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The virtual Geology Department - providing information and services to the Canadian and Worldwide Oil and Gas Industry

History of the Canadian Oil Industry (Key Dates)

(See end of listing for some useful sources of further information)

For more information or to correct errors or omissions, please contact Dave Russum at Geo-Help Inc.

Events are listed in chronological order. Go to 2012

Key dates of the World Oil Industry can be accessed here.

1778 - Peter Pond recorded occurence of bituminous sands at confluence of Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers.

1792 - Peter Fidler exploring in the Athabasca Region: "Found great quantities of bitumen, a kind of liquid tar oozing out of the banks on both sides of the river in many places, which has a very sulphurous smell and quite black like real tar, and in my opinion would be a good substitute for that useful mineral"

1820 - John Richardson made first scientific examination of Athabasca bituminous sands

1846 - Dr. Abraham Gesner demonstrated the wonders of kerosene for illumination on Prince Edward Island. Gesner's process used coal or natural asphalt as a raw material rather than crude oil from pits and seeps*

1852 Charles Tripp from New York, organized a company in the Oil Spring, Ontario, area to manufacture asphalt for paving from the natural solid petroleum material found there. That company, the International Mining and Manufacturing Company, was the first registered oil company in North America, but poor transportation infra-structure doomed that project (Cochrane and Fairbank 2000).*

1857 - First oil production at Oil Springs, Ontario - from a shallow pit.

1858 - First oil well at Oil Springs, Ontario - note this well was probably 'dug' not 'drilled'. It can be claimed to be the first oil well in British North America but may not have been the first well drilled in North America*

1859 - Natural gas discovered in New Brunswick - flared as a waste product

1866 - Natural gas discovered in Ontario - flared as a waste product

1874(?) - George Dawson reported oil seeps in Waterton Area

1880 - Ontario refining companies merged to form Imperial Oil Company

1883 - First gas found in Alberta - at Langevin, near Medicine Hat - while drilling a water well for the CPR!

1889 - Eugene Coste drilled in Essex County, Ontario for natural gas to supply nearby commumities

1897 - Well drilled at Pelican Rapids - struck gas, blew out for 21 years

1898 - Rockerfeller acquired Imperial Oil Company


1901 - First commercial gas field developed at Medicine Hat, NWT (later Alberta)

1901 - First commercial oil well drilled at Cameron Ck, NWT (Later Alberta) - now in Waterton National Park.

1907 - Rudyard Kipling visited Medicine Hat and described it as having "all hell for a basement".

1909 - "Old Glory" well drilled at Bow Island - largest gas well to that time in Canada. Drilled by the CPR on the wrong location.


1911 - Standard Oil Trust broken up, Imperial Oil became an affiliate of Standard Oil of New Jersey

1912 - Gas pipeline built from Bow Island to Calgary (275 Km) by Canadian Western Natural Gas

1914 - First discovery of Gas-condensate reservoir at Turner Valley (from Cretaceous) - Dingman #1

1916 - Peace River Oil Co #1 (4-31-85-20W5) blew out. (see 2003)


1920 - Norman Wells oil field in NWT discovered.

1923 - Heavy Oil discovered in Wainwright area.

1923 - Edmonton converted to Natural gas

1924 - Gas condensate reservoir discovered in Mississippian at Turner Valley

1924 - First sweetening plant developed at Turner Valley to remove hydrogen sulphide.

1929 - Alberta Research Council set up hot water extraction plant on Clearwater River to extract oil from bituminous sand.


1930 - Bow Island field exhausted having produced 336 Bcf into the Calgary market.

1930 - Mineral Rights transferred from Federal Government to Provincial Governments of Western Provinces

1936 - Oil leg discovered in Mississippian at Turner Valley

1936 - Nylon invented - First synthetic from petrochemicals

1938 - Alberta Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board formed by Social Credit Government - significantly reduced flaring activities.


1942 - Federal Government took control of the Abasand project at Athabasca to try and accelerate production from tar sands as part of the war effort

1942 - CANOL pipeline project commenced - US Wartime effort to link Norman Wells to Whitehorse. Only used 1944-1946 - Oil from this pipeline had a true cost of $137.19 per barrel!

1943-45 - First offshore well drilled by Mobil from an artificial island off Prince Edward Island

1944 - Jumping Pound Discovered by Shell - first efforts to recover sulphur from sour gas

1947 - February 13th, Leduc discovered - Imperial Leduc No. 1

1948 - Atlantic Leduc #3 blew out

1948 - Redwater oil discovered (Leduc formation)

1948 - Pouce Coupe - first gas discovery in N.E.B.C.

1949 - Golden Spike (Leduc formation) Discovered


1950 - Interprovincial Pipeline built to transport oil from Edmonton to Superior, Wisconsin. First shipment arrived in Superior in early December.

1951 - Daly (Mississippian Lodgepole) - First oil discovered in Manitoba

1951 - First oil discovered in North East British Columbia at Fort St John.

