Abstract

Ted Bartling was born on February 19, 1922, in St. Louis, Missouri, and died July 5, 1997, in Houston, Texas, where he and his family had made their home for 32 years. One of his grandfathers was Alonzo Slayback, a colonel in the army of the Confederate States of America. Slayback went to Mexico following the Civil War and became a count in Maximilian's court. Ted always smiled when recounting the family history of Colonel Slayback, the adventurer. The exploration for oil and gas was a great adventure to Ted and continually thrilled him. He had a wonderful gift for imparting his enthusiasm to those around him. Ted served his country during time of war as an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1946. He graduated from Ohio State University with a B.S. degree in geology. He met Phyllis McGinness in the library on campus and they were married in 1947. He began his career in Ford City, Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company as a staff geologist; two years later he became district manager and then exploration manager for W. C. McBride in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In late 1954 Ted, along with others, founded the Apache Corporation. Ted served as executive vice president of oil and gas. The objective of the company was to solicit funding from high-income individuals who at that time were subject to an exorbitantly high income tax rate of 90%, and to direct advantageous tax consequences to these investors. Ted's exploration approach was to focus on areas where stratigraphic traps were prevalent. The effort commenced within the Oklahoma Platform of East and central Oklahoma. This area was, in Ted's opinion, underexplored and suitable for the use of the "new" fracture technology in traps considered too "tight" for commercial production. How right he was! Under his guidance many fields were discovered. Among those having a large impact on Apache's success was the Stillwater field in and around Stillwater, Oklahoma. This discovery and subsequent development "made" Apache and put it among the top domestic exploration companies of the time. In the late 1950s and through most of the 1960s, funding for exploration increased dramatically, and Apache's areas of focus expanded to include all of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming, as well as parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Canada. All of this was done under Ted's expert guidance. In 1961, Ted became president of Apache. In 1966 Ted was instrumental in the discovery and development of Recluse Field, one of the major discoveries in the Powder River basin, and another major find for Apache. Ted possessed immense integrity. During this period, large sums of money were being raised from high-net-worth individuals by oil and gas firms, some of which were totally unscrupulous. Ted was among the founders and first president of the Oil Investment Institute, which was formed to promote honesty and integrity among financiers. In 1968, Ted joined da Oil Exploration Company as president and director. Dinan field in Mississippi was a particular success for Ada. In 1971, Ted founded his own companies, Bartling Oil Company and Bartling and Associates. Within a very short time, Bartling and Associates had a staff of eight people and was allocating several millions of dollars into worthwhile exploration projects, as well as consulting for other companies. Bartling Oil's operations were in western Kansas. In 1974, Bartling and Associates was retained by Dorchester Gas Corporation to direct its international oil and gas exploration effort. This included activities onshore and offshore Turkey, the Aegean Sea and Ionian Sea of Greece, and the German North Sea. Bartling and Associates also worked in Canada, Argentina, Central America, Nigeria, Ecuador, New Caldonia, and Trinidad. Ted was qualified as an expert witness at the Corporation Commission of Oklahoma and at the federal courts of New York, Illinois, Florida, and Texas. In his career he presented papers to the Houston Geological Society, Society of Independent Earth Scientists, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Ted had a fondness for jazz music. He said he would like to be reincarnated as a jazz pianist, but if given the choice, I suspect the decision between geology and jazz would have been a tough one; he so obviously enjoyed his profession. Ted's greatest gifts were his high intelligence, his integrity, his ability to communicate, and his ability to guide his staff in particular exploration approaches. Numerous successful geoscientists began their careers under Ted; lack of experience was not a factor in his hiring decisions. Ted is survived by his wife, Phyllis, of Houston. Ted and Phyllis spent 50 years together. They traveled the world, played tennis and golf, graciously entertained friends and clients, and raised three children. There are currently four grandchildren. Ted was preceded in death by his son Eric Charles. His daughter, Pamala A. Bartling, resides in Bellingham, Washington and recently opened a gift shop on the ferry landing. His son, Theodore Adams "Tab" Bartling, lives in Austin, Texas, and directs Bartling Oil Company's activities and records jazz musicians on the Heart Music label.

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