Leduc-Woodbend Oilfield National Historic Site of Canada
Champ pétrolifère Leduc-Woodbend
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Leduc-Woodbend Oilfield National Historic Site of Canada, located north-west of Leduc, Alberta, in a rural landscape about 25 kilometres south of Edmonton, is an upper Devonian dolomite oilfield made up of two major pools of oil at different depths below the surface, namely D-2 and D-3, and includes two other minor pools, Gilbert Blair and North Woodbend A. Marking the site is an Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque located at the former Leduc No.1 oil well, outside the Canadian Petroleum Discovery Centre. Official recognition refers to the area of land in Townships 49, 50, and 51, Ranges 25 and 26, West of the 4th Meridian in Alberta.
The Leduc-Woodbend Oilfield was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1990 because:
- Leduc-Woodbend is arguably the most important field in the history of the Alberta petroleum industry; and,
- the discovery of oil at Leduc No. 1 marked a turning point in Alberta's petroleum industry, leading to further discoveries that transformed the province into a major oil producer and moved Canada toward self-sufficiency in petroleum.
The development of the Leduc-Woodbend Oilfield in 1947 marked a turning point in the history of the Alberta petroleum industry. After the drilling of Leduc No. 1, the geographical focus of the industry shifted from Turner Valley northward to the central plains area, where vast oil reserves were uncovered. Oil production, which had been in decline, expanded dramatically and the Edmonton area became the main oil refining, petrochemical, and distributing centre of the province. The boom in output enabled Alberta to become a major oil producer for the first time and permitted Canada to move toward petroleum self-sufficiency.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1990, June 2004, July 2005.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location in the central plains area near Leduc, Alberta;
- its proximity to Edmonton, the oil producing centre of the region;
- the agricultural landscape of the site itself, which speaks to the transitory nature of the petroleum industry, its tendency to be located in rural areas, and its habit of leaving few permanent built resources after production shuts down;
- any surface or subsurface equipment, materials, or alterations to the landscape that speak to the surveying or resource extraction related to oil field exploration or development, including wells, dryholes and others.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1946/01/01 to 1946/01/01
1947/01/01 to 1974/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Natural Resource Extraction Facility or Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection