Leduc was not
Canada's first oil discovery. Crude oil had been found in Ontario as early as
1858 (an event that led to the establishment of Imperial Oil in 1880), though
production was small and short-lived.
for exploring for oil was spurred by the discovery of significant crude oil
reserves in Western Canada. Large gas reserves had been discovered, starting
with Medicine Hat in the 1880s, then Bow Island, Viking and, in 1914, the Dingman well in Turner Valley. The discovery of crude oil at Turner Valley near
Calgary, Alberta, was the most significant, although the oil from that discovery
was fast running out and was unable to satisfy the appetite of Alberta's post
World War II economic boom.
first major oil field was discovered at Norman Wells in the Northwest
Territories in 1920 by an Imperial geologist, Ted
Link, who later played a
major role in the Leduc discovery. At the time, the Norman Wells field was of
limited commercial value because of its remote location.