VIII International Youth Scientific and Practical Congress “Oil and Gas Horizons”

VIII International Youth Scientific and Practical Congress “Oil and Gas Horizons” took place on 23-25 of November, 2016 at the Gubkin University. The Congress was organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Student Chapter of the university. More than 150 graduate and post graduate students from 37 universities and 18 countries participated in the Congress.

The Congress is increasing in scale each year: the geography of participants is widening, the level of presented scientific papers is growing, the support of sponsors and the university is intensifying, and the brand is becoming more famous. This year the Gubkin University was visited by graduate and post graduate students from Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, South African Republic, Ukraine, the USA, and, of course, Russia. The event was supported by the leading international and national oil and gas companies, SPE Moscow Section, and SPE Regional Office. Halliburton and Salym Petroleum became the Golden Sponsors of the event, Schlumberger – the Silver, Rock Flow Dynamics – the Exclusive Sponsor, LUKOIL and Gubkin Print – the Partners of the Congress. The following journals became media partners of the event: Nedra, ROGTEC, Oil&Gas Eurasia, Oil&Gas Offshore, Young Petro, and also several student organizations: Gubkin television GUtv, the Poisk newspaper, and the Kerosin magazine. During these three days 80 volunteers, students from Gubkin University, worked on various objects of the Congress.

The Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony was attended by the Vice-Rector for International Affairs of Gubkin University, Alexander Maximenko, 2018 SPE President, Darcy Spady, the Director General for business development at Halliburton, Dmitry Chasovskih, the HR Vice-President at Schlumberger, Sergey Pershin, the manager for business development at Rock Flow Dynamics, Ivan Rogachev, the SPE Russia and Caspian Regional Director, Anton Ablaev, and the executive assistant of rector and student projects coordinator of SPE Moscow Section, Vlada Streletskaya.

The Plenary Session

After the words of welcome the Plenary Session took place. Each year the subject of the Plenary Session is chosen, based on the most actual problems in the petroleum industry. This year the subject was “The Arctic – words to actions”, and it was also the main subject of the entire Congress. The presenters revealed the current condition of Arctic zones of Canada, Russia, and other countries, which have the access to the Arctic Shelf. The list of the presenters is following: 2018 SPE President Darcy Spady, a representative of the Schlumberger company, Dmitry Zavornov, Anton Sungurov, the Head of the Rystad Energy Russia and CIS Office, Anatoly Zolotukhin, the professor at Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas (National Research University).

The Student Paper Contest

The main goal of the students, who arrived from all over the world, was to present their scientific papers and exchange knowledge and experience with each other at the Student Paper Contest, which included the following directions:

  • Geosciences;
  • Drilling and Completion;
  • Oil & Gas Field Development;
  • Transportation and Storage;
  • Oil & Gas Chemistry;
  • Health, Safety and Environment;
  • Petroleum Economics and Management;
  • Alternative Energy Sources and Sustainability;
  • Offshore and Arctic Petroleum Engineering;
  • PhD Paper Contest.

And the following special sessions:

  • Young Professionals Paper Contest;
  • Poster Session.

The participants shared their technical inventions and ideas and the experts evaluated their work, choosing 3 best papers in each session. The expert teams included teachers from the Gubkin University, a lecturer from the La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy, and also representatives of several companies: Halliburton, Schlumberger, Shell, Total, Schlumberger, Exxon Neftegas Limited, Salym Petroleum Development, PCC Exol SA, Gazprom, Katod, LUKOIL-Engineering, Gazprom VNIIGAZ, Zarubezhnft  and  Gazprom Neft.

The Soft Skills Training

Another memorable event of the Congress was the Soft Skills Training by 2018 SPE President, Darcy Spady, where he shared his career pathway with the future professionals and also met the Vice Rector for International Affairs of Gubkin University, Alexander Maximenko. During his meeting with Mr. Maximenko, Mr. Spady pointed out high level of equipment and laboratories at the university.







The Career Pathways Fair

The second day of the Congress began with the project of SPE International “Career Pathways Fair”, which was organized at the Gubkin University for the first time. The goal of this project is enabling the students to find out more about all aspects of the Petroleum Industry. Specialists, representing different companies, told the participants about the specific nature of their work, innovations in their field, and answered many questions. The following companies were represented at the fair: Halliburton, Schlumberger, Salym Petroleum Development, Repsol, General Electric, LUKOIL-Engineering, Katod, Gazprom, Gazprom avtomatizatsiya, and Gazprombank. During the event Schlumberger organized a contest, and gave out prizes to the winners. Apart from that, a stand of Gubkin University was presented at the fair, and the representatives from other universities could find out about the educational process, building academic career, potential education opportunities and the university infrastructure.

PetroOlympic Games

The next event was the intellectual game PetroOlympic Games, traditionally held during the Congress, which was sponsored by Halliburton. In order to participate in the game, interested students had to undergo an online qualification round, and also film a motivational video. As a result, five teams, consisted of people from different professional areas and countries, were formed. After 3 rounds the experts from Halliburton chose the best team: “InterOil”. “For me the participation in this event is a priceless experience and a great achievement. It was a great opportunity for all participants to demonstrate their knowledge about the petroleum industry, and I am very glad I met such amazing people from different cities and countries”, noted one of the members of the winning team, Aygul Murtazina.

