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Our Energy History

Since 1901, about 850,000 wells have been drilled throughout the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, providing not only production of Canadian petroleum products but extensive geological data that helps to make the industry more efficient and to reduce environmental impacts.

Canada’s oil industry celebrates more than 150 years

You may be surprised to learn the Canadian oil industry started in southwestern Ontario.

Indigenous people in the region had long known about the presence of thick oil, which they used for medicines. In 1844, Alexander Murray, a geologist with the Geological Survey of Canada, reported finding petroleum in cavities within limestone in the area now known as Oil Springs.

Initially, oil was harvested and refined to make asphalt. Soon however, a large market developed for oil-derived compounds for lighting businesses, homes, and streets – displacing whale oil. With growing demand for petroleum products, the race was on to develop commercial operations and Ontario’s oil boom was underway.