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Home > History of Development > Leduc: Causes and Effects > Setting the Stage: Before 1947 > Early Exploration > Turner Valley

Leduc: Causes and Effects

Turner Valley

Royalite #4 well, Turner Valley AlbertaThe Turner Valley gas plant, constructed in 1913, 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. 

Fidelity Oil and Gas Company boilerNews 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 became 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.

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