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The Conservation Board

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D.P.(Red) GoodallThe Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board,1 created in 1938 by an Act of the Alberta Legislatures was an outgrowth of many attempts to control the waste of natural gas and reservoir energy in the Turner Valley field. It took over the responsibilities and the staff of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Division of the Department of Lands and Mines. Regulatory bodies had been set up before, shortly after the province had received its minerals from the Dominion Crown in 1931,2 with a view to controlling all aspects of the oil and gas industry. Turner Valley, at that time too, was the main focus of attention. In the bizarre atmosphere of the early thirties, where waste was not necessarily a dirty word,3 how could one achieve equality of interests? The dilemma was compounded by the down-flank "discovery'' of crude oil in the Turner Valley wet gas field in 1936.

The Board was not quite nine years old when Leduc was found. The then chairman, Alex G. Bailey left shortly thereafter for the private sector.4 Only a few D-3 wells had been completed in the Leduc field so Bailey had no reason to realize that the presence of gas in the Viking sand and loss of circulation in the D-3 dolomite were potentially dangerous, With an uncommon prescience, he called for an examination of Leduc field casing and completion procedures. The Alberta Petroleum Association,5 along with operators of Leduc leases, were asked to study the matter and report to the Board with recommendations.6

Following Bailey's departure, D.P. (Red) Goodall continued in the capacity of acting chairman.

A native of Petrolia, Ontario, Red Goodall had graduated from the University of Alberta in 1926 in geology. He had worked at many tasks in Turner Valley. No doubt about it, Red had gotten his hands dirty gaining invaluable experience, having to earn his opportunities as he went. It was while he was on a hard-rock assignment down east in 1937 that he received a wire from Charlie Dingman, Director of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Division, Provincial Department of Lands and Mines. A vacancy had been created in the Turner Valley office due to Vern Taylor's moving to Royalite. Goodall took Vern's job. As a labourer back in 1929-30, he had installed the very gas meters that provided the data he now had to analyze. In 1938 he moved into the Board offices in the "old" Telephone Building on 6th Avenue S.W.

Not given to eloquence, Red could be said to have been one of the most, if not the most, taciturn Board official. He was a keen but silent tribune at Board hearings and his rulings were respected. Well thought out responses were usually limited to a simple yes or no! Goodall provided the all-important administrative link from Bailey's departure to the re-organization of February 1948.

George GovierGoodall, not wanting the chairman's job, must have been relieved on February 2, 1948 when lan McKinnon, Assistant Deputy Minister of Lands and Mines, assumed the Chairmanship of the Board (on a pad time basis).7 Goodall became Deputy Chairman. On February 7th, Dr. George W. Govier8 was appointed a Member. He also acted in a part time capacity, dividing his time between the new 514 - 11 Avenue S.W. Board office in Calgary and the University of Alberta in Edmonton. G.E.G. (Goldie) Leisemer was Chief Engineer, having joined the Board in 1941.

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