Beginning of Crude Oil and Natural Gas in Canada

Crude oil dates back many years in Canada. It can be traced back to the aboriginal people of Canada who found some good uses for this commodity.

James Knight

James was a fur trader for the Hudson’s Bay company who kept a journal. While in Fort York he made an interesting entry that related to crude oil. He had been told by the Indians in the region that they had come across a river that was comprised of gum and pitch. One that prevented them from making land in certain parts of it. This river was located far inland. Fork York today is known as Manitoba. James notation was dated in 1714,

Henry Kelsey-

Also a fur trader gained similar information five years later. It pertained to Hudson Bay’s western shores. Henry had received a sample of pitch from one of the Indians. Who said that the pitch flowed from the river banks. Europe had become aware of the Western resources for petroleum long before any of them had even travelled to what is now known as Alberta.

Early Uses of Crude Oil

It has been learned through historical recordings that crude oil was used to seal up boats and buildings of that time. It is also believed that this substance was used as a method to help heal wounds for both humans and animals.

Refining Began

It wasn’t until the 1850’s under the process of refining was discovered that oil took on more uses such as for the purpose of fuel. Mostly because in its unrefined condition it had too much of a foul odor to be used for this.

Natural Gas

Natural gas took much longer to be used in Canada compared to oil. Its first significance became apparent in 1890, when it is believed the first well was drilled, by accident. The actual purpose of the drilling was for coal.