1953 - Interprovincial Pipeline extended to Sarnia, Ontario

1953 - Trans Mountain Pipeline (oil) completed from Edmonton to Burnaby, BC

1953 - Pembina Cardium Oil Field Discovered

1953 - Midale - First significant oil pool in Saskatchewan

1955 - Boundary Lake Oil Field in BC discovered

1957 - Swan Hills, Virginia Hills and Kaybob - First Swan Hills Discoveries

1957 - Waterton Mississippian Discovered

1957 - First gas exported by Westcoast Transmission Company via Vancouver to US markets

1957 - First gas exported to Eastern Canada by Trans Canada Pipelines

1958 - Clarke Lake, BC discovered (Slave Point gas)


1961 - First drilling in Canadian Arctic - Dome at Winter Harbour on Melville Island

1964 - Mitsue Gilwood field Discovered.

1965 - Rainbow Keg River reefs discovered.

1966 - First well drilled in Beaufort Sea

1966 - Panarctic incorporated - a consortium of companies to explore in the Canadian Arctic

1967 - Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd (later Suncor) began production of Tar Sands north of Fort McMurray

1967 - Sable Island gas discovered by Shell

1967 - First drilling off Canada's west coast by Shell

1969 - First drilling by Panarctic resulted in discovery of Drake Point gas field (nearly 6Tcf), Melville Island in Canadian Arctic.


1970-1971 - Gas blow-out on King Christian Island in Canadian Arctic

1971 - First drilling on Labrador Shelf (East Coast)

1971 - Taglu discovery by Imperial in McKenzie Delta (3 Tcf)

1971 - Pickering nuclear power plant opened in Ontario

1972 - Moratorium on West Coast drilling imposed by Federal and BC Governments

1972 - Parsons Lake discovered by Gulf Canada in McKenzie Delta (1.8 Tcf)

1973 - Liberal Government of Pierre Trudeau formed Petro Canada and the Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA)

1973 - First oil discovered on East Coast by Mobil at Cohasset.

1973 - Union Nose Creek well - the deepest well drilled to date in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (18677').

1974 - Bent Horn oil discovery by Panarctic on Cameron Island - the only oil field to be commercially produced in the Canadian Arctic

1974 - Federal and Provincial Governments in dispute over resouce revenues, resulting in 'excessive' taxation of Industry. Industry responded by reducing activity.

1976 - Discovery of Elmworth and concept of Deep Basin Gas by Masters and Gray of Canadian Hunter.

1976 - Dome (Canmar) started drilling in Beaufort Sea

1977 - Nisku pinnacles at West Pembina discovered by Chevron.

1977 - Berger Inquiry into the McKenzie Valley Pipeline results in 10 year moratorium on development in NWT.

1977 - (Dec 2nd) Amoco Pacific Brazeau 7-10 blew out, capped 30 days later by Red Adair.

1978 - Syncrude starts tar sand production

1978 - Oil discovered at Amauligak in Beaufort Sea

1979 - Canadian Oil industry converted to metric

1979 - Texaco Shell Blue H-28 well drilled in the Orphan Basin, east of Newfoundland - the deepest well drilled in Canada at the time (20233') and drilled in a then world record water depth of 4,876'. (Ref. Reservoir Jan 2007)

1979 - Hibernia discovered on the Grand Banks, Newfoundland by Chevron and Mobil.


1980 - (October 28th Budget) National Energy Program (NEP) introduced by Liberal Government. Gave significant advantages to Canadian Companies.

1980 - Highest average land price ever - $395/Ha - for all Crown land acquired in Canada during 1980.

1981 - Dome Petroleum acquires Hudsons Bay Oil and Gas (HBOG) creating the financial woes that led to the demise of Dome Petroleum.

1981 - Hebron Oilfield discovered off Newfoundland

1982 - Ocean Ranger drilling rig sank on the Grand Banks with loss of 84 lives.

1982 - Amoco Dome Brazeau 13-12-48-12W5 blew out creating a stink across the Province.

1982 - Pre-build section of Alaska Pipeline opened.

1982 - Ben Nevis oilfield discovered off Newfoundland

1982 - Last uranium mine at Uranium City, Saskatchewan shut down due to market decline

1983 - PetroCanada Banquereau well drilled offshore Nova Scotia - Deepest well ever drilled in Canada 20,699' (6309m.)

1984 - Terra Nova Field discovered

1985 - Western Accord by Brian Mulroney's Conservative Governement started process of Deregulation of the Oil Industry

1985 - Panarctic shipped first oil from Arctic Islands (100,000 bbls from Bent Horn)

1985 - Agreement between Federal Government and Newfoundland Government to jointly manage offshore oil and gas resources

1986 - First significant down-sizing in Major Oil Companies as result of oil price decline.

1986 - Discovery of Caroline Swan Hills Field by Shell.

1988 - Amoco Canada finally acquired Dome Petroleum Ltd.

1988 - Rowan Gorilla I (largest drilling rig in world at the time) sank off East Coast of Canada


1992 - Up-grader at Lloydminster began processing heavy oil

1992 - First oil production from Panuke-Cohaset off Nova Scotia

1995 - Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) changed name to Energy Utilities Board (EUB)

1996 -1998 - escalated "Eco-terrorism" against oil industry in Grande Prairie area, Wiebo Ludwig eventually found guilty.

1997 - First production from Hibernia, Grand Banks, Newfoundland

1997 - Kyoto Agreement to limit greenhouse gases

1997 - Industry spent a record $1.5 Billion to acquire 6.88 million hectares of land in Canada ($219/Ha) during the year.

