1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
2011-Beyond
  • Our Company
    Energy Industry
    • The war effort is quickly draining Ontario's gas reserves and residential customers, business, and non-war related industries are forced to switch to other fuels. After years of growth, Union Gas now has a supply issue to deal with. Original reservoirs in southern Ontario, from which wells drew gas contained underground in the coral reef formations created 425 million years earlier, are now nearly empty.

      1941

      In search of new supplies, Union Gas enters an agreement with Imperial Oil to purchase their by-product known as "Still Gas" and begins clearing land south of Sarnia for a $900,000 plant for further processing, purifying and reforming the still gas. A plan evolves to store the reformed still gas in "existing underground gas wells."

      1942

      The idea to convert original production wells into storage pools is tested and Union Gas feeds the first still gas into Dawn Storage in September 1942. The Dawn 47-49 storage pool begins operation on September 28. Named after original production wells D47 and D49, Dawn 47-49 is Union Gas' first storage pool. This would prove to be very significant for Union Gas, as well as Ontario, all of Canada and the U.S. Northeast, and will open the door to transporting natural gas to Ontario from the US and Western Canada.

      1943

      Just six months after opening its first storage pool, Union Gas opens a second storage pool at Dawn. Named after original production wells, D59 and D85, the Dawn 59-85 storage pool begins operation in March. Manufactured (still) gas that exceeds daily demand is pumped from Sarnia into the new Dawn storage pools where it can be withdrawn for periods of peak demand. With WWII still underway, the war-effort has a big appetite for all available gas.

      1944

      The supply of gas remains a big concern. The war continues and Union Gas looks for new sources of supply. In the pioneer days of the natural gas industry, Ontario had exported gas to the United States and now Union Gas is looking south of the border for an answer to supply concerns. With approval from US and Canadian authorities, Union Gas agrees to contract terms for Texas gas from the Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company that will ensure an adequate supply of natural gas for Ontario industrial, commercial and residential consumers for the next twenty years. The contract is signed November 25, 1944.

      1947

      After completion of a pipeline connecting Dawn Storage to US pipeline facilities, the first gas is imported into Ontario, delivered via the Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company. It's a token amount of gas, just 35 million cubic feet (Cf) instead of the contracted 5 billion Cf. It will be several years before the full annual contract volume will be delivered.

    • WWII had a major impact on the energy industry, not only in Canada but also worldwide. In North America, the oil and gas industries had tremendous growth in the 1920's and 1930's driven in part by the introduction of mass-produced automobiles and the migration of the population away from rural areas to urban centres in search of work. An increasing number of homes were served by gas utilities until the war began and the war-effort had first claim on any available gas supplies. In Canada gas services were being used in as many as 530 war-related industries, 58 camps, barracks and military hospitals. Coal, which was the dominant energy source leading into the war, was also becoming scarce, leading many to look for new suppliers and alternative forms of energy production.

      1940

      German physicist Werner Heisenberg, who won a Nobel Prize in 1932 for his work on quantum mechanics, comes forward with a theory on energy production through nuclear fission. Heisenberg suggests that under the right circumstances, the fission process in uranium can be controlled, leading to a heat-producing reaction that can be harnessed for the production of electricity. This is the birth of nuclear energy.

      1941

      Sales of gas appliances drop with the introduction of a 25% excise tax meant to discourage the manufacture of domestic appliances to conserve precious metals and other materials for the war effort. Coal has become scarce throughout Canada leading most gas companies in Central Canada to begin using imported coal. In order to do so, these companies must pay a 10% War Exchange Tax which generates about $1 million per year for the federal government. During this time the average cost of coal increased by 40% and the average cost of labour rose 35%.

      1943

      The American Gas Association/Canadian Gas Association (AGA/CGA) forms a joint committee and determines that the gas industry has a significant role to play in meeting North America’s future energy needs, particularly in industrial and commercial heat applications and residential cooking and heating. A national advertising campaign is established to encourage the insulation of all buildings.

