the first oil-producing well in western Canada was in what is now Waterton in
1902. After this, the biggest oil boom was at Turner Valley on
1914. The Norman Wells were discovered in 1920. However, even the history of the
Norman Wells begins much earlier. In 1789, Alexander Mackenzie explored the
Mackenzie River. He made an observation about oil on the banks of the river.
There would be many more reports of oil in that vicinity. It was in 1919,
however, that Imperial Oil began exploratory drilling, using a cable tool
on the MacKenzie.
The discovery of
Norman Wells set off a search for oil in Alberta. As a result, some comparatively
small discoveries were made: Viking-Kinsella field that resulted in a pipeline
to Edmonton in 1923, and a discovery of gas in Lloydminster in 1934. Other finds
included Wainwright in 1925 and Lloydminster in 1939. These finds however were not
comparatively as large as Leduc was yet to become.