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Virden Oilfield History: Oil Found West of Town

JANUARY 31, 1951: For the past week Virden has been seething with rumors and rumors of rumors about oil having been brought in at the test well put down west of town by Hawke Drilling Co. Ltd. for California Standard.

The September 2021 Oilfield Report dives back into the archives to take a look at the beginning of “the Boom”

JANUARY 31, 1951

For the past week Virden has been seething with rumors and rumors of rumors about oil having been brought in at the test well put down west of town by Hawke Drilling Co. Ltd. for California Standard.

That there is much truth to the rumors is apparent. Oil has been found.

On a visit to the drilling site last Monday morning, the Empire-Advance reporter was told that authentic information must be released through the Calgary office of California Standard. It is expected that a press release will be made shortly.

Walter Stradchuck of Virden Photo Studio was able to obtain some good pictures of the drilling outfit. Watch for these in next week's Empire-Advance.

A visit to the well is a not-to-be-forgotten experience. Dominating the scene is the great 126-foot derrick which towers over the drilling and pumping equipment. This is the tallest derrick ever to be erected in Manitoba.

Off to one side of the building housing the drill and pump is a pool of oil, black heavy looking stuff with which the workers' clothes are coated.

A shack houses the boiler which provides the steam for the drilling operation. Another shack is the change room where workers change from work clothes to clean clothes when they come off shift. Two trailers house the office where records are kept.

It is alleged that the oil obtained is a good medium grade of crude, better than that of some of the Alberta wells and not as good as oil obtained from other wells in the western province.

No official information could be secured on the approximate quantities of oil obtainable from the well but rumor has it that it is estimated that the well can yield from 80 to 240 barrels per day.

This No. 1 well is primarily a test well, it is understood, and presumably much valuable information has been obtained regarding the below-surface formations in the district.

A second well not far from the first is to be drilled shortly, it is rumored.

The No. 1 well is located on L. S .D. 15, Sec. 18, Twp. 10, Range 27, WPM, approximately 8 miles west of town just off the Virden-Maryfield road on Wm. Gardiner’s farm.

Please note: The above articles have been reproduced as they were originally published - and in some cases use alternate spelling, grammar, and punctuation that we find in modern articles.

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