      Meanwhile, a joint Canadian-British team is established to pursue nuclear reactors with heavy water. Heavy water, which is water highly enriched in the hydrogen isotope deuterium, was first produced in Canada at the synthetic ammonia fertilizer plant of Consolidated Mining and Smelting Corp at Trail, BC, using a Norwegian process. Work by the research team led to establishment of the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories.

      1945

      The first nuclear reactor outside the US becomes operational at Chalk River, northwest of Ottawa.

      1947

      The largest oil and natural gas discovery in Canada in 33 years is made near Leduc, Alberta, when on February 3, oil and gas gushes from Leduc #1. This was the catalyst for the oil and gas boom in Alberta that remains strong to this day.

      The post war economy is rebounding by 1947 and there is great demand for gas.

      As the '40's come to a close, the gas industry posts new sales records and gas appliance showrooms, gas exhibitions and home-service departments are thriving as they promote greater use of natural gas products.

  • Our Company
    Energy Industry
    • Union Gas rapidly expands its position in southwestern and south central Ontario during the 1950’s with new exploration, new territories, new pipelines and new storage capacity. As the decade begins, plans are underway for the $2.5 million Dawn-to-Windsor transmission line to accommodate increased imports from the US. Before the decade ends, Union Gas will take it’s first delivery of western Canada gas.

      1951

      After a year of construction, the 16-inch diameter Dawn-to-Windsor pipeline is completed and Union Gas can finally accept delivery of the full 5.5 billion cubic feet annually of US gas, which was negotiated in the 1944 Panhandle contract. The gas arrives in summer months and is stored at Dawn for later delivery to its growing number of customers.

      1952

      Union Gas' exploration for new gas reserves is rewarded when drilling brings in a sizeable well on the Norman Wilson farm about 5 km from the Dawn Field. Many companies are drilling throughout the area including drilling in Lake Erie to meet the growing demand for natural gas. This year also sees completion of the long-planned 40-mile duplicate pipeline from Dawn to London, thus doubling the transmission capacity to London.

      1954

      At a meeting concerning the possible export of Alberta Gas to Ontario, Union Gas' president tells provincial officials that the company's expansion plans can be readily adapted to accept Alberta gas. Underground storage is expected to be a key part of Union Gas' plans and a vital factor in assuring the most efficient operation of a cross-Canada pipeline.

      1955

      Union Gas agrees to purchase 15.5 billion cubic feet of Albert a gas annually for the next twenty years from TransCanada Delivery is expected to start the following year once a pipeline is built through to Toronto.

      1957

      Union Gas converts the Payne production well, first discovered by Imperial Oil in 1949, to storage. Union Gas is developing this third storage pool to meet the expected storage demands created by the TransCanada pipeline. The development of the Payne pool more than double's Union Gas' storage capacity.

      1959

      Union Gas receives its first western Canadian gas in October; a year after the first Alberta gas comes to Ontario.

    • Canada's population booms in the 1950's and energy shortages are becoming a problem. During the decade, natural gas and petroleum-based products will replace almost all coal used for domestic heating, industrial energy and transportation fuel. With the economic opportunities presented by natural gas too big to ignore, a project is undertaken to construct a natural gas pipeline across Canada.

      1951

      A Canadian company, TransCanada PipeLines Limited (TransCanada), is incorporated and hopes to undertake construction of a natural gas pipeline across Canada. After oil and gas were discovered in western Canada in the late 1940's, oil is already replacing coal as Canada's largest source of energy and natural gas is being put to new uses as a raw material for fertilizer and other products.

      1953

      After rejecting two previous proposals, the Alberta government finally grants permission to export natural gas from the province, where markets are hungry for new sources of energy.

      1954

      The US government passes the Atomic Energy Act governing both civilian and military use of nuclear materials and gives the civilian nuclear energy program workable access to nuclear technology.

      1955

      The Oil and Gas industry makes a $503 million investment in western Canada, making the largest investment in Canadian history for the development of any Canadian natural resource. The increased investment is partly due to interest in natural gas. This same year, the Atomic Energy Commission announces a cooperative program between government and industry to develop nuclear power plants.

      1957

      The first full-scale nuclear power plant goes into service in Shippingport, Pennsylvania and the US congress enacts legislation to protect the public, utilities and contractors financially in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant.

