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