Round Tables

In the second half of the day the participants of the Congress took part in Round Table discussions – International and Regional. The International Round Table was dedicated to the following subject “Perspectives of establishment, support and development of international relations between SPE student chapters worldwide”. The event was attended by representatives from 9 chapters from all over the world: from the USA to Australia. A presentation about the crucial importance of international friendship and partnership for the young generation – the people who will determine the direction of development of the industry and the entire world, was introduced to all participants. Apart from that, representatives of each SPE student chapter presented their chapter and suggested the most efficient, in their opinion, way for development of international relations within the global SPE community. Apart from that, each chapter presented a project, which has a certain potential to be realized on an international level by joint forces of all participants of the event. As a result, the Resolution of the International Round Table, reflecting key results of the discussion, was written. 2018 SPE President Darcy Spady, who was a special guest at the event, made priceless contribution to the dialogue with his advice and comments to each of the presenters.

At the same time as the International Round Table, the SPE Russia and Caspian Regional Round Table was held. Anton Ablaev, the SPE Russia and Caspian Regional Director, together with representatives of the SPE Regional Office and SPE Moscow Section had a meeting with the officers of SPE student chapters in the region. Fresh news of the Regional Office were announced, and issues of development of regional SPE student chapters were discussed, and also the possibility of organization of conferences by these chapters.

The Third Youth BRICS Summit

The uniqueness of Third Youth BRICS Summit in the Oil and Gas Industry, which was also held on 24th of November, was the new format, introduced this year – the Summit was conducted in the form of workshop, entitled “Ecology and Energy Saving”. The Summit was open by a speech from the Vice Rector for Educational and Methodical Management, Andrei Dushin. The first part of the Summit was the meeting of members of Youth International BRICS Countries Association of Petroleum Universities, during which the participants from different countries found out more about the actions of Gubkin University, regarding the development of BRICS Youth direction, and discussed the location of the next Summit. The second part of the Summit was work on team projects. The participants, who were divided in teams in advance, presented their projects, dealing with one of the ecological problems in the petroleum industry. While working on their projects, the participants had the opportunity to consult economics and ecology specialists, and also technical experts. In the end the participants presented their works to expert team, which included representatives of Gazprom and Gubkin University. The team, who ended up as a winner presented the project, entitled “Rationalization of energy resources use in the production process”.

The Closing Ceremony

The second day of the Congress ended with the Closing Ceremony and Gala Dinner at Culture Palace “Gubkinets”. The Official sponsor of this event was Rock Flow Dynamics company. 2018 SPE  International President, representatives of companies, the university, Moscow Professional Section and also SPE Regional Office rewarded the winners of technical sessions, PetroOlympic Games, the authors of the best BRICS Summit project, and also winners of “The Golden Legacy” stipend, which was granted by the World Petroleum Council. Video greeting by the Deputy Minister of Education of the Russian Federation Veniamin Kaganov, and the Minister of Natural Recourses and Ecology of the Russian Federation Sergey Donskoy was presented at the Ceremony. The Gala Dinner and the Awarding Ceremony also included artistic performances, which were prepared by the Association of Creative Students of Gubkin University, and also guests and volunteers of the Congress.


Educational event Energy4me was also included in the programme of the Congress. This programme is intended for high school students. Representatives of three schools were invited to Gubkin University: School № 1368, School № 56 and School № 2097. The pupils learned about the basics of the petroleum industry. The following aspects were unrevealed: classification and basic principles of increased oil recovery methods, and also offshore and onshore oil spill elimination. Apart from the theoretical part the following experiments were demonstrated: “Peak of oil production”, “Oil filtration examination”. The professors from the Faculty of Chemical and Environmental Engineering held a master-class on oil fractional distillation, which was very interesting for all attendees. After this the students visited the Drilling Department, where the well operation training simulator was shown to them.

Excursions to companies

The final day of the Congress was dedicated to visiting companies. 45 people, divided in several groups visited different companies: Halliburton, Salym Petroleum Development, Deloitte, LUKOIL and MZTA Engineering, and also the most advanced departments of Gubkin University. The visits included presentations about the companies’ activities, meetings with the managers of those companies, demonstrations of the latest achievements, and Q/A sessions. At Halliburton the Vice President of the Company, Konstantin Shilin spoke about the company’s mission and his career. During the excursion at Salym Petroleum Development, the visitors learned about the main projects of the company and received gifts. At LUKOIL apart from the presentation of the history of the petroleum industry in Russia, the guests could see the exhibits in the LUKOIL museum. At MZTA Engineering latest innovations in the sphere of building automated gasoline stations were shown. The Deloitte company revealed the current situation in the global petroleum industry and its perspectives, and also presented the company’s activity. At the Gubkin University the participants visited the one of a kind Field Development Distance Control Centre, and the offshore oil platform operation simulator, made by NOV company, and also enjoyed an excursion in the university museum.

Another important goal of the “Oil and Gas Horizons” Congress was the introduction of the main sights and traditions of the Russian capital to the visitors. In the afternoon on the 25th of November a cultural programme was organized. Three routes were available for anyone who wanted to join: these routes included a visit to the Red Square, Moscow city business center, or the Patriarshy Pond. The guests could see the busy center of Moscow, or enjoy a walk in the quiet alleys and corners of the capital.

VIII International Youth Scientific and Practical Congress “Oil and Gas Horizons” became a unique platform, which brought together representatives of the best universities and companies in the world. Participants and guests spent three very fruitful days, discussing current issues in the petroleum industry, exchanging ideas and experience, and networking.

“I always offer your Congress as an example for other SPE Student Chapters. It definitely is the best student petroleum conference, organized by SPE student members and university activists in Russia, in the region and perhaps in the whole world”, mentioned in interview for Kerosin magazine Anton Ablaev, the SPE Russia and Caspian Regional Director.