This release was issued under a previous government.

Dingman Discovery well blows

“The discovery of the oilfield at Turner Valley was a transformative moment that changed the industrial and economic face of Alberta forever and helped to mould the culture of our province. As Albertans, we are the stewards of the legacy left to us by those who risked all they had on a dream. It is up to us to ensure that this legacy is shared and understood by the generations of Albertans to come.”

Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture

More than 900 students from area schools along with visitors from across the region, industry stakeholders and officials from all levels of government join in public celebrations of the Dingman Discovery centennial at the Turner Valley Gas Plant provincial historic site.  

Built to handle the production from the Turner Valley field, the historic gas plant was the first natural gas processing facility in western Canada and is a reminder of the development of the Turner Valley Oilfield, western Canada's first commercial petroleum producing field.

The Government of Alberta acquired the Turner Valley Gas Plant from Western Decalta Petroleum Limited in 1988 and designated the site a Provincial Historic Resource in 1989.

The site was also designated a National Historic Site in 1995.

Alberta Culture is working with community and industry stakeholders to develop the site for heritage interpretation and tourism. The first phase of development, that includes rehabilitation and restoration of the laboratory and office building, will begin later this spring.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change for which Albertans voted for.



Backgrounder

Turner Valley Gas Plant Centennial celebration

Turner Valley Gas Plant Historic Site

  • The discovery of naphtha and natural gas at Turner Valley on May 14, 1914 (Dingman #1 Discovery) led to the establishment of the first commercial oilfield in western Canada and ushered in Alberta’s oil and gas industry. The Turner Valley Gas Plant, the first commercial natural gas processing facility west of Ontario, was developed to handle production from the Turner Valley field.
  • The Government of Alberta assumed ownership of the Turner Valley Gas Plant from previous owner Western Decalta Petroleum Limited in 1988. The site was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 1989. The plant was designated a National Historic Site by the federal government in 1995.
  • Alberta Culture has created a site conservation and development plan that is supported by Turner Valley and Black Diamond town councils. Restoration of the site will support heritage interpretation and tourism development in the area.
  • As owner of this historic site, Alberta Culture is responsible for the protection and preservation as well as administrative and environmental management of the Turner Valley Gas Plant. Since 1988, the province has spent $18.9 million on environmental remediation and reclamation work to clean up and manage environmental contaminants.
  • The site’s flood and erosion protection berm sustained damage in the June 2013 floods but functioned effectively. Through Budget 2014, the berm is being repaired and will be ready for the spring 2014 runoff. The berm repair is the first of three phases of work that will be done for future flood mitigation.
  • The site also features a recently installed capture and conversion system that utilizes naturally occurring natural gas to power a microturbine. Electricity generated by the turbine will be sold on the provincial grid.

May 14 Centennial celebration

Event taking place at the Turner Valley Gas Plant Provincial Historic Site. Alberta Culture worked with industry and community stakeholders in planning the event.

Key events include:

  • School tours and entertainment for more than 900 area students (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Public tours, family entertainment (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Formal program featuring local and provincial officials and industry stakeholders. (3 p.m. to 4 p.m.); public invited to attend formal program.

Community events include:

  • Turner Valley Oilfield Society theatrical production, “Centennial”, Flare’n’Derrick Community Hall. (5:30 p.m.)
  • Turner Valley Oilfield Society complimentary Tea, Valley Neighbour’s Club 133 Sunset Blvd. (noon – 2:30 p.m.)
  • Royal Canadian Legion, Turner Valley Branch, Beer Garden, 121 Sunset Blvd. SE (noon – 10 p.m.)

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