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Key Number: HS 81391
Site Name: Leduc Number 1 Discovery Well
Other Names:
Site Type: 0727 - Industrial/Manufacturing - Oil Well

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
50 26 4


Address: N/A
Number: N/A
Street: N/A
Avenue: N/A
Other:
Town:
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape:
Storeys:
Foundation:
Superstructure:
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure:
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: Environment:  Area 1.404 ha / 3.47 ac   The site is a 3.47 plot of land located in a rural area south of Devon.
Condition:
Alterations: N/A

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Constructed
1947/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
N/A

Owner: Owner Date:
Her Majesty The Queen in Right of the Prov. of AB
Alta Sustainable Resrce Devlpmnt (Pblc Land Divsn)


Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: On February 13, 1947, Imperial Oil Leduc No. 1 blew in, precipitating one of Canada's greatest resource booms. The boom yielded not only significant oil deposits, but also major reservoirs of natural gas in the process of oil exploration. The Leduc discovery led to the establishment of Alberta as a major North American producer of petroleum products.
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All the original equipment used to drill the well has been removed.  Only two pumps remain at the site as part of the on going exploitation of the oil reserve discovered in 1947.  No effort has been made to landscape the site or install any interpretive displays.  

DRAFT PRESS RELEASE  
Edmonton, Alberta  

The Honourable Dennis Anderson, Minister of Culture announced today that the Leduc Oil Well No. One has been designated a Provincial Historic Resource.   At this site on February 13, 1947, Imperial Oil Leduc No. One blew in, precipitating one of Canada's greatest resource booms.  Following this strike other discoveries were made at Redwater in 1948 and Pembina in 1953.  The boom yielded not only significant oil deposits but also major reservoirs of natural gas in the process of oil exploration.  The Leduc discovery led to the establishment of Alberta as a major North American producer of petroleum products.   The Leduc bonanza capped a long-term search for oil in Alberta which began before the First World War with drilling in the Medicine Hat area, along the Athabasca River, in Waterton Park and southwest of Calgary at the Turner Valley field.  From January 25, 1913 until the 1940s the Turner Valley field remained the chief oil field not only in Alberta but also in Canada, with only modest results.   The Leduc Oil Well No. One discovery produced a period of rapid economic growth for Alberta by attracting investment capital, industry and population to the Province.  The growth in the economy was evident in the continued search for oil, the establishment of a petrochemical industry and growth of existing urban centers as well as the establishment of new towns like Devon.

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Description of Historic Place
The Leduc No. 1 Discovery Well site comprises approximately 1.4 hectares of land on a single lot near Devon. The site includes an oil pump jack and associated piping. The original well site is surrounded by artifacts from The Canadian Petroleum Interpretive Centre, which lies on an adjacent tract of land, but is not included in the designation.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Leduc No. 1 Discovery Well site lies in its association with the finding of massive petroleum deposits in Alberta and its connection to the dramatic social and economic transformation of the province in the second half of the twentieth century.

In the first half of the twentieth century, Canada was almost entirely dependent upon the United States for its oil supply. As Canada's industries were established and grew, the demand for domestic oil to power the country's economic engine grew. The Imperial Oil Company Ltd., founded in Ontario in 1880, began to explore for oil and gas deposits in Western Canada in the 1910s. For three decades, they were unsuccessful, drilling 133 dry wells in the region. On February 13, 1947, however, the Leduc No. 1 Discovery Well blew in to the delight of the spectators assembled for the occasion. The eruption of oil from Leduc No. 1 triggered extensive exploration for further petroleum deposits as seismic teams, geologists, and geophysicists fanned out across Alberta in search of "black gold." Though the Leduc field was a major find, new fields with even larger petroleum reserves would be discovered in subsequent years.

The spectacular discovery of oil at Leduc in 1947 marked a watershed in Alberta's economic and social life. The find attracted massive American capital investment into the province and resulted in the creation of wells, refineries, and pipelines throughout the province. Oil exploration also uncovered another valuable resource under Alberta's surface - natural gas. The population boomed in subsequent decades as fortune-seekers - many of them well-educated professionals - flocked to Alberta to tap into the province's new-found wealth. New towns were established near oil fields and both Edmonton and Calgary grew dramatically. Edmonton became a service centre for the oil fields and home to numerous refineries, while Calgary developed into the administrative and managerial heartland of Alberta's burgeoning petrochemical industry. The tremendous wealth generated by the province's reserves of oil and gas also accelerated the demographic shift in Alberta from a rural to an urban population and funded the creation of universities and colleges, galleries and museums, and hospitals.

Source: Alberta Community Development, Heritage Resource Management Branch (File: Des. 1325)

Character-defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Leduc No. 1 Discovery Well site include such features as:
- pump jack and associated piping.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
signed)

Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
1986/11/30
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2003/04/07

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0116
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