The world’s increasing interest in unconventional oil and gas triggered my curiosity and my desire to learn more about these resources. In 2015, I started thinking about the possibility of pursuing a master’s degree to further my knowledge of shale oil and gas reservoirs. The development of the technology and production of unconventional reservoirs had exclusively taken place in the U.S. Therefore, America was the best country to gain a deeper understanding of these energy resources. However, the cost of graduate education in the U.S. was unaffordable to me.
At that time, I was an avid reader of the IAPG monthly magazine Petrotecnia in which publishes articles about the oil and gas industry in Argentina. Thanks to this magazine, I got to know that the IAPG Houston offers scholarships for Argentina professionals to pursue graduate studies in the U.S. I made up my mind and I decided to apply. The process was extremely simple: fill an application form and attach university transcripts plus two letters of recommendation. A couple of months after submitting the application, I received an email from Guillermo Hitters (the IAPG Houston president at that time) congratulating me for being awarded the IAPG Houston scholarship.
In 2016, I started the master’s program in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. The IAPG Houston scholarship covered the tuition expenses and thus, helped me to fully concentrate on my studies without worrying about how to pay for my education. Throughout my master’s degree period, the board of directors of the IAPG Houston was in close communication with me, always willing to help with anything I needed. In addition, I was invited to every event they hosted. In 2017, the IAPG Houston invited the former Argentine president Maurcio Macri to Houston and I had the privilege of being part of that meeting.
Studying in the U.S. was a completely enriching and rewarding experience. From the human perspective, I had the opportunity to get to know people and make friends from all over the world. From the academic standpoint, I had the luxury not only to work with two of the most renowned professors in the reservoir engineering field: Larry Lake and Dr. Mark Walsh but also to learn from them. I conducted research on unconventional production on the Bakken and Permian Basin wells. Moreover, I furthered my knowledge while working in multidisciplinary teams of petrophysics, geologists, and geophysics.
Dr. Larry Lake offered me to stay and pursue a PhD degree at the end of the master’s program. It was a tough decision, but I realized that I like research, and I would love to be up to this new challenge. In 2019, I received an Equinor Fellowship which covers all my expenses for my PhD program. The research I conducted during my master’s degree was crucial for being selected for this very prestigious fellowship. So far, I have been the author and co-author of four publications regarding reserves estimation and modeling of unconventional reservoirs. I would like to remark that these accomplishments would not have been possible without the help of the IAPG Houston.
I would like to thank the IAPG Houston board of directors and members as well as the sponsoring institutions for their continued support and commitment to helping the new generations of geoscientists and engineers to fulfill their dreams and to transform their careers. I feel deeply honored of being part of the history the IAPG Houston. Finally, I encourage the Argentine young professionals who are willing to further their studies in the U.S. to apply for the IAPG Houston Claudio Manzolillo scholarship.
With PhD advisors Dr. Larry W. Lake and Dr. Mark P. Walsh at the 2019 UT-Equinor Fellows Reception Event.