1998 - Quebec Ice Storm destroyed much of electrical infrastructure in Quebec.

1999 - Chevron makes major discovery in Liard area of NWT

1999-2000 - Ladyfern Slave Point Field discovered by Apache, Murphy and Beau Canada


2000 - First gas production from Sable Island - First Canadian offshore gas development.

2000 - Renaissance merged with Husky Oil to form Husky Energy Inc.

2000 - World Petroleum Congress held in Calgary amid tight security

2000 (September 20th) - Oil price peaked at $37.40 (WTI US$)- highest since Gulf War

2000 - Aurora Mine opened at Syncrude - 1st remote oil sands mine

2000 (December 1st) - First shipment of gas on Alliance Pipeline

2000 (December 11th) - Spot price for Alberta gas closed at a record $16.95 (Cdn) per gigajoule

2000 (December) - Differential between light and heavy oil reached $21.46 per barrel ($40.86 for light oil, $19.40 heavy oil).

2000 - A record 21,967 well licences were issued in Canada during 2000.

2001 (January first week) - A record 597 rigs drilling in Western Canada

2001 - May 29th - Conoco Inc offers $9.8 Billion for Gulf Canada Resources Ltd

2001 - July 11th - Alberta Landsale brought in $125.54MM - the largest landsale in Alberta history.

2001 - July - Irving Oil announces plans to build an LNG receiving terminal near St John, New Brunswick

2001 - Record year for all Canadian Landsales - $1582 Million + $562 Million work commitments

2001 - First year that Bitumen production (271 million bbls) exceeded conventional crude production (264 million barrels) in Alberta.

2002 - (January) - Experimental gas hydrate project at Malik in the McKenzie Delta by an industry/government consortium

2002 - (January) - First oil production from Terra Nova, Grand Banks, east of Newfoundland - using a floating production platform system.

2002 - AEC and PanCanadian merge to form Encana Corp

2002 – Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas Founded

2002 - (February) - Chevron decides not to develop the Hebron - Ben Nevis fields off Newfoundland (Oil too heavy)

2002 - (February) - PCP announced the first sales of Coalbed Methane production in Canada from their experimental projects in Southern Alberta.

2002 - (June) - Encana announces discovery of "Greater Sierra" Jean Marie trend in NEBC

2002 - (July) - Talisman announces first deep paleozoic gas discovery in BC Foothills (at Monkman Pass, below Triassic production)

2002 - (August) - Encana announces plans for first commercial Coalbed Methane project in Canada

2002 - (Sept 2) - Jean Chretien announces intent to ratify Kyoto Agreement

2002 - (Sept) - Canadian Natural Resources may move their heavy oil upgrader to the US if Kyoto signed.

2002 - (Oct) - Saskatchewan reduces royalty rates to attract new activity

2002 - (Dec 10) - Federal government ratifies Kyoto Agreement

2002 - (Dec 10) - Nexen to delay Long Lake Oilsands project

2002 - (Dec 30) - First production from Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) Muskeg River Mine - owned by Shell, Chevron and Western Oil Sands Ltd.


2003 - (Jan) - True North Energy (Koch) postpones Fort Hills tar sands project citing lack of a partner + environmental and Kyoto concerns

2003 - (Feb) - Gasoline spikes to record high prices in Canada (90c) - on threat of supply shortages if war begins in Iraq .

2003 - (Feb) - Encana to delay development of Deep Panuke (Off-shore Nova Scotia) citing excessive cost for reserves discovered.

2003 - (Aug) - Access Northeast Energy Inc announces plans to build an LNG terminal at Bear Head, Nova Scotia

2003 - (Aug) - Gasoline prices exceed 90c per litre in parts of Canada

2003 - (Sept 1) - 337gas wells (about 100MMcf/d) in the Fort McMurray area shut-in by the AEUB to preserve reservoir pressure for future bitumen extraction.

2003 - (Sept) - Largest ever Crown landsale in Canada. BC Government raised $417.98MM in the sale of mineral rights, primarily in the Sundown area of NEBC. Encana later admitted to being the buyer to pursue a Cadomin gas play.

2003 - (Oct) - AEUB announced that Peace River #1 (4-31-85-20W5) had finally been abandoned after 88 years.

2003 - (Dec) - AEUB rejects application by Polaris Resources Ltd to drill in the Whaleback, in the Alberta foothills.

2003 - Record number of wells drilled in Canada (19,955) during 2003 but gas production declined and price climbed.


2004 - (April) - Record number of wells drilled in Western Canada during first quarter (6278)

2004 - (April) - Encana makes bid for Tom Brown Resources (primarily US properties)

2004 (April) - Galveston LNG annouce plans to build a LNG receiving terminal near Kittimat, BC.

2004 - ChevronTexaco Canada sell their conventional Western Canada oil and gas production to Enerplus, Acclaim and Paramount

2004 - Husky seeking proposals to develop White Rose natural gas off the East Coast

2004 (July) - West-Pac announces plans to build a LNG receiving terminal at Prince Rupert, BC.

