Turner Valley Gas Plant

On 14 May 1914 the history of Alberta changed forever when A.W. Dingman struck gas near Turner Valley. The Turner Valley Gas Plant Historic Site commemorates this event. Calgary Petroleum Products, which owned the Dingman well, built a simple separator plant alongside the well to produce naphtha, a liquid gas, for sale to local consumers. When this plant burned down in 1920, Imperial Oil bought Calgary Petroleum Products and rebuilt the plant.

In 1925, sour natural gas was discovered near Turner Valley, and the plant was redesigned to "scrub" or remove the hydrogen sulphite, a toxic chemical that gives sour gas its distinctive rotten egg smell. By the 1930s the plant could handle 2.8 million c3 of gas a day, most of which was shipped by pipeline to Calgary for sale. After oil was discovered at Leduc in 1947, most oil and natural gas processing was moved to the Edmonton area, but the Turner Valley plant continued to operate under various owners right up to 1985.

The plant site was declared a provincial historic site in 1985 because of its close connection with the early history of the petroleum industry. Recently it was declared a national historic site. The site is currently under development and is open to visitors from mid-May to early September.