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Home > History of Development > Alberta's Heroes of Resource Development > Hydrocarbon Heroes >  Ted Link

Alberta's Scientific Heroes

Ted Link

Ted Link, geologist, second from the left, 1921. Born in Illinois, Ted Link earned an undergraduate degree in geology. In 1918, he joined the Imperial Oil subsidiary Northwest Company Ltd. Ted Link earned his Masters degree in 1919. As an Imperial Oil geologist, Ted Link discovered oil at Norman Wells, Northwest Territories in 1920. When the Norman Wells discovery was drilled, it was the world's most northerly oil reservoir. It remains one of Canada's largest onshore fields. He received his Doctorate in structural geology form the University of Chicago in 1929.

Ted Link became chief geologist at Imperial Oil. His research led Imperial Oil explorers to assess an areaImperial Oil Well No. 1 at Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, 1923. Link saw as encouraging. Imperial Oil's assessment led to its decision to drill in central Alberta, south of Leduc. In this manner, Link played a major role in the Leduc oil discovery in 1947. 

Ted (Doc) Link pioneered the commercial use of aircraft in the Northwest Territories and the use of aerial photography on geological surveying, and used cross-section models in geological work. His accolades include the Barlow Memorial Medal 1950; Selweyn G. Baylock Medal, 1960; the John Campbell Sproule Plaque (first recipient), 1974. 

Link was also a charter member of the Alberta Society of Petroleum Geologists, the predecessor of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists. He was honoured with three awards from the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and in 1977 received an honourary doctorate from the University of Calgary. Ted Link died on June 25, 1980. 


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