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Ted Link

Ted Link

Dr. Ted “Doc” Link was born in Illinois in 1897. He joined Imperial Oil in 1918, and through his efforts, convinced management to look to Canada’s North for oil. With a small crew and his trusty ox “Nig,” the group endured a torturous trek through Canada's Far North to drill along the Mackenzie River. In 1920, Ted Link discovered oil at Norman Wells, Northwest Territories. At the time of its discovery, Normal Wells was the most northerly oil reservoir and today is still one of the largest onshore fields. His pioneering work led to the commercial use of planes in the North and the use of aerial photography for geological surveying.

In the 1940s, after successful jobs in South America and the United States, Link came back to Canada as Imperial Oil’s chief geologist. He argued that there was more oil in central Alberta, and directed efforts there. Although numerous attempts to find oil ended in failure, Link’s reputation and certainty pressed Imperial on. In 1947, Imperial found oil in central Alberta with Leduc #1.

Considered one of Canada’s most important petroleum geologists in the 20th century, Dr. Link won many awards for his discoveries and innovations. Dr Link continued to work successfully in the petroleum industry until his death in 1980.


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