2004 - (August) Irving receive approval to build an LNG terminal at St John, New Brunswick, team up with Repsol (Sept 2004)

2004 - (August) Enbridge Inc, Gaz Metro and Gaz de France proposing LNG terminal on south shore of St Lawrence, also TransCanada Corp and Petro-Canada teeming up to develop a terminal in Quebec.

2004 - (Sept) - Federal Government sells final 19% ownership of Petro-Canada

2004 - (Sept) - Imperial Oil to move their head office from Toronto to Calgary.

2004 - (Oct) - Application to build MacKenzie Valley pipeline submitted to NEB - estimated cost $7.5Billion.

2004 - (Oct 26) - AECO Natural gas price at $8.25/GJ.

2004 - (Oct) - Nexen Inc to buy Encana's North Sea holdings for $2.1Billion US.

2004 - (Dec) - Shell Canada reports discovery of a Leduc reef at Tay River (2-6-37-10W5), west central Alberta with 500-800Bcf in place.

2004 - A record 21,671 wells drilled in Canada


2005 – Encana and Apache - Initial experiments in Horn River Basin (‘Shale’ gas)

2005 - (Feb) - CNRL to proceed with construction of Horizon oil sands project

2005 - (Mar) - PetroCanada to participate in Fort Hills oil sands project.

2005 - (Mar) - Suncor applying to build the $10 billion Voyageur project to expand oil sands production by 200,000 bbls.

2005 - (Mar) - Northrock announces discovery of gas and condensate reservoir at Summit Creek, NWT. Reported at 20Mmcf and 6000bbls condensate per day.

2005 - (Apr) - Husky announces plans to proceed with the $10 billion Sunrise bitumen project NE of Fort McMurray

2005 - (Apr) - Imperial stops work on MacKenzie Valley pipeline proposal in frustration over slow progress in reaching agreements with First Nations

2005 - (June 22) - AEUB approves Compton Petroleum's application to drill sour gas wells on the southeastern fringe of Calgary subject to certain conditions

2005 - (July) - Pogo Producing Company of Houston to purchase Northrock Resources from Unocal for $2.2Billion Cdn. The first significant foreign purchase of Canadian oil and gas assets since 2001.

2005 - (July) - Trident Exploration Corp and Nexen Inc announce plans for first commercial development of Mannville CBM at Corbett Creek with plans to spend $400MM in the next 18 months.

2005 - (July 19) - Ottawa commits $500MM to help northern aboriginal communities deal with development of the MacKenzie Valley pipeline.

2005 - (August) - Gasoline selling at greater than $1 per litre in many parts of Canada

2005 - (Aug 2) - Total E & P Canada offers $1.35Billion for Deer Creek Energy Ltd (owners of a start-up SAGD project at Joslyn)

2005 - (August 31) - Methanex announce plans to close Methanol production plant at Kitimat, BC due to high price of North American natural gas - methanol will be imported from offshore.

2005 - (Aug 31) - Natural Gas at summer all time high price $10.67/gj.

2005 - (Sept 2) - AEUB suspends MRL (Maximum Rate Limitation) on light oil production in Alberta for month of September following production disruption caused by Hurricane Katrina

2005 - (Sept 6) - Teck Cominco Ltd pays $475MM for 15% stake in Fort Hills oil sand mining and upgrader project (current partners: UTS Energy and PetroCanada)

2005 - (Sept 6) - Total increases bid for Deer Creek to $1.7Billion (see Aug 2, 2005)

2005 - (Sept 20) - Encana to import 25,000 bbls diluent per day via Kittimat, BC for transporting oilsands production to the United States.

2005 - (Nov 12) - First production from Husky's White Rose oil field in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin, east of Newfoundland.

2005 - (Dec 14) - Alberta bi-weekly Landsale raised $544MM at an average price of $1,147 per hectare - More money than was raised in all the Alberta Landsales in 2002.

2005 - A record number of gas wells drilled and record spending in the Canadian oil and gas industry.


2006 (Jan 5) - AEUB closes the file on Compton's efforts to drill sour gas wells southeast of Calgary after Compton failed to submit an Emergency Response Plan - (see June 22 2005).

2006 (Feb 9) - Alberta Landsale raised $651.37MM including $559.4MM in Oilsands Leases - later revealed that Shell Americas - a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell - were the purchasers of most of the leases.

2006 (Apr 17) - Penn West Energy Trust to merge with Petrofund Energy Trust to create the largest conventional energy trust.

2006 (May 11) - PetroCanada offer for Canadian Southern Petroleum Ltd - an attempt to consolidate interests in the Canadian Arctic. Canadian Oil sands later made a better offer.

2006 (May 15) - AECO Spot Gas Price drops to $5.20Cdn/GJ

2006 (May 18) - Too high steam injection pressure at a well in a SAGD project at Joslyn Creek, NE Alberta owned by Total E&P caused breach in the overlying cap rock causing an explosion and creating a substantial crater

2006 (June) - Shell Canada acq's Blackrock Ventures Inc. for $2.4Billion - based on their ownership of cold bitumen land and production in the Peace River Arch area (Seal)

2006 (June 15) - Quebec to introduce a Carbon Tax to meet Kyoto obligations

2006 (June 21) - Husky announces discovery of extension to White Rose oil field off East Coast

2006 (August) - Chevron spuds the Great Barasway F-66 well in the Orphan Basin east of Newfoundland. The first well in the Basin in 27years, it is scheduled to be both the deepest well (7400m) and in the deepest water (2400m) ever drilled in Canada.

