top of page

Well of the Week – Akamina #2 Past phases of exploration in the Flathead

This Petro NinjaEnlighten Geoscience Well of the Week is admittedly a bit of a stream of consciousness story. Let us see where it starts and where it takes us.

We went for a paddle on the Glenmore Reservoir on Saturday evening. It was a beautiful way to clear the mind after thinking about CCUS during the week. On the slog back into the wind, I noticed how the placement of the Dingman #1 replica along the bank of the reservoir (mentioned in last week’s post) was very evocative of the original.

This image led me to thinking of the first oil well in western Canada located in present-day Waterton Lakes National Park. And that in turn led to more paddling and thinking about the Waterton gas field.

Paddle, paddle, paddle. Next came the remembrance that there is another reconstructed derrick. This one is at the eastern entrance to Fernie, BC. The Akamina #2 rig is a very striking landmark made with materials salvaged from the original derrick.

Figure 1. Akamina #2 detritus (Alex Millar, Personal communication)

Figure 2. Border Oils #2 rig (Alex Millar, Personal communication).

The oil industry never really took off across the AB/BC Boundary from Waterton. But there was a lot of activity in the Flathead Valley from 1908 to the 1930’s. Some wells even had shows! The BC OGC maintains a summary of the wells here. Record keeping being what it was, not all the wells show up in modern GIS mapping but a map from Boberg (1984) illustrates where all the action was.

Figure 3. Map of well locations in the Flathead Valley (Boberg (1984), Alex Millar, Personal communication).

The pull-out was in sight as I reflected on the history of exploration in the Flathead Valley. Approaching the shore, I thought back to my days in the Foothills Group at Gulf and how we were working on a project to follow-up on some wells (such as 200/D-055-E/082-G-01/00) that supported the concept that hot water injected into limestone formations such as the Wabamun would generate carbon dioxide. Because in the later 1980’s (believe it or not), there was a serious consideration given to exploring for carbon dioxide to support miscible floods in Devonian and Mississippian carbonate reservoirs.

Figure 4. Gas Analysis for 200/D-055-E/082-G-01/00 Wabamun test.

So as with the kayaking trip itself and exploration in the Akamina, the story came full circle and carbon dioxide came back to mind. Kudos to the Fernie Derrick Society for preserving this part of our heritage.


Boberg, W. W., 1984, Flathead region, Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia, petroleum exploration, an historical review, in McBane, J.D., and Garrison, P.B., eds., Northwest Montana and adjacent Canada: Montana Geological Society 1984 Field Conference and Symposium Guidebook, p. 1-25.


Recent Posts
bottom of page