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Preserving history of the petroleum industry in Canada


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Next luncheon June 12, 2024
speaker Bob Bott, details to be announced

Fall luncheons

  • September 25, 2024
  • October 30, 2024
  • November 27, 2024

2024 Past Events

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The Petroleum History Institute Annual Symposium
Canmore, Alberta May 20-22, 2024
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About the Symposium
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Sponsorship Opportunities

May 1, 2024
Canada’s East Coast Offshore: 70 Years of Oil & Gas History
by Dr. Brad Hayes, Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.

Brad Hayes is President of Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd., a geoscience and engineering consulting firm advising clients working in oil and gas, helium and lithium exploration, carbon capture and storage, geothermal energy and water resource management. 

Brad holds a PhD in geology from the University of Alberta, and has 40 years of diverse experience applying subsurface geoscience in resource industries. He is a Past-President of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, a member of the Energy Resources Technical Advisory Committee for Geoscience BC, Outreach Director for the Canadian Society for Evolving Energy and an Adjunct Professor in the University of Alberta Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
Brad led PRCL in more than 20 years of technical support for East Coast oil and gas exploration and development ventures, including G&G analysis at Hibernia for Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation.

Sedimentary basins in Canada’s east coast offshore are rich oil and gas hunting grounds; a long history of exploration and development stretches back to the earliest seismic refraction surveys in the 1950s, and even earlier if one considers early oil wells on the western coast of Newfoundland.

While exploration has been wide-ranging, production today comes only from the oil-prone Jeanne d’Arc Basin on the Grand Banks, more than 300 km east of St. John’s. The Hibernia discovery in 1979 took 18 years to put on stream, and was followed by major developments at White Rose, Terra Nova and Hebron. Oil discoveries a little further offshore in the Flemish Pass Basin await final investment development decisions over the next few years.

Exploration on the Labrador Shelf north of the Grand Banks and the Scotian Shelf to the south proved those areas to be gas-prone. Gas discoveries near Sable Island on the Scotian Shelf were developed in the 1990s, but were depleted by 2018 after more than 2 TCF of gas was delivered. The more remote and physically challenging Labrador Shelf gas discoveries of the 1970s and 80s have not been developed, but tremendous potential remains if a business case can be made for development.
Political and regulatory issues will determine the future of oil and gas in the Eastern Canada offshore. In addition to oil, natural gas potential is enormous and well-positioned for LNG to serve the ravenous European market, but will require federal as well as provincial support to move ahead.

Annual General Meeting at Petroleum Club - 4:oo p.m. March 27, 2024

Guest speaker Dr. Sabrina Peric, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archeology at the University of Calgary

Sabrina has been conducting research on Dr. Ted Link, one of the giants of Canadian petroleum history. Link is credited with the discovery of the Norman Wells Field in the Northwest Territories in 1920 and was Imperial Oil’s Chief Geologist when Leduc was discovered in 1947. Between those dates, Link was very active in trying to pull together the geological history of Western Canada.

February 28, 2024: Jaremko Jottings - by David Finch

Gordon Jaremko changed the way people see the petroleum industry. And he recorded the story of oil with unique intelligence, insights, passion and clever wit. David Finch, also a graduate of the University of Calgary history department with an MA in History - Gordon's was in 1973 - will discuss several aspects of the bibliography of Jaremko. As a journalist, Gordon was also a philosopher, social historian, political commentator and so much more. While other newspaper hacks fell into the easy pattern of writing daily articles on deadline based on little more than a news release from a company flack, Gordon insisted on slogging through the trenches. He was always downtown in the middle of the action - in Edmonton and Ottawa and Calgary - notebook in hand, jotting down quotes and facts in his own self-styled shorthand. His sly, straight thin-lipped smile always kept the person he was interviewing engaged, and talking, even revealing more than they had intended. Using excerpts from Gordon's writings, this presentation will cover topics from the five decades of Gordon's writing career.

Past events, including summaries of speakers' presentations, are recorded in Archives newsletters.


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