Nice photo taken in the Turner Valley in Alberta with producing Royalite No. 4 well in background, and in the foreground the Royalite No. 5 well being drilled. Turner Valley is located about 60 km SW of Calgary,
Royalite No.4 may be the most famous gas and oil well ever drilled in Canada.
The significance of the discovery 100 years ago of the first commercial oilfield in Western Canada could not have been imagined. Turner Valley changed the West, and Canada, forever. At its peak during the Second World War, Turner Valley produced more than 95 per cent of Canada’s oil and was the most productive oilfield in the British Empire.
Written on back:
“Royalite No. 4 well Turner Valley Royalite No. 5 boring”
Also many pencil markings on back: dimensions,etc.
Paper folded UL and LR corners.
16,50 x 21.50 cm // 6 ½” x 8 ½”
(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)
Royalite No. 4 Era: 1924-1936
Calgary Petroleum Products, reincarnated as Royalite Oil, a division of Imperial Oil, resumed drilling and reinvigorated the Turner Valley site by adopting the latest drilling and refining technology and building a refinery in Calgary. Gas from Turner Valley was selling well, but Imperial Oil began exploring for crude oil at the site. An exploratory well, Royalite No. 4, was begun. It hit gas at only 878 m (2,880 ft.) and a stop drilling order was issued. Head driller, Charles Snyder, ignored the order and continued to drill. He later recounted that, “With just ten more feet into the limestone, a burst of tremendous gas pressure was met. Royalite No. 4 spewed forth gas and condensate in a wild flurry. The crew struggled vainly for three weeks to control the flood.” The material was a high grade light crude oil that could be used to make high quality petroleum products like gasoline—Imperial Oil had found its hoped-for crude oil at Turner Valley.