Instructor's Summary

Professor Burl Donaldson


Professor Burl Donaldson, PE, PhD is a Senior Engineer with over 40 years of extensive experience in the petrochemical, oil & gas industries.  He is an expert in EOR, Thermal Oil Recovery, Steam Injection, Water Treatment, and Liquid & Gas Flowmetering.  He is currently a Senior Professor at the New Mexico State University in the USA.  Concurrently, he is an Independent Consultant where he provides engineering consultancy services to various multi-national companies in the area of design, fabrication oversight, and field operations for contact steam generators including specification of down-hole components, installation techniques and ignition sources.  As a Senior Consultant, Dr. Donaldson has made considerable contributions for several companies among which are Ace Oil with the evaluation of the T-4 and O’Connell Ranch oil accumulations for enhanced oil recovery potential; for MacPherson Petroleum with the estimation of heat losses for steam injection in wells without tubing; for Texas MOR with his recommendation of stimulation cycle for steam stimulation of heavy oil formation; for PetroChina with his evaluation of options for development of downhole steam generator technology, and many more.  He has likewise worked for various international companies and organizations such as USA Vapor Corporation, TXT, Tartan Energy, KTech, Sandia National Laboratories and many more.  Dr. Burl’s various accomplishments include his Thermal EOR related patents such as the ‘Steam Generator having a high Pressure Combustor with Controlled Thermal and Mechanical Stresses and Utilizing Pyrophoric Ignition’, a ‘Direct Contract Low Emissions Steam Generating System and Method Utilizing a Compact Multi-Fuel Burner’, a ‘Downhole Steam Generator with Preheating/Cooling Features’, and a ‘Downhole Steam Injector’, the evaluation of an industrial burner design for reduced emissions, specified & operated large compressors for proof-of-principle component testing, compliance with NM fuel storage regulations and evaluation of oil accumulations for enhanced oil recovery potential.

During his career life, Dr. Donaldson had been the Director of Design & Development of the Enhanced Energy Systems and the Director of Field Operations, consecutively, where he spearheaded the development of all equipment for the down-hole generation of high pressure, direct contact steam (two-phase water with nitrogen and carbon dioxide) in a heavy oil recovery application; supervised all field activities including installation and operation of steam generator & support system and designed heat exchangers for engine water jacket and exhaust heat rejection energy utilization; administered support systems development including computer interfaced monitor/control & pre-shipment testing; and had taken lead in the ASME code shop fabrication and certification of boilers.  Prior to that, he worked with Sandia National Laboratories heading the Deep Steam Project Groups and taking lead on design and specifications of down-hole components and installation techniques.  Further, Dr. Donaldson has produced numerous Thermal EOR related publications & presentations that had been circulated and presented in various conferences world-wide a few of which are the ‘Reflections of a Downhole Steam Generator Development Program’; the ‘Dimensional Analysis of the Criteria for Steam Injection’, the ‘Enhanced Oil Recovery Using Direct Contact Downhole Steam Generation’, the Production of Heavy Crude Oil Using Downhole Steam Generators’, the ‘Development of Technology for Downhole Steam Production’, and the ‘Summary of Deep Steam Downhole Steam Generator Development Activities’.

Dr. Donaldson’s working experience in the academe includes being a Senior Professor of Engineering in the New Mexico Highlands University, Senior Professor & Chemical Engineering Department Head of one of the largest universities in the Middle East, Lecturer of Continuing Education at Sandia National Laboratories and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Donaldson has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Masters & Bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from the New Mexico State University and the University of Utah, USA.