Learn more about the structures at Turner Valley Gas Plant by clicking on items that light up when you mouse over them. Dingman No. 1 Discovery Well Dingman No. 1 Discovery Well Calgary Petroleum Products brought in the Dingman No. 1 well on May 14, 1914, and triggered Alberta’s first oil boom. A wooden cable tool rig was used to drill the well. The rig remained in place for many years, being removed only in the early 1920s. Dingman No. 2 Well Dingman No. 2 Well Drilling commenced on the Dingman No. 2 well on May 25, 1914, just eleven days after the discovery of wet gas at the Dingman No. 1 well. Calgary Petroleum Products soon expanded its operations on the banks of the Sheep River with buildings and equipment to separate the liquid naphtha from the natural gas. Only the wellheads remain from this earliest phase of the development of the Turner Valley Gas Plant Historic Site. Light Plant Light Plant The light plant was built in 1921 by Royalite as an absorption plant and served that purpose until 1927. It became the light plant at that time and remained so until about 1963 when its function was replaced by electrical generation equipment added to the sulfur plant. After that, the light plant, having been greatly modified, was used for storage. It is a steel frame structure with metal cladding, some large windows and a monitor roof. Lunch Room Lunch Room The lunch room was built in 1930 as a wood frame structure with metal cladding and roof. It was likely built in two or three phases. It also housed a lavatory and the first of two fire-fighting stations on the site. The second fire hall was built in 1933 elsewhere on the plant site but was demolished ca. 1974 to make room for the fractionation plant. Carpentry Shop Carpentry Shop The carpentry shop is a wood frame structure with sheet metal siding and roofing that likely dates back to the mid-1930s. It has also served as a garage. There are three sets of large swinging doors on the west side of the building and a large set of double sliding doors on the north side. This is the only remaining early wood frame building on site. Lean Oil Pump House Lean Oil Pump House The lean oil pump house is part of the gasoline-absorption plant complex located at the west end of the Turner Valley gas plant site. It is a pre-engineered building with steel frame construction, corrugated sheet metal siding and roof, and steel sash windows. Rich oil (lean oil plus absorbed liquids) from the absorption plant is stripped of the absorbed liquids in the gasoline plant and is returned to the absorption plant as lean oil via the lean oil pump house. Water Pump House Water Pump House This pump house, built in 1933, took water from the Sheep River for use throughout the plant. It replaced earlier pumping facilities located upstream of the Dingman No. 1 well site. It is a steel-frame building with metal siding and a gable roof. At a later date, there was an addition on the southwest end. A new pump house took over the functions of this building in the 1970s but was demolished during construction of the berm in 2006, leaving only the original water pump house. Gasoline Plant Gasoline Plant Royalite built the first gasoline plant in 1933. Wartime demand caused Royalite to add equipment to strip isobutanes—used in the manufacture of aviation fuel—from waste gas. In 1942 an addition was made to the west end of the building, and a second gasoline plant was installed. The gasoline plant building incorporates equipment for extracting a variety of petroleum products from wet gas. Located on the southwest end of the plant site, the building has steel beam construction with corrugated sheet metal siding and roof. Compression Plant Compression Plant The compression plant is the third built on the Turner Valley gas plant site. The first two (ca. 1914 to 1920 and 1921 to 1925) no longer exist. The remaining compression plant, a steel structure with metal cladding, was begun by Royalite in 1938 with subsequent additions through the mid-to-late 1940s. The inside of the building is one open space, with a row of ten Cooper-Bessemer compressors down the centre. Absorption Plant Absorption Plant Built in 1933, this is the third absorption plant on the site. The first was completed in 1919 by Calgary Petroleum Products and burnt down in 1920. The second was built by Royalite in 1921 and became the light plant in 1927 when absorption technology changed. This plant was built with four 8.5-m (28-ft.) high absorption towers. A fifth, slightly taller, reabsorber tower was added in 1944. Scrubbing Plant Scrubbing Plant The coming in of Royalite No. 4, a sour gas well, in 1924 required that hydrogen sulfide be removed from the gas stream in order for it to be saleable. A scrubbing plant using the Seaboard soda ash process was built in 1925 and operated until 1938, when it was demolished. A second scrubbing plant was built in 1935 and improved on the previous plant by operating under greater pressure. A large Girbotol tower was added in 1941, using a new method—a closed system with MEA (monoethanolamine) as the absorbing agent—to “sweeten” the gas. Output and quality were improved. The scrubbing plant became the property of Madison Natural Gas in 1945, as part of that company’s scrubbing and pipeline distribution system. The scrubbing plant is a steel-frame building with corrugated metal walls and metal-framed windows. Horton Spheres Horton Spheres Royalite erected two spherical storage tanks