2006 (Sept 14) - Canadian Natural Resources to acquire Anadarko Canada Corp for >$4billion.

2006 (Sept) - Value of Canadian natural gas exports fell 46.4% compared to September 2005 - due to lower volumes and significantly lower prices.

2006 (Oct 2) - Natural gas price drops to a low of Cdn$3.08/Gj on AECO spot.

2006 (Oct 5) - Encana and ConocoPhillips to merge Encana's Foster Ck and Christina Ck oilsand projects with ConocoPhillips refining assets at Wood River, IL and Borger, TX.

2006 (Oct 10) - Encana unveils plans for a major new office building in downtown Calgary - "The Bow" - 59 storeys high, curved building with 2 million sq. ft. of office space and costing $850-$1Billion.

2006 (Oct 31) - Federal Government announces plans to tax income trusts resulting in a substantial drop in value and considerable rhetoric.

2006 (Dec 22) - Transcanada Corp to acquire ANR Pipeline Company and other US pipeline and storage assets for $3.4Billion.

2006 - Alberta collected $3.43Billion from the sale of oil and gas leases in 2006 - including $1.96Billion from sale of Oil Sands Leases.

2006 - Natural gas revenues from exports dropped in 2006 as result of a 5% decline in exports (to 3.5Tcf) and a 19% decline on price (to $7.15/gj).

2006 - Oil exports to the US A reached a record 1.78MMBO/d representing 17% of all oil imported to the US.


2007 - (Jan 15) - True Energy Trust announce plans to revert back to a company (see Mar 30)

2007 - (Feb -Mar) Gasoline prices climb to over $1 per litre due to refining problems in Ontario and Alberta

2007 - (Mar) Alberta intoduces new plan to reduce GHG emissions intensity by 12% for major industrial producers

2007 - (Mar 12) - Imperial Oil revised estimate for building Mackenzie Valley Pipeline increased to $16.2Billion (compared to $7.5Billion in 2004)

2007 - (Mar 30) - True Energy Trust shareholders reject plan to revert back to a company

2007 - (Mar 31) - 1st Quarter licence count in Canada down 22% compared to 2006. Land sale revenue in Alberta dropped to $500.85MM in 2007 vs $1690MM in first 5 sales of 2006

2007 - (Apr 26) - Federal Governement introduces intensity based targets to reduce GHG emissions

2007 - (Apr 26) - Statoil ASA of Norway to acquire North American Oilsands Corp for $2.2Billion

2007 - First 4 months of drilling in Canada lowest since 2002

2007 - (May 4) - Provident Energy Trust to buy Capital Energy Resources for $467MM

2007 - (May 7) - Total announces plans to build a 200,000bbl/day upgrader near Edmonton

2007 - (May 10) - Shiningbank Energy Income Fund to merge with PrimeWest Energy Trust

2007 - (July 31) - Marathon Oil Co to buy Western Oil Sands Inc for $6.6Billion

2007 - (July 31) - Shell proposes $27Billion oil upgrader at Fort Sskatchewan

2007 - (Aug 16) - BC Landsale nets $149MM primarily for areas in northern NEBC with shale gas potential.

2007 - (Aug 23) - Agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador Government to develop Hebron-Ben Nevis oilfield, offshore Nova Scotia (>700MMBO).

2007 - (Sept) - Energy Alberta (a private company) announces plans to build a nuclear power plant in the Peace River area of Alberta

2007 - (Sept 18) - Alberta Royalty Review Panel recommends significant increase in Alberta royalties for oil and natural gas

2007 - (Sept 24) - TAQA North (Abu Dhabi based energy company) offer $5Billion for Primewest Energy Trust

2007 - (Sept 28) - Encana warn that they will spend $1Billion less in Alberta next year if Alberta Royalties are increased.

2007 - (Oct 9) - CNRL announce that many future oil projects would not be viable if the royalties are changed.

2007 - (Oct 25) - Alberta introduces a new oil and gas royalty program expected to increase government take by $1.4Billion by 2010

2007 - (Oct 31) - PennWest and Canetic Energy Trusts announce plans to merge forming the largest oil and gas trust with greater than 15Billion in assets and 200,000BOED.

2007 - (Nov 2) - Loonie hits a record of $1.07US.

