Turner Valley: 1914
The Turner Valley gas plant,
constructed in 1914, was the first petroleum production
facility in Western Canada. In 1914, W.S. Heron, a miner
from Ontario, noticed an oil seepage on a farm near
Turner Valley, southwest of Calgary. He bought the farm,
acquired its mineral rights, formed a company, and
started drilling for oil. In May 1914, they struck wet
gas and oil.
News of the find hit Calgary like a
bombshell and a horde of new exploration companies were
formed. The excitement was so great that within one
24-hour period, promoters formed more than 500 oil
companies! Turner Valley became the cornerstone of
Alberta's early oil and gas industry and the
training ground for the industry as we know it today.
In dealing with various technological
and environmental problems, Turner Valley achieved a
number of "firsts" in Canadian gas processing and served
as a centre for the diffusion of expertise for the oil
and gas industry in Canada, and around the world.