at the height of the war effort in 1942 for the storage of isobutane, a volatile component in the manufacture of aviation fuel, under extreme pressure. Called Horton spheres, they were the invention of an American, E. B. Horton, who built the first such tanks in 1923. The tanks at Turner Valley were the first in western Canada. Each has a capacity of 5,000 barrels. Machine Shop Machine Shop The single-storey machine shop was built in the 1940s and is north of the welding shop. It is a metal-frame structure with a simple gable roof, corrugated metal siding, large metal-sash windows on each side of the building and large doors on either end. Oil/Water Separator Oil/Water Separator The oil/water separator was likely built in the 1950s and consists of two wooden structures on a concrete slab. Plant Office and Laboratory Plant Office and Laboratory There have been several plant offices and laboratories on or near the Turner Valley gas plant site. A small cottage-like office building was built in about 1914 overlooking the plant. In the 1940s, a laboratory was located in the basement of the off-site office and lab building—which could still be seen from the plant. The extant on-site office and lab building was built in 1954 and is a concrete block building with stucco cladding on the lower levels and painted galvanized metal above. The lab is located centrally on the southern side of the building. Electrical Work Shop Electrical Work Shop The electrical work shop was built in the late 1950s at the west end of the Turner Valley gas plant and is a wood-frame building with areas for an office, a garage and shop. Propane Plant Propane Plant The propane plant is part of the gasoline plant-propane plant complex. In 1948 James Barber created the company Western Propane to produce propane. His plant was located a short distance from the Turner Valley gas plant, upstream beside the Sheep River. Barber sold the plant to Royalite in 1952, and it was moved and re-erected next to and connected with the gasoline plant. Production commenced on October 20, 1952. The propane plant is a steel structure with metal cladding and windows. Propane Compressor Building Propane Compressor Building The propane compressor building was built in two parts. The first, which has two roof ventilators, was erected in 1952 when the Western Propane plant was moved onto the site of the Turner Valley gas plant. This portion of the building houses two Cooper-Bessemer compressors. The later section houses one White Superior compressor. As the building’s name suggests, it houses compressors and coolers associated with the process of compressing propane. The propane compressor building is a steel frame building located northeast of the gasoline plant-propane plant complex. Sulfur Plant and Power Plant Sulfur Plant and Power Plant The sulfur plant was built in 1952 to extract sulfur from the waste produced by the scrubbing plant. It continued to operate until the entire plant was decommissioned in 1985. The two-storey 1952 structure is a light steel-frame, metal-clad building. In 1963 a power plant was added to the north end of the sulfur plant. This replaced the large 1930s boiler house, which was demolished, and the light plant, which was converted to a warehouse. The power plant is a cast-in-place concrete frame structure with concrete block infill. The distinctive red and white 91-m (300-ft.) tall stack was removed in the late 1980s. Welding Shop Welding Shop The welding shop was built in the 1960s as an addition to the boiler house, which was built in the 1930s. It was retained when the boiler house was dismantled. The welding shop is a metal-frame building with corrugated metal siding on the exterior and two windows on the north. It housed welding and related equipment. Fractionation Plant Fractionation Plant The fractionation plant, located near the gasoline and propane plants, was built in 1974-1975. It is actually the third gasoline plant on the site and housed equipment used for the separation of petroleum into its component parts, or fractions, based on their boiling points. Since fractionation is also the process used in the 1933 gasoline plant, the fractionation plant is sometimes known as the “new gasoline plant.” Water Treatment Plant Water Treatment Plant The water treatment plant is part of the remediation at the Turner Valley Gas Plant Historic Site. In 2004-06 an impermeable berm and a water treatment plant were constructed. All groundwater from the site, some of which is contaminated with hydrocarbons, is captured behind the berm and purified in the water treatment plant before being released into the Sheep River. Berm Berm Floods in 2002 and 2005 eroded the banks of the Sheep River adjacent to the Turner Valley Gas Plant Historic Site. To prevent further erosion of the bank, a barrier wall and a system for the collection and treatment of groundwater were installed in 2006-2007, following the line of the river. Storage Tanks and Pipelines Storage Tanks and Pipelines There have been many sizes and types of storage tanks on the Turner Valley gas plant site over its seventy-year active life. In addition to those readily visible, there have been a significant number of underground storage tanks as well. An extensive network of above- and below-ground pipes carried the various chemicals and petroleum products between processing and storage throughout the plant. Many were removed in the course of remediating the site.