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Inside the excitement at the grand finals of World PetroBowl®

UTP’s SPE student chapter makes Malaysian history with first time entry


Petrobowl (1).jpegLegs and hands jittering, Haziq and team mates waited to hear the final question. Whoever answered it correctly would qualify to the final rounds of SPE's PetroBowl® Championship.


“We fell to our knees and pounded the floor in excitement as we joined finalists from all over world for the grand finals," says UTP's PetroBowl® captain, Abdul Haziq  Abdul Yazid says.


PetroBowl® is an annual competition that's been around for over 18 years. Held by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), PetroBowl® competition matches SPE student chapter teams against one another in a fast-paced quiz competition covering technical and nontechnical aspects of the oil and gas industry.


Team captain, Haziq says, “After we hosted the qualifiers for the finals in 2017, that really sparked our interests to go to the finals since there was no Malaysian university that had made it to the final rounds before."


Petrobowl (4).jpegAccording to Haziq, that was the turning point for UTP's PetroBowl® outfit. Haziq says, “From there, we changed the way we approached our training. After what we saw at the final qualifying rounds, we thought to ourselves that our training needed to be more intense.“


In 2017, UTP organised the qualifying round for the grand finals which took place in the U.S. Haziq shares, “It is called PetroBowl® APRQ, short for PetroBowl® Asia Pacific Regional Qualifier. We invited teams from China, Australia, Philippines and Indonesia among others. I was one of the committee members."


At the qualifying round, Haziq and other team members, namely Cheah Jason, Felicia Lam Gui Fang, Low Han Lun and Yee Cai Ning witnessed how passionate participants from other countries were. He says, “That fuelled our motivation to go to the finals of this highly prestigious tournament."


I started participating at the competition in 2018. In February 2019, we joined the Integrated Petroleum Festival in Bandung at the Institute of Technology Bandung and won first place. This is the biggest competition in South East Asia for petroleum engineering students.


Petrobowl (5).jpegAfter a strong achievement winning a local PetroBowl® competition in April 2019 held at UTP, the team had its sight firmly set on the qualifiers in Jakarta, at the end of June.


Speaking of the format, Haziq says, “In a way, the format is like Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Each team consists of four members and will be put through their paces against an opposition team in 1 v 1 knockout rounds."


“There's a moderator who reads out the questions, and the team that's the fastest to the buzzer and answers correctly, will get 10 points for each question. On the flipside, if one answers incorrectly, 5 points will be deducted," adds Haziq.


Every year, the tournament hosts the top 32 teams from six Super Regions managed by the society's regional directors and workgroups worldwide. Each team needs to undergo a qualifying round to make it through to the finals. These teams will be invited to the PetroBowl Championship in addition to the two finalists from the previous year.


Haziq says, “To qualify, every university needs to have an SPE student chapter. It's like a franchise. SPE is a storied organisation for petroleum engineers. It provides a chance for universities from all over the world to setup branches in their respective countries."


Petrobowl (3).jpeg“Last year, we went to Jakarta for the qualifying round. It was held at the Universitas Tri-Sakti."


However, the debut brought along a few surprises for the team at the tournament. Haziq says, “We were so used to Asia Pacific's style of questions, but at the finals, we were caught off guard as there were a few terminologies that we had never heard of before."


The final round for 2019 was held at the BMO Centre, Stampede Park, Calgary, Canada. Despite finishing 24th, nevertheless, Haziq says he is “excited" by the prospect of what lies ahead for UTP's outgoing PetroBowl® team.


“It was a good experience. We are very honoured to represent Malaysia at the tournament," explains Haziq.


Also, the competition, which was held in conjunction with SPE's Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2019 (ATCE 2019), provided industry exposure for participants to network with industry professionals.


Haziq says, “In addition to the tournament, the organiser held a number of workshops for all student representatives where we discussed the industry's global challenges and best practices."

 Petrobowl (2).jpeg

During the visit, Haziq and his team earned the opportunity to take a tour to some of the world's biggest oil and gas' biggest corporations. He says, “We took a tour around Computer Modelling Group Ltd's head office, a renowned software company for oil and gas services. Plus we also visited and visited PETRONAS and PetroChina's offices there.


Indeed, this is another prime example of UTP's profound career connected learning and industry collaboration. From the work we do, we foster long-term relationships with our global social-impact partners to prepare our students, people and researchers as global citizens.


As a leading university in engineering, science and technology, our graduates are driven to exceed their professional objectives and contribute towards overcoming capability deficit across all sectors and industries.


Published on 6 March 2020