      1958

      Alberta gas comes to Ontario. Final welds on the TransCanada pipeline are completed near Kapuskasing, Ontario and the event is not even reported in the nation’s newspapers. Upon completion it is the longest transportation pipeline in the world. On October 27, the first 300 million cubic feet of gas begins flowing. The TransCanada pipeline transforms Canada’s natural gas industry from a regional to a national concern, causing immediate restructuring of existing gas markets and new regulatory frameworks.

      1959

      The federal government sets up the National Energy Board (NEB). It oversees inter-provincial and international energy trade and its responsibilities include licensing gas and electricity exports, and making recommendations about prices and quantities of energy trade that will best serve national interests. The NEB is also tasked with providing advice on energy policy and regulating the construction and operation of international and interprovincial pipelines including traffic, tariffs and tolls.

  • Our Company
    Energy Industry
    • Union Gas is rapidly expanding its customer base and sales during the 1960's and is already looking ahead to increasing storage and transmission capacity to meet future demand.

      1962

      The new Trafalgar compressor station is busy pumping western gas to Union Gas' Lambton storage fields and with enough natural gas guaranteed for present and future needs, Union Gas concentrates its drilling on wells for additional storage. The company’s biggest reservoir, Dawn 156 is inaugurated in August with an initial working capacity of 20.5 cubic feet (Bcf), which is more than the original capacities of Payne 47-49 and 59-85 combined.

      1964

      To keep pace with the growing economy, the largest pipeline in southwestern Ontario is built from Dawn to a point north of London. The pipeline measures 34 inches (86cm) in diameter, runs a distance of 56 miles (90 km) and permits Union Gas to transmit additional gas for other companies to and from the underground storage fields in Lambton County. Over the winter, Union Gas puts a 3,400 horsepower compressor into service that increases Dawn station's capacity to 11,970 horsepower allowing it to store and process larger volumes of gas quickly. Because of the ever-increasing demand for gas, Union Gas signs a new contract with TransCanada Pipelines for delivery of an additional 10 Bcf of gas per year for the next twenty years, beginning in November 1964.

      1965

      The second stage of the pipeline project from Dawn to North of London is underway, extending the pipeline an additional 30 miles (48km) from London to Woodstock. When it’s completed late in the year the pipeline adds another 30 per cent to line capacity.

      1966

      Union Gas and TransCanada Pipelines announce another new contract, this time for 991 Bcf at an estimated value of $400 million over 20 years. Union Gas president and general manager, Fred Palin calls the new contract "a significant milestone" in Union Gas history and one that will go along way toward providing for future area energy requirements. It means that Union Gas will have an annual 143.5 Bcf of natural gas available by the early 1970's.

      1967

      The third stage of the pipeline that began at Dawn and has now reached Woodstock is in development and will extend the pipeline from Woodstock to Hamilton. It's a difficult 37 mile (59.5 km) stretch to Hamilton that expands the pipeline to a total of 123 miles (197.9) from Dawn and increase transmission capacity by 60 per cent. All that remains to be done is an 18-mile (28.9 km) loop from Hamilton to Oakville.

      1968

      In late summer, the first stage begins in the looping of the 16-inch (40.6 cm) Dawn to Windsor line. The Ontario Energy Board gives Union Gas permission to build the $1,800,000 loop between Dawn and Dover Centre with a 20-inch (50.8 cm). This loop was necessary because the gas send-out from the Dawn storage area had increased from 45 million cubic feet daily in 1960 to 118 million cubic feet in 1967.

    • The demand for all forms of energy continued worldwide during the 1960’s spurring new exploration efforts for oil and natural gas and new alliances that would later have a big impact on the North American economy.

      1960

      The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is created as a successor to the Ontario Fuel Board to regulate the province's electricity and natural gas sectors in the public interest. As part of its mandate, the OEB is authorized to set just and reasonable rates for the sale and storage of natural gas and to make orders granting permission to construct pipelines for the transmission of oil or gas and to expropriate land for oil or gas pipelines. This same year, The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Arabia and Venezuela.

