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

Leduc: Causes and Effects

Finding the Oil

Drilling Leduc #1, Leduc, Alberta. [ca. January or February 1947] The seismic crew responsible for testing lines on the surrounding area chose a gravel road within the northern border of the town of Leduc. They chose to search there for no better reason than that it was one of the few roads in the area and that it was about to be closed to heavy traffic due to the spring thaw. In fact, the road was not included in Imperial Oil's exploration rights.

The results of the test shots along the gravel road were mapped by Carl Chapman, a geophysicist at Imperial Oil. They revealed an important anomaly. There was an unexpected rise in the cretaceous rock formation, which could indicate that oil was trapped beneath it. This small anomaly called a "one-point high" by geologists had no significance to Carl Chapman. Although the head geophysicist, Ray Walters, believed that if Imperial Oil was going to drill anywhere in the Leduc area, it should be on that anomaly.

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