History

Oilsands History in Canadian



1778 - Peter Pond recorded occurrence 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"

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

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

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

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

1955 - Boundary Lake Oil Field in BC discovered

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

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 resource revenues, resulting in 'excessive' taxation of Industry. Industry responded by reducing activity.

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

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.

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

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 The first recorded mention of Canada's bitumen deposits goes back to June 12, 1719. According to an entry in the York Factory journal, on that day Cree Indian Wa-Pa-Sun brought a sample of oil sand to Henry Kelsey of the Hudson's Bay Company. When fur trader Peter Pond travelled down the Clearwater River to Athabasca in 1778, he saw the deposits and wrote of "springs of bitumen that flow along the ground." A decade later, Alexander Mackenzie saw Chipewyan Indians using oil from the oil sands to caulk their canoes. Despite the fascination of the early explorers, however, the existence of the sands did not excite commercial interests for more than a century.

In 1875, John Macoun of the Geological Survey also noted the presence of the oil sands. Later reports by Dr. Robert Bell and later by D.G. McConnell, also of the Geological Survey, led to drilling some test holes. In 1893, Parliament voted $7,000 for drilling. This first commercial effort to exploit the oil sands probably hoped to find free oil at the base of the sands, as drillers had in the gum beds of southern Ontario a few decades earlier. Although the Survey's three wells failed to find oil, the second was noteworthy for quite another reason.

Drilled at a site called Pelican Portage, the well blew out at 235 metres after encountering a high-pressure gas zone. According to drilling contractor A.W. Fraser