2007 - (Nov 5) - Encana to buy Leor Energy LP for $2.55Billion - to acquire their interest in the Amoruso Field, Texas

2007 - (Nov 27) - CNRL announces drastic reductions to gas drilling in Alberta - partly driven by impact of the new Royalty Program

2007 - (Dec 20) - Fairborne Energy Trust and Fairborne Energy Ltd successfully recombined into an exploration and production company


2008 - (Jan 29) - Suncor comes to terms with the Alberta government on new royalties for their oil sands project

2008 - (Feb 4) - Enbridge Inc to lead consortium of 19 companies to identify saline aquifers for carbon dioxide sequestration

2008 - (Feb 12) - Cost overrun for CNRL's Horizon oil sand project now forecast at 25% - estimated at $8.5 to 8.7Billion

2008 - (Feb 20) - British Columbia announces plans to introduce a Carbon Tax at the consumer level

2008 - (Mar 8) - Federal Government releases outline of plan for industrial greenhouse gas emissions

2008 - (Apr 1) - TranCanada to acquire the Ravenswood Power Generating Facility in New York for $2.8Billion

2008 - (Apr 1) - Forest Oil Announces Significant Gas Discovery in Utica Shale of St Lawrence Lowlands Quebec

2008 - (Apr 10) - Record Saskatchewan land sale of $265MM

2008 - (Apr 10) - Alberta introduces royalty adjustments for the 'unintended consequences' of the new royalty plan - provide additional incentives for deep oil and deep gas wells

2008 - (Apr 28) - Total E&P Canada to acquire Synenco Energy Inc - owners of the Northern Lights Oil Sand Project for $478MM

2008 - (May 11) - EnCana announces plans to split company into a gas producer (Encana) and oil producer (subsequently called Cenovus Energy Inc)

2008 - (May 16) - Gazprom to partner with Rabaska Partners in developing the LNG regasification terminal in Quebec supplied by by gas from the Shtokman Field (offshore Arctic Russia)

2008 - (July 8) - Alberta to spend $2Billion to support large scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

2008 - (July 14) - Shell Canada Ltd to buy Duvernay Oil corp for $5.9Billion

2008 - (July 16) - Record BC Landsale of $610.07MM with highest bid of $32,500/Ha.

2008 - (Aug 18) - Fairborne Energy reports 13Mmcf/d from a Nordegg horizontal well at Harlech, West Central Alberta

2008 - (Oct 2) - Kitimat LNG Inc propose to build an LNG export terminal at Kitimat instead of an import terminal - due to lack of LNG supply and ability to access new natural gas markets

2008 - (Oct 15) - EnCana to indefinitely delay corporate split due to turmoil in world financial markets

2008 - (Nov 11) - Shell to indefinitely delay Grosmont bitumen pilot project (project to extract oil from bitumen charged carbonate)

2008 - (Nov 17 - Fort Hills Parners (PetroCanada, UTS Energy and Teck Cominco Ltd) defer oilsands mine decision

2008 - (Nov 17) - Progress Energy Trust and ProEX Energy Ltd to merge

2008 - (Nov 19) - Alberta Government announces Transitional Royalty Program to enable companies to choose between the old and new royalty program for wells drilled over the next 5 years

2008 - (Nov 28) - Gros Cahouna LNG receiving terminal project put on hold by PetroCanada and TCPL due to limited LNG supplies

2008 - (Nov) - Encana and the Horn River Producers Group initiate plans for a gas processing plant in Horn River, initial capacity of 400Mmcf/d expected to be available in 2011


2009 - (Jan 4) - Canadian Energy Partners report first British Columbia CBM project

2009 - (Jan 27) - Total SA make unsolicited offer to buy UTS Energy Corp's interest in Fort Hills OIl Sands Project for $617MM

2009 - (Feb 28) - CNRL announces first production of synthetic crude from Horizon Oil Sands Project ($9.7Billion project)

2009 - (Mar 3) - Alberta announces new royalty credit of $200/metre and a royalty reuction for all wells starting production 1st April 2009 to 31st March 2010

2009 - (Mar 5) - Talisman's Saskatchewan assets to be sold to Crescent Point and Tristar for $720MM

2009 - (Mar 12) - 17 oilworkers dies following crash of helicopter supplying east coast production platforms

2009 - (Mar 23) - Suncor and PetroCanada announce plans to merge companies

2009 - (Apr 8) - Statoilhydro reprts discovery at Mizzen 0-16 well in the Flemish Pass area, offshore Newfoundland

2009 - (Apr 28) - Total withdraws bid for UTS after failing to get shareholder approval (see 2009 - Jan 27)

2009 - (Jun 15) - Encana announces shut in of natural gas production (about 400Mmcf/d) in Canada and USA due to low gas prices

2009 - (Jun 17) - BC landsale raises $178MM mainly driven by Imperial and TAQA bidding on land in the Horn River Basin

2009 - (Jun 20) - Canada receives first shipment og LNG at Canaport facility in New Brunswick

2009 - (June 25) - Alberta Government extends incentive programs to March 2011 to try to stimulate activity: Max 5% royalty on first year of production, plus royalty credit of $200/metre drilled

2009 - (Jun 30) - Drilling activity declined by 40% in first half of 2010

2009 - (Aug 1) - Suncor and PetroCanada complete merger - Suncor becomes continuing company

2009 - (Aug 5) - Petrobank Energy Resources and Tristar Oil and Gas Ltd to merge to form Petrobakken Energy Ltd with a major presence in the Bakken oil play in Saskatchewan

2009 - (Aug 10) - Apache Corp signs on to Kittimat LNG export project

2009 - (Aug 31) - Alberta Oil Sands Corp (AOSC) selling 60% working interste in McKay and Dover Oilsands Projects to Chinese

2009 - (Sept 3) - Natural gas prices fall to the lowest levels since 2002 (Cdn$1.93/gj) on the spot market due to low demand, high supply and large volumes of gas in storage

2009 - (Sept 10) - Encana revives plan to split company into an oil and downstream company (Cenovus) and a gas company (Encana) due to take place by Nov 30th 2009

2009 - (Oct 16) - ERCB orders 158 gaswells shut in north of Fort McMurray to preserve reservoir pressure in an area with potential for a bitumen extraction project

2009 - (Oct 22) - Korean National Oil Company to acquire Harvest Energy Trust for $4.1Billion

2009 - (Oct 22) - BC Landsale raises $370MM in the sale of parcels mainly targetting Montney rights.

