Petroleum And Natural Gas
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
In British Columbia there have been no discoveries of economic value of either gas or oil. In the south-eastern part of East Kootenay, in the region crossed by the South Kootenay Pass, some drilling operations were conducted two or three years ago on a large scale, but no satisfactory results were obtained. There are reports of finds in the Cariboo county, but so far nothing authenticated.
In Alberta a little oil has been found near the United States boundary, just east of the summit of the Rocky Mountains, but the results of drilling operations have been rather discouraging.
Medicine Hat is now famous as being in the centre of a natural gas-bearing region. The gas horizon is struck at a depth of 1,000 feet, and although an enormous quantity has been consumed in the last three years, the rock pressure of the gas wells has, practically, shown no decrease. This ideal fuel is used for lighting, heating, and power purposes.
In the northern part of Alberta there are occurrences of tar sands, along the Athabasca River, which indicate the presence of petroleum in the underlying rocks. These extensive outcroppings of tar sands along the valley of the Athabasca would seem to indicate the possibility of these same beds carrying the lighter oils, if tapped in depth, in places where the cover of overlying rocks would be sufficiently thick to prevent the evaporation and the oxidation of which the heavy tarry materials are the result.
There is little doubt that in the Athabasca valley there are great possibilities in gas and oil, and a great deal of drilling is being done in search for such deposits.
The production of petroleum in Ontario dates back to 1860, and practically the total Canadian production of crude oil comes from that province. A large number of " oil pools " of more or less importance are exploited, the principal ones being at Petrolea, Oil Springs, and Moore, in Lambton county, also at Merlin and Romney, in Kent county.
In Ontario several gas fields are being exploited, and a large quantity of gas is exported by pipe lines to cities in the United States. There are at present two main producing fields : the Welland and the Haldimand.
In the province of Quebec it is probable that large areas are underlaid by gas bearing horizons, as gas has been struck in many places in the course of boring operations, but beyond being put to a few local uses this natural resource has not yet been worked to any great extent.
A little oil is produced in New Brunswick from a small field situated at Memramcook.