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Home > History of Development > Leduc: Causes and Effects > Setting the Stage: Before 1947 > Early Exploration > The Royalite Era

Leduc: Causes and Effects

The Royalite Era

Royalite Plant No.1, c.1938.Drilling continued in Turner Valley, however, and in 1924 came another significant discovery. The Calgary Petroleum Products Company, reorganized as Royalite Oil Company, drilled into Paleozoic limestone. The well blew out at 1,180 metres. The blowout at Royalite No. 4 was probably the most spectacular in Alberta's history, although significant problems would become apparent.

The flow rate of the "wet" natural gas increased significantly each day when the well was shut in. As a result, this shut-in pressure continued to rise and when the gauge was read by the drillers, panic set in as they knew the oil rig would be destroyed. Metres of pipe, which were hidden underground, rose to the top of the derrick. The well burst, caught fire and destroyed the entire rig. The fire blazed for 21 days and was eventually put out by well control experts from Oklahoma who used a dynamite explosion to blow away the flames.

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