2009 - (Nov 3) - Alberta Appeal Court overturns approval of sour gas wells causing ERCB to suspend issue of new sour gas well licences

2009 - (Dec 1) - Encana and Cenovus begin to operate as separate companies (see Sept 10 2009, May 11 & Oct 15, 2008)

2009 - (Dec 16) - Alberta Land Sale raises $384.3MM - one of the largest sales ever in Alberta and more than the cumulative total from the other 22 Alberta sales in 2009


2010 - (Jan 13) - Apache announces plans to buy a 51% interest in the Kitimat LNG export terminal

2010 - (Feb 28) - Korea Gas Corp to invest $1.1Billion in joint venture with Encana in unconventional gas plays in northeast British Columbia

2010 - (Mar 11) - Alberta makes further changes to royalty system to be competitive with other jurisdictions

2010 - (Apr) - Sinopec Corp. to buy Conoco Phillips 9.03% in Syncrude for $4.65Billion

2010 - (May 13) - China Investment Corp to participate in a Joint Venture with Penn West Energy Trust to develop bitumen holdings in the Peace River Arch area.

2010 - (May 19) - EOG Resources Canada Ltd acquires 49% interest in Kitimat LNG project from Galveston LNG Inc

2010 - (June 25) - Encana negotiating with China National Pertoleum Corp for Joint Vneture in unconventional gas plays in northeast British Columbia

2010 - (July 7) - Alberta landsale raises $452.2MM at a record average price of $6184/Ha

2010 - (July 7) - Total buying UTS Energy Corps 20% working interest in Fort Hills Oilsand project for $1.15billion

2010 - (Aug 5) - Chevron buys a 206,000 hectare deepwater parcel in the Beaufort Sea for a work commitment of $103.3MM

2010 - (Aug 25) - Mitsubishi Corp signs a Joint Venture with PennWest Energy Trust to develop holdings in the Cordova Embayment and Wildboy area of NE British Columbia

2010 - (Sept 15) - Athabasca oilsands Jackpine Mine starts production

2010 - (Sept 23) - Suncor reports reclamatiion of first tailings pond at Suncor Oilsands project

2010 - (Nov 23) Thailand PTT Exploration and Production buys 40% of Statoil Kaikos Dehseh oilsands project in northern Alberta for $2.3Billion

2010 - (Dec 15) - Korean National Oil Company to acquire $525MM assets from Hunt Oil of Canada

2010 - (Dec 20) - Talisman sells a 50% interest in their Farrell Creek Montney shale assets for $1.05MM to Sasol Ltd of South Africa with a plan to pursue GTL (Gas to Liquids Technology)

2010 - (Dec 20) - Kitimat LNG Partnership applies to NEB for approval for export licence - Phase 1 capacity of 700Mmcf/d at cost of $3Billion completion in 2015 with potential to double volume in future

2010 - (Dec 31) - Last day for conversion of Income Trusts to Corporations


2011 - (Feb 9) - Encana selling 50% of their Cutbank Ridge holdings to PetroChina for $5.4MM

2011 - (Feb 16) - CNRL and the Alberta Government propose to build a 50,000BOPD upgrader project near Redwater at a cost of approximately $5Billion

2011 - (Mar 11) - BC LNG Export Cooperative announce files a second application with NEB for a second LNG export terminal in the Kitimat area of British Columbis. Initial plan to export 125Mmcf/d

2011 - (Mar 18) - Encana Corp acquires a 30% interest in the Kitimat LNG Project from Apache Canada Ltd and EOG Resources Canada

2011 - (Apr 28) - A rupture in Plains Midstream Rainbow Pipeline in Northern Alberta leaks 28,000bbls of crude into the surrounding area

2011 - (May 15) - Wildfires sweep through various areas of northern Alberta shutting down many oil and gas projects and major destruction to the town of Slave Lake

2011 - (Jun 1) - Alberta Governement raises $843MM from the sale of petroleum rights in the June 1st landsale. The highest value ever achieved at an Alberta landsale. Main interest appears to be in Cardium Oil and deeper shaly opportunites possibly in the Duvernay

2011 - (Jun 20) - Encana and PetroChina Joint Venture in Cutbank Ridge scrapped (See Feb 9, 2011)

2011 - (Jul 5) - Work commitments for exploration rights in North West Territories (South of Norman Wells) totalled $536MM, Husky committed $376MM

2011 - (Jul 15) - Shell proposing to sell their 11.4% interest in the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline project

2011 - (Jul 19) - CNOOC Ltd. (China National Offshore Oil Corp.) to take over OPTI Canada Inc. OPTI had filed for bankruptcy protection last week as a result of crippling debt incurred in developing its 35% in the Long Lake SAGD oil sands extractiion project.

