Gazprom Neft holds world’s largest student oil and gas moot competition

A total 5,200 students and graduates of 105 higher educational establishments from across 37 cities in Russia took part in the recent nationwide Gazprom Neft moot competition, testing their skills in oil and gas cases — the number of participants, and the geographic range of the competition, making this the most significant such student event in the world. Twelve students were awarded the key prizes of the competition — secondments at Gazprom Neft.

Gazprom Neft works closely with major Russian higher educational establishments on an ongoing basis, recruiting students across various specialities for employment and secondments. The oil and gas moot competition, held this year for the first time, has proved a new and highly effective opportunity for the company to continue such cooperation, allowing it to identify the most talented specialists in the industry.

The competition was held in three rounds — the first being held off campus, with the second and third rounds, at which students presented their cases (before a jury comprising senior management from Gazprom Neft), being organised in St Petersburg.

Under the terms of the contest participants were asked to present one of two cases centred on two key areas: “upstream” (oil extraction and production) or “downstream” (oil refining and the sale and distribution of oil products). The upstream case involved developing an argument for the automation of production processes, while for the downstream case participants were required to put forward business development strategies for Gazprom Neft on entering a new region. These assignments took both economic and technical issues into account, allowing students to gain a full and rounded impression of the typical business challenges facing the company, and to demonstrate their knowledge directly, across a number of areas.

The competition final, in which 10 teams, from various towns across Russia, took part, saw team Smart&Simple (with representatives from higher educational establishments in Moscow and St Petersburg) cited as best in the upstream section, with team Flash Royal, from Moscow, winning the downstream class. Moscow team IDDQD were also awarded a special prize from the jury. Participants on all three teams were given invitations to undertake secondments at Gazprom Neft.

Gazprom Neft Deputy CEO for Administration Vitaliy Baranov commented: “Gazprom Neft’s long-term strategy envisages a significant increase in both production volumes and oil refined, and the initiation of a number of projects in Russia and abroad. For that reason we are, today, developing our cooperation with higher educational establishments and recruiting (and offering secondments to promising young specialists whose knowledge and future professional experience will be of real benefit to the company. The first student oil and gas moot competition was, for us, a new and interesting experience, which allows us to select the best young specialists, keen to work in the oil and gas sector. But this also format provided valuable practical experience for all participants, thanks to which they gained not just an understanding of genuine business challenges and working practices in the industry, but also the opportunity to really discover their talents.”