Part of Members

William J. Mooney

Inducted: 2010

Alberta Order of Excellence member Bill Mooney

William J. Mooney B.Sc.

"My great loves are God, Canada and hockey… and (with a chuckle…) not always in that order."

Bill Mooney has been recognized as an important contributor to Alberta’s energy sector and one of the industry’s most effective ambassadors. In addition to his contributions to the development of the province’s oil and gas industry he has offered strong leadership to a wide range of non-profit organizations, particularly in the areas of health care, community service and youth programs.

William John Mooney was born in Regina, Saskatchewan on February 27, 1929 and adopted soon after by a local dentist, William Mooney, and his wife, Bessie. Three years later, Bessie died and Bill’s father eventually married Esther Murphy. The couple welcomed a daughter, Margaret Ann, to the family but less than a year later, when Bill was six years old, his father died and Esther was left with the daunting task of raising two children alone in the midst of the Great Depression. Esther rose to the challenge and, although she had to scrape by to feed the family, she readily offered a place at the table to anyone down on their luck and in need of a hot meal. Her love, compassion and strong work ethic came to stand as a key source of inspiration for Bill.

Despite his mother’s fine model, Bill did encounter a false start on his way to becoming a sterling citizen. He admits to being wild in his early days, when trips to favourite fishing spots and pick-up games of hockey took the place of attending school and eventually caused Bill to flunk a grade. Things changed when Father Athol Murray accepted him as a student at Notre Dame College. It was done as a favour to Esther and nobody at the time expected the free-spirited boy to thrive under the school’s rigorous standards. However, Bill confounded all expectations and emerged as a successful scholar, talented athlete and student leader. Having completed his second year of post-secondary Liberal Arts studies, Bill left Notre Dame in 1952 with a steadfast belief in Athol Murray’s core principles that every life is insignificant until you yourself make it great, everything is done by people and everyone has a responsibility to serve community and society.

After leaving Notre Dame and working various jobs Bill joined the oil patch in September 1952 as an employee of Core Laboratories Inc. He also dated Lois Larson, who had been a fellow student at Notre Dame. The couple married in 1953. With some urging from Lois and the backing of a football scholarship from Colorado College, Bill eventually returned to his post-secondary studies. He worked nights and took on new duties as father to first-born son, Bill Jr., while completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. Lois also worked to support their young family. Bill graduated in 1957 and rejoined the energy industry as an employee of Cities Service Oil Co. in Texas. Soon after, a major oil strike in central Alberta prompted the company to transfer Bill to its Calgary office.

Bill moved through the ranks of Cities Service Petroleum Corporation to become chief geologist, vice-president of exploration, executive vice-president and president of Canadian operations. In 1978, he moved to London, England to serve as president for Europe, Africa and Middle East and vice-president of Cities International. The Mooney family grew apace with Bill’s career as son Bill Jr. was joined by Michael, Timothy, Melissa and Barbara. In 1980, Bill took on new challenges as President of Harvard International Resources in Calgary, President and CEO of Centipede Energy and then Millipede Energy. He also represented PacificGas Transmission in Canada.

Throughout his career, Bill Mooney has been front and centre during some of the most pivotal moments in the evolution of the Alberta energy sector, serving as a valued advisor to provincial and federal government leaders on a range of matters and policy accords. Central to his contributions has been his ongoing commitment to finding effective cooperative solutions between government and industry on issues of the day. For example, in 1975, Bill helped to facilitate agreements between three energy companies (Imperial, Cities Service and Gulf) and the Governments of Alberta, Canada and Ontario to ensure effective collaboration on what was then known as the “Syncrude Project.” The collaboration stimulated further development of the oilsands. Working with Deputy Prime Minster Don Mazankowski, Bill contributed his skills as an innovative problem solver and negotiator during the development of the Canadian Exploration and Development Initiative Program (CEDIP) which resulted in highly effective drilling incentives for industry. Bill’s considerable abilities as a mediator and forward thinker were further put to the test as he helped to navigate Alberta and Canada through efforts to resolve the damaging results of the National Energy Program with the remedial Western Accord in the mid 1980’s.

In all negotiations and cooperative efforts throughout his career, Bill held true to one over-riding belief - that if he put the interests of his country first, his province second, and his company third then every solution would be beneficial for all parties involved. Bill humbly offers the lion share of credit to others who worked with him on various initiatives over the years, but colleagues in the industry are quick to recognize his singular contributions.

Bill’s other commitments to the industry include membership in numerous professional organizations as well as service as chairman of the Board of Governors for the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame and chairman of the Saskatchewan Petroleum Industry Hall of Fame. He was vice-chairman of both the Alberta Environmental Research Trust and the Alberta Special Waste Management Corporation. Bill is a Member of the Saskatchewan and Canadian Petroleum Halls of Fame. He holds the Notre Dame Medal of Honour and the Alberta Centennial Medal.

While Bill Mooney has spent his career serving the energy sector, he has found equal time to support many worthy community and non-profit endeavours. He has been a member of the Board of Regents and Board of Governors for his beloved Athol Murray’s Notre Dame and has raised funds and organized events for a wide range of charitable organizations in Alberta. Bill has placed a particular focus on efforts to support hospitals and medical research as well as disabled youth and children’s aid programs. He has served as a chairperson, event speaker and key fundraiser to organizations such as the United Fund, the Calgary Children’s Hospital, Rockyview Hospital, Don Bosco Homes, the Calgary Zoo, the Liver Foundation, the Mazankowski Heart Institute, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Calgary Milk Fund. His lifelong passion for sports is reflected in the volunteer service he has offered to the Calgary Community Midget Football Association, the Canadian Old Time Hockey Players and the Calgary Stampeders Football Club.

When asked what he is most proud of, Bill points to his family and all of the great friends that have helped him do what he’s wanted to do over the years. What he has always wanted to do is to act as a steadfast Canadian and Albertan and a faithful promoter of the best interests of the province and country that he is honoured and privileged to call home.