2011 - (Aug 24) - A single licence covering 7,680Ha in the Duvernay fairway sold for over $124MM in an Alberta landsale - averaging over $16,000/Ha it is the highest price ever paid for an Alberta land parcel

2011 - (Sept) - CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) introduces guidelines for hydraulic fracturing to enhance water management

2011 - (Nov 10) TCPL Keystone XL pipeline planned to transport bitumen from the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta to Texas Gulf Coast re-routed to avoid environmentally sensitive sandhills in Nebraska. Final approval (?) delayed until 2012.

2011 - (Nov 29) - Nexen sign deal with Inpex Corp of Japan to develop their Horn River assets

2011 - (Dec 9) - Total E&P along with partners Suncor Energy, Occidental and Inpex receive federal government approval to develop the Jocelyn North Mine 100,000bopd with potential to expand to 200,000 ($9Billion, anticipated first production 2018)

2011 - (Dec 22) - Sinopec (Chinese International Petroleum Exploration and Production Co.) acquires Daylight Energy for $2.2Billion Cdn

2011 - (Dec 29) - Quicksilver Resources and Kohlberg Kravis to team up to develop infrastructure in the Horn River Basin of NEBC

2011 - (Jan-Dec) - Record landsale year for Alberta a total of $3.64Billion spent mainly on low permeability oil opportunities


2012 Jan - North American natural gas prices drop to the lowest level since 2002 driven by the growth in production from shale gas reservoirs

2012 (Jan 18) - US Government rejects TCPL Keystone XL Pipeline proposed to carry crude bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to refineries on the Gulf Coast

2012 (Feb 3) - Canadian and Alberta Governments announce plans to greatly expand environmental monitoring in the oilsands region of northeast Alberta

2012 (Jan 20) - Royal Dutch Shell bids $970MM in work commitments to acquire 4 leases offshore Nova Scotia

2012 (Mar 27) - Canadian spot gas prices (AECO) drop to $1.53/gj

2012 (Apr 20) - Toyota resches agreement for a Joint Venture with Encana to exploit Horseshoes Canyon CBM in central Alberta

2012 (June 28) - Shell Canada and MGM Energy Corp to team up to jointly drill the Canol oil play in the central MacKenzie Valley (Norman Wells Area) of Northwest Territories

2012 (June 28) - Petronas (Malaysian national oil company) to pay $5.5Billion to acquire Progress Energy Resources primarily for their extensive Montney holding in northeastern British Columbia

2012 (June 28) - Talisman elects not to proceed with a gas to liquids with Sasol of South Africa for the Montney in northeastern British Columbia (see Dec 20 2010)

2012 (July 23) - CNOOC offers $US 15.1Billion to acquire Nexen Inc

2012 (Aug 23) - Alberta Government plans to cancel some Oilsands Leases in newly created Conservation Areas in northeast Alberta

2012 (Oct 17) - Exxon Mobil offers $3.1Billion to acquire Celtic Exploration for their Montney and Duvernay holdings

2012 (Oct 19) - Federal Government blocks bid by Petronas to acquire Progress Energy Resources Corp. (see 2012, June 28)

Sources of more information:

Breen, D.H., Alberta's Petroleum Industry and the Conservation Board. 1993

Chasto, P, Developing Alberta's Oil sands 2004

de Mille, G. Oil in Canada West: The Early Years 1969

Finch, D. and Jaremko, G. Fields of Fire - An Illustrated History of Canadian Petroleum 1994

Foster, P., The Blue-Eyed Sheiks - The Canadian Oil Establishment 1979

Gould, Ed, The History of Canada's Oil and Gas Industry 1979

Grey, P.F, and Krowchuk, L.J, Spirit of Success - The Sproule Story 1997

Hilbourn, J.D., Dusters and Gushers 1968

Kerr, Aubrey - A number of titles on significant events in the Western Canadian Oil Industry - including "Leduc", "Redwater", "Corridors of Time", "Atlantic No.3", Judy Creek and Beyond, Corridors of Time II.

Lyon, J., Dome - The Rise and Fall of the House that Jack Built 1983

May, Gary. Hard Oiler! - The Story of Early Canadian's Quest for Oil at Home and Abroad. 1998

McKenzie-Brown, P., Jaremko, G. and Finch, D. The Great Oil Age 1993. The complete text can be found here.

McKenzie-Brown, P.and Maciej, H. Canadian Oil and Gas: The First One Hundred Years,1989. The complete text can be found here.

Nickle's Daily Oil Bulletin - daily publication and 50th Anniversary Edition 1988

Petroleum Communication Foundation - Our petroleum Challenge - Exploring Canada's Oil and Gas Industry, 6th Edition 1999

Petroleum History Society

Schmidt, John., Growing Up in the Oil Patch 1989

Sheppard, Mary Clark. - Oil Sands Scientist - The Letters of Karl A.Clark 1920-1949. 1989

Yergin, D., The Prize - The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power 1992

* Pers Com. from Joyce Hunt quoting information from W. Brice of the Petroleum History Institute, Dec 2007.

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