphere of the Moscow area for some evening activities.

Gorky Park

27.November 2015

Finally on the last day of my visit here in Moscow I was brought to the airport and left with new friendships, experiences and a smile on my face.

I would like to thank the SPE-Student Chapter of Gubkin University for the invitation. It was such a pleasure to be able to participate in such an amazing event. The unique atmosphere could be felt in every corner of the congress. It really broadened my personal horizon, not only from a technical but also from a general point of view, because events like that prove that borders are just lines on a map.

SPE SC Leoben Field Trip to Russia

This year’s SPE Student Chapter Leoben Field Trip brought 15 students, enrolled in both the undergraduate (B.Sc.) and graduate (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) programs to Russia. The goal of the trip was to get to know how students live and study in two of the most famous Russian Petroleum Universities, namely Moscow’s Gubkin University and the Ufa State Petroleum Technological University.

The first destination of our multinational group was the Russian capital, Moscow. Welcomed and guided by our colleagues of Gubkin University’s SPE Student Chapter, our students got not only the opportunity of visiting some of Moscow’s most famous sights, such as the Red Square, the famous Moscow Kremlin and the Cosmonautics Museum, but also the Russian State Petroleum University (РГУ нефти и газа им. И.М.Губкниа) and BakerHughes’ Russian Headquarters.

We got to meet university officials, who told us about the great opportunities for students and graduates of Gubkin University and showing us the high level of hands-on industry practice on state-of-the-art laboratory and training equipment. Finally, we had the opportunity to meet managers of BakerHughes who told us about their operations in the Russian and Caspian Sea Region, which was certainly a new and interesting aspect for our group.

Gubkin University's NOV sponsored offshore drilling simulator
Gubkin University’s NOV sponsored offshore drilling simulator
Pumps and workover rig in the university yard help the students develop an understanding of oilfield operations
Pumps and workover rig in the university yard help the students develop an understanding of oilfield operations

Furthermore – and this was certainly one of the highlights of our trip – our stay in Moscow was coinciding with the visit of SPE International President D. Nathan Meehan, who held a presentation for the Student Chapters at the Moscow universities to which we were also invited. After that, we also took the obligatory “SPElfies” with our Russian Friends and SPE-President Meehan.

“SPElfie” of our delegation with SPE President D. Nathan Meehan

After our five-days stay in Mocow, our group travelled further East to Ufa, where we could get a first impression of the famous Russian winter – heavy snowfalls and temperatures below 0°expected us upon our arrival in Ufa. Despite the cold weather we got a very warm welcome from Ufa’s SPE Student Chapter.

As in Moscow, we got the opportunity to meet with university officials and the local SPE Chapter who introduced us to their profTELEPORT project, which is a project that should guide students into their future professional work. The mutual friendship was strengthened by games encouraging out-of-the-box thinking, team building and team work.

After a tour through the university, Prof. Mastobaev of the Chair of Petroleum Transport and Storage invited us to a Q&A session about the university and the opportunities of a semester abroad.

Furthermore, our colleagues of the Ufa SPE Student Chapter organized for us an excursion to Burintekh, an Ufa based company specialized in the production of drilling and workover tools. We had the great opportunity to visit one of their factories, where Burintekh produces – among other products – roller cone and PDC drill bits. Our tour followed the manufacturing process from the raw material via the individual manufacturing and treatment steps down to quality control and quality assurance in the dedicated material science labs.

Visiting Burintekh together with the Ufa SPE Student Chapter
Visiting Burintekh together with the Ufa SPE Student Chapter

This year was a very important year for the Ufa SPE Student Chapter, as it was not only their tenth anniversary, but the student chapter has also been rewarded for their hard work over the past year with the “Outstanding Student Chapter Award”, which is a very highly respected decoration for every student chapter. These two great achievements have been celebrated on a large party in a Jazz Club in the city center of Ufa, to which we were also invited. Along with dancing and karaoke performed by the students, we got our last chance of talking to our Russian colleagues, as this party also marked the end of our stay in Russia.

Our group members in uniforms of different Russian oil and gas companies – at the museum of Ufa University

On a little side note, we would like to mention that a close cooperation exists between Ufa State Petroleum Technology University and Montanuniversitaet Leoben, which makes student exchanges very simple. Currently, we have some students from Ufa in Leoben, and there are a few students from our university planning on doing a semester abroad in Ufa. After having seen this university, we would really like to encourage all of our students to consider such a great opportunity, as it can offer much more than only studying abroad, but also getting to know new people, broaden your mind and get an unforgettable experience in a foreign country! We are also doing our best to get a similar cooperation between our university and Moscow’s Gubkin University.

This Field Trip helped bonding and tightening the Austro-Russian friendship, both between the students and the Student Chapters. We are looking forward to many more international events and cooperations to come with our new friends, be it mutual visits, exchange programs or other joint events.

On this occasion, the SPE Student Chapter Leoben would like to thank our colleagues at Gubkin University and Ufa University for their hospitality, their kindness and their incredible help organizing all the amazing events we experienced in this week. Without you, this whole Field Trip would not have been the same, it would not even have been possible!

Visit of a delegation of Students from Moscow’s Gubkin University in Austria

In the middle of October the SPE Student Chapter had the great pleasure to welcome a group of students from Gubkin State Oil and Gas University (РГУ нефти и газа им. И.М. Губкина) in Vienna and Leoben. The delegation of 12 students came to Hungary and Austria to visit the respective oil companies, MOL Group in Budapest and OMV in Gänserndorf, and took the opportunity to also visit our university for a day.

A team of our active members met our Russian friends in Vienna on October 10th, and showed them around in order to give them an impression of Vienna. We then accompanied the group to Leoben to spend the night, and the next day, we had the opportunity to present our university to them. This included not only a tour of our campus, but we also had the opportunity to give our friends an impression of the history of our Alma Mater in the Museum of the University as well as an insight in some of the research going on at the Department of Petroleum Engineering. In particular, our guests got to see the research facilities on ultrasonic wave applications and the brand new pump test unit. Furthermore, we got a tour of the geologists’ labs and an introduction to the work of the Chair of Petroleum Geology.

On behalf of our team, we would like to extend our special thanks to Prof. Reinhard Sachsenhofer of the Chair of Petroleum Geology and to DI Mikhail Pavlov and DI Patrick Eisner of the Chair of Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Recovery as well as Dr. Johann Delanoy of the Museum of MUL for their interesting presentations.

Sadly, the stay of our Russian friends in Leoben was very short, because there was a tour to OMV’s Matzen Oil Field in Lower Austria planned for the next day, which also happened to be the last day in Austria for our colleagues from Moscow.

The departure of the delegation of Gubkin university made us only looking ore forward to our next opportunities to reunite with them such as the SPE Leoben Field Trip to Russia starting from Oct. 24th to Nov. 1st.

We are very grateful for getting this great opportunity of socializing with foreign students and (re-) presenting our university, and we hope that our guests enjoyed their stay in Austria as much as we enjoyed it.

Visit at a workover rig in OMV's Matzen oil field
Visit at a workover rig in OMV’s Matzen oil field