      OPEC's objective is to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among member countries in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumer nations; and a fair return on capital for investors in the industry.

      1961

      Canadian businessman Peter Bawden becomes the first to drill in the Canadian Arctic on Melville Island. At the time, it's the northernmost well in the world and Bawden drilled it in winter proving the feasibility of winter drilling operations at high latitudes.

      1966

      The first well is drilled in the Beaufort Sea in the North West Territories. To meet the challenges of winter cold and relatively deep water, drilling technologies undergo a period of rapid evolution. The first offshore wells drilled in the Beaufort use artificial islands as drilling platforms but this proved to be a winter drilling system, which was only practical in shallow water.

      1967

      Canada's Centennial year is a banner year for oil and gas exploration. Shell discovers gas off Sable Island Nova Scotia and Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (Suncor) initiates the world's first large scale oil sands operation by beginning production of Athabasca oil sands north of Fort McMurray. Skeptics had warned Canada's oil sands could never be commercially developed but Suncor proved them wrong. Construction of a $240 million, 45,000 barrel a day oil sands plant is completed in September and begins processing bitumen into synthetic crude. Bucketwheels and conveyor belts mine and transport oil sands from Steepbank Mine to the plant. On opening day, Alberta Premier Ernest Manning proclaims, "This is a red letter day, not only for Canada but for all North America. No other event is Canada's centennial year is more important or significant."

      This is the same year, Shell begins the first drilling off Canada's west coast and drilling begins for the first time on the Labrador Shelf on the east coast of Canada.

      1968

      The development of the petroleum industry in Canada takes another big step forward when a consortium of twenty corporations and the Government of Canada is formed as a result of the government's eagerness to encourage exploration of the Canadian Arctic islands and to assert Canadian sovereignty in the region. The consortium consolidated the interests of 75 companies and individuals with Arctic Islands land holdings with the Government of Canada as the largest shareholder.

  • Our Company
    Energy Industry
    • Union Gas' steady customer growth since the war continues into the seventies requiring the company to expand its transmission capabilities and ensure sufficient supplies to meet customer demand. Storage capacity is becoming a critical factor in keeping supplies at a reasonable price for customers.

      1970

      A new discovery of natural gas is made in Lambton County on Max McFadden’s farm in Dawn Township at a depth of 1638 feet. Initial testing indicates an open flow rating of about 25 million cubic feet per day. Besides its importance as a source of natural gas, the new field is expected to prove suitable for gas storage.

      1972

      Union Gas opens its first new storage pool in almost a decade. The “Bickford-Sombra” pool, located in Sombra Township, just west of the Dawn station, is a joint venture between Union Gas and Imperial Oil and is expected to have a working capacity of 14.2 billion cubic feet (Bcf). It brings Union Gas’ total storage capacity to 62 Bcf.

      1974

      In the shadow of the global oil crisis, Union Gas focuses on increasing both its storage and transmission capabilities. Three new storage reservoirs will be developed in the coming 38 months to meet the ever-growing demand for natural gas storage. The first of these, named "Bentpath" is inaugurated on July 31, 1974 with an initial working capacity of 3.6 Bcf. At about the same time, construction is completed on a new 23-mile, 42-inch diameter transmission pipeline from Dawn to what is now Brooke-Alviston Township.

      1975

      A second new storage pool, named "Terminus", is purchased by Union Gas from Ram Petroleum and begins being used for storage on February 21, 1975 with an initial storage capacity of 7.3 Bcf. Another 2.3 Bcf. of storage is added when a third storage pool, "Rosedale", is inaugurated on September 12, 1975. At the time, Canada has 18 underground storage reservoirs and Union Gas owns seven of them. Terminus and Rosedale increase Union Gas' storage pools to nine, which represent more than a third of the country's storage capacity.

      1976

      Construction is completed on a second section of 42-inch diameter transmission pipeline extending it a further five miles beyond Brooke-Alviston to Kerwood. Union Gas also begins initial trials on a fourth new storage pool, named "Dawn 167".

