The search for the hydrocarbons: petroleum and natural gas in Western Canada, 1883-1947

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The history of oil in Canada began in the cormnunities of Oil Springs, Petrolia and Sarnia Ontario in the mid 1800's. The men who learned their trade there, developed the "Canadian rig" for oil drilling and were in demand in United States and in other parts of the world. John Lineman is credited with bringing in the first oil well in Alberta at Cameron Creek in 1902 and William Aldridge was the first to put the seepages in Waterton-Oil City, Pincher Creek area to commercial use. In 1890 natural gas had been discovered in Medicine Hat when Canadian Pacific Railway men were drilling for coal. In 1909, Eugene Coste founder of Canadian Western Natural Gas Company Ltd., Calgary, brought in Bow Island No. 1 well, and gasification of southern Alberta towns slowly followed. Oil in Turner Valley, Dingman No. 1, followed in 1914, and not since the Gold Rush to the Klondike was there such excitement in Western Canada. The boom was short-lived due to the First Great War. Following the Turner Valley 1914 discovery there were ten barren years before Royalite found the Mississipian discovery and twelve more before Turner Valley uncovered the deep-seated oil column. Eleven more barren years and Imperial Oil's one hundred and thirty-three dry holes followed before they were rewarded with the discovery of Leduc, in 1947. In 1938 the Oil and Gas Conservation Act of Alberta was passed to control production of oil and waste of natural gas, and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board was set up. In 1971 the name was changed to the Energy Resources Conservation Board. It holds an unique position today with wide powers under the Act which established it, involving good drilling and production practises.
Bibliography: p. 111-115.
Jones, L. M. (1978). The search for the hydrocarbons: petroleum and natural gas in Western Canada, 1883-1947 (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/17686