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Burt grew up on a dry land farm near Denton, Montana. He originally came to Montana Tech on a basketball scholarship and graduated in 1979 with a B.S. in coal and petroleum reserves in india Petroleum Engineering. He went to work for Marathon Oil in Wyoming as a production engineer and got exposure to “old fashioned” oil field operations. After that, he took a year off to ride his bicycle across the country and ski, and returned to the recession of 1983.
Since no jobs were available, Burt returned to Montana Tech to complete a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering and to show the Production, Logging, and Stimulation courses at Montana Tech. While doing the Master’s, Burt got the teaching bug and decided to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Kansas. He studied under Paul Willhite and Don Green, two giants of Enhanced Oil Recovery research. After graduating from Kansas, Burt intended to return to Montana Tech and resume his teaching career. Because there have been no teaching slots open in Petroleum Engineering, he went to work for Phillips Petroleum of their research center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where he wrote engineering software and consulted on completion and well performance problems. While in Oklahoma, he married the lovely Debbie – thus far they’ve been together over 20 years.
After 18 years with Phillips, Burt returned to Montana Tech to show petroleum engineering and conduct research. In 2014, he assumed the position of Department Chairman, which he continues to the present.
Burt’s Master’s Thesis, titled “Perforation Geometry and Skin Effects on Well Productivity,” was also his first publication. He remains desirous about well completions and well stimulation.
His doctoral Dissertation, “Numerical Modeling of In Situ Gelation,” resulted in two publications and won Burt the award of “Outstanding Ph.D. Research” in 1990. He maintains a strong interest and an active research presence in numerical modeling of Enhanced Oil Recovery, and is currently studying EOR opportunities within the Elm Coulee Bakken formation under a grant from the Montana Board of Oil and Gas.
Burt’s other main research interest is within the operation coal and petroleum reserves in india of low-rate conventional and coal gas wells, particularly the issue of minimum lift rates in wells near depletion.
Selected Honors & Awards
– Outstanding Ph.D. Research, University of Kansas, 1990
– Outstanding Contribution to the Formation Completion Task Force, Phillips Petroleum, 1993
– Session Chairman, Production Operations Session, 2002 and 2003 Fall Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Career in short
– 7/2007-Present: Assistant Professor, Montana Tech of the University of Montana, teaching Waterflooding, Enhanced Oil Recovery, Natural Gas Engineering, Petroleum Production Engineering, and Artificial Lift, and Senior Design.
– 5/1990-6/2007: Senior Reservoir Engineering Specialist, Phillips Petroleum, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
– 1/1987-5/1987: Instructor of Petroleum Production Engineering at University of Kansas (Interim basis).
– 8/1983-5/1986: Instructor in Petroleum Engineering at Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology. Butte, Montana.
– 5/1980-6/1982: Reservoir and Production Engineer with Marathon Oil Company, Big Horn Basin, Wyoming.
– Petroleum 302 – Petroleum Production Engineering
– Petroleum 348 – Well Logging
– Petroleum 402 – Artificial Lift
– Petroleum 502 – Well Stimulation
– Petroleum 444 – Waterflooding and Enhanced Oil Recovery
– Petroleum 452 – Natural Gas Engineering
– Petroleum 499 – Capstone Design
– Petroleum 544 – Advanced Enhanced Oil Recovery
1. Todd, B. J. and Bradley, Daniel J.: “Perforation Geometry and Skin Effects on Well Productivity,” SPE 15029, presented on the Permian Basin Oil and Gas Recovery Conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Midland, Texas, March 13-14, 1986.
2. Todd, B. J. Willhite, G. P. and Green, D. W.: “Radial Modeling of In Situ Gelation in Porous Media,” SPE #21650, presented at the Production Operation Symposium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, April 1991.
3. Todd, B. J. Willhite, G. P. and Green, D. W.: “A Mathematical Model of In Situ Gelation of Polyacrylamide by a Redox Process,” SPE Reservoir Engineering Journal, February 1993, pgs. 51-58.
4. Firoozabadi, A. Thomas, L. K. and Todd, B. J.: “High Velocity Gas Flow,” Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal, May 1995.
5. Thomas, L.K. Evans, C.E. Todd, B.J.: “An Integrated Engineering/Geoscience Desktop,” SPE 30193, presented at the SPE Symposium on Computer Technology, Houston, TX, June 11-14, 1995.
6. Thomas, L. K. Todd, B. J. Evans, C. E. and Pierson, R. G.: “Horizontal Well IPR Calculations,” SPE 36753, presented at the 71st Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Denver, CO, Oct. 1996, SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering, October 1998.
7. Todd, B. J. Heath, L. Evans, J. & Reichhardt, D. K. 2013. Elm Coulee Enhanced Oil Recovery Feasibility Study — Fall 2012 Progress Report. Butte, Montana Board of Oil and Gas.
Burt is an accomplished woodworker, specializing in turned bowls and shot glasses and furniture of every kind. In past years he has restored a 100-year-old Victorian house to mint condition and maintains an interest in old houses and home repair. He also is an accomplished power lifter, and prior to now has held national and international age group records in the dead lift and bench press. He still holds Montana State records in the bench press and deadlift for his age group/weight class.