Canadian Petroleum History

1914 - Dingman Well, Alberta

Well #2 Dingman

May 14, 1914, was a victorious day for Arthur W. Dingman as he and his associates savoured the fruits of their risk-taking. This puny success, the Dingman wet gas discovery, was the precursor for the deeper zone

Archibald Dingman

The Turner Valley period of Alberta’s petroleum industry was started by two enterprising people, William Stewart Herron and Archibald Dingman. Both men had limited experience and knowledge of hydrocarbons, but both had hands-on experience in the Pennsylvania oilfields. While waiting for a load of coal near Black Diamond, Herron, an Okotoks-area rancher, noticed a natural gas seep along the banks of Sheep River. He took samples and sent them to the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California for analysis. The results confirmed the material was “wet natural gas,” which is natural gas with a high concentration of liquid naptha. Herron immediately began acquiring land and mineral rights in the area.

Rig Floor prior to hitting reservoir

Next Herron recruited Dingman and some of Calgary’s most influential businessmen and started the Calgary Petroleum Products Company in July 1912. A local newspaper wrote that “this is no wildcat company, but one that owns about 2,000 acres of surface rights and 11,000 acres of oil rights, besides having done the actual development work.” On May 14, 1914, the company struck oil at 780 m (2,718 ft.). The high-pressure reserve released a 6 m (20 ft.) gusher. The well, which was named Dingman No. 1, produced at a volume of four million cubic feet of gas a day.

Dingman Well Still Stands

Write up Credit:

Petroleum History Society Website

photo credit: Wikipedia

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