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  Home>> History>> Prosperity and Decline: 1947-1980>> Oil! Leduc #1

Oil! Leduc #1

Opening Day of Leduc well

February 13, 1947, was an historic day for Alberta. It was on this day that Alberta struck oil. The effects from that one oil strike would bring people from all over Canada to work on Leduc #1 and change the economic, political and social climate of Alberta.

Before the Leduc discovery, oil and gas development was not the major industry it is today. In fact, Alberta was a province focused more on agriculture than anything else. Some oil had been found at Turner Valley, but nothing big enough to initiate an oil boom in the province like the discovery at Leduc would in 1947.

Imperial Oil had been drilling dry wells around Alberta and Saskatchewan for 27 consecutive years before they struck at Leduc. By the end of 1947, Imperial Oil and a group of small companies had drilled 147 more wells in the Leduc-Woodbend oilfield. Surprisingly, only 11 were dry.

Leduc No. 1 stopped producing in 1974 after the production of some 317,000 barrels of oil and 9 million cubic metres of natural gas.

Leduc had a tremendous influence on Alberta, and the spin-off effects of the Leduc oil strike can still be seen today. Oil exploration and development continues to be a major industry in Alberta and has created thousands of jobs across the province.

In this episode of the CKUA Radio Network's Heritage Trails radio series, you can learn about the significance of the 1947 Leduc Oil Strike to the Alberta economy. The Leduc #1 oil rig brought the Alberta Treasury $0.15 a barrel. Petroleum revenues made Alberta debt free by 1948! [Listen]

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