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Fantastic offshore trip for lucky students

A trip to the Edvard Grieg platform in the North Sea was the first prize in the student competition “Show us your idea”. Competition winners Caetano Sarmago de Andrade and Erfan Abolghasemi were treated to an exceptional experience.

“The whole trip was amazing, but for me the highlight may have been when we were standing on the top deck and could look out over the entire platform,” says Erfan Abolghasemi.

“This was an incredible experience, and an opportunity to see equipment in action that we’ve only seen in photos and videos in our studies,” says Caetano Sarmago de Andrade.

Both Caetano and Erfan are working on their master degrees at the University of Stavanger. And the trip to Edvard Grieg was the first time offshore for both students. There was no lack of superlatives after a full day, including a tour of all parts of the production platform in the North Sea.

Both noted that it is both educational and motivating for petroleum subject students to see in practice what they usually only read about in textbooks.

“Ever since I started studying well engineering in 2012, the goal was to work offshore,” says Caetano.

“I finally got a look into what life offshore could be like and it seems to be even better than I imagined. That is truly motivating for me,” says Caetano.

Erfan noted the visit to the control room as one of the highlights.

“It was absolutely fascinating to see the actual brain of the enormous platform, and I learned a lot from the operators who control production from here. Just truly impressive,” says Erfan.

Annual competition

The two Stavanger students won the competition “Show us your idea”, which is organised by Lundin Norway in cooperation with the Norwegian Petroleum Society. The objective is to encourage students to dare to think outside the box, and to motivate them towards a career in oil and gas. This was the third consecutive year that the competition has been held. The response has been formidable, and the level of entries has been high.

This time, the jury decided to split the first prize between two entries.

Caetano Sarmago de Andrade convinced the jury with the idea of an electromagnetic stabiliser that can be used on the drill string. Erfan Abolghasemis’ idea was about using electric charges to control asphaltenes in the wellstream. Both winners tackle challenges that are well-known to the oil and gas industry, but which are currently lacking a good solution.

Erfan’s idea is currently at the laboratory stage. But if the idea should make it into production, that would be a major step. Caetano is now working with a group of students to further develop the idea, and they have already made a prototype.

“Sometimes you might think your ideas are stupid or impossible, but this competition has shown me that even simple ideas can be useful and help make a difference for the industry,” says Caetano.