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Home > History of Development > Leduc: Causes and Effects > 1947: Oil Strike! > Oil Strike

Leduc: Causes and Effects

Oil Strike

Following World War 2, Alberta's economy was stagnant despite its agricultural and natural resources sectors. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, various oil companies tried unsuccessfully to find a replacement for the declining Turner Valley reserves. 

Leduc Number 1 rig completely set up, Leduc, Alberta.Turner Valley, located south of Calgary, was the largest oil field in the country, but it was no longer meeting the needs of the western provinces. Oil companies, such as Shell Oil, had contributed $11 million into the search for more oil, but all they got was one natural gas well at Jumping Pound, west of Calgary. 

Imperial Oil had drilled 133 consecutive dry wells in search of oil in Alberta and Saskatchewan during a 27-year period and was ready to give up. In 1946, the company decided on one last drilling project—a last chance—at nearby Leduc, south of Edmonton. The wells would be known as "wildcats"—exploratory wells drilled in search of new fields.


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