      1977

      Full operation begins at Dawn 167 and Union Gas could now say with justifiable pride that it had more storage capacity than any other gas utility in Canada. With Dawn 167 in operation Union Gas is handling up to 1.4 Bcf of gas daily under contracts with other utilities in addition to 1.3 Bcf for its own needs. As the decade near an end, storage and transmission services are now a significant component of Union Gas' business operations.

    • As the decade begins, energy is inexpensive and few people in North America worry either about cost or supply but that thinking is soon to change dramatically.

      1971

      Imperial Oil discovers the Taglu gas field, about 120 kilometres northwest of Inuvik in the North West Territories. Taglu is estimated to contain three trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, or enough to heat every gas-heated home in Canada for three years. The field is the largest onshore gas field in the Mackenzie Delta.

      The first computer controlled CANDU reactor, Pickering A, is put into service. CANDU, a Canadian invention, stands for CANada Deuterium Uranium. It uses heavy water (deuterium-oxide) for moderator and coolant and uranium for heat. Because of its design, it uses about 15 per cent less uranium for each megawatt of electricity produced than other pressurized water reactors fuelled by uranium.

      1973

      To protest US support for Israel during the Yom Kippur war, several Arab nations impose the Arab Oil Embargo and set off the first global energy crisis. Overnight the price of a barrel of oil rises 70 per cent. At the height of the crisis the pump price of gas rose from $0.30 to $1.20 gallon. Many gas stations restrict customers to a maximum 10 gallons at one time, and homeowners are asked reduce their household energy consumption. The embargo begins in October and would end the following March but not before sparking a severe recession and forcing North Americans to question the wisdom of dependence on foreign oil.

      1974

      The oil shortage that results from the Arab Oil Embargo becomes a driving factor in the search for finding North American sources of petroleum. That leads to discovery by Panarctic of oil at Bent Horn on Cameron Island – the only oil field to be commercially produced in the Canadian Arctic.

      1975

      The Canadian government forms Petro-Canada as a Crown corporation. The company is part of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's plan to increase Canada's ownership of its resources because the oil industry at the time is foreign controlled. With the recent oil field discoveries in the far north it’s considered more important than ever for Canada to worry about its domestic needs and gain more knowledge and control in the oil industry.

      1978

      Syncrude begins production at the Athabasca oil sand deposit in northeastern Alberta. They produce a light, sweet crude oil called Syncrude Sweet Blend (SSB) that is used to make diesel, automotive and aviation fuels as well as industrial lubricants and petrochemicals. Oil is also discovered this year at Amauligak in the Beaufort Sea.

      1979

      The second energy crisis of the decade occurs when the Iranian Revolution leads to decreased production and a suspension of oil exports. The economy is suddenly rocked by sky-high prices and the price of crude oil jumps from $15.85 a barrel to $39.50 in less than a year.

  • Our Company
    Energy Industry
    • The oil embargo of the late 1970's raised national concerns about reliance on foreign oil and spurred greater consumer interest in natural gas. Supported by federal programs, Union Gas spends much of the 1980's expanding service to previously uneconomic areas.

      1980

      When an explosion at an Alberta Gas Trunk line compressor station interrupts the flow of natural gas to TransCanada PipeLine (TCPL) and Eastern Canada, Union Gas draws gas from the Lambton storage field to feed an additional 500 million cubic feet daily into the TCPL system. This keeps Eastern Canada supplied with enough gas until the compressor station can restore regular service.

      1981

      Union Gas adds an additional 13.5 km section of 42" diameter transmission pipeline to the Dawn-Trafalgar pipeline system between London and St. Marys.

      1982

      Another 28 km of transmission capability is added with two more extensions to the Dawn-Trafalgar pipeline system. An 18 km section is constructed between Bright and Owen Sound, with 10 km added from Kerwood to Strathroy.

      1983

      A warm winter and the recession-based industrial slowdown results in an abundance of natural gas by the spring of 1983. On top of that, Union Gas is awaiting delivery of even more gas from TCPL, Petrosar and local suppliers. Irv Ross, Union Gas supervisor of gas supply reflected back on the time saying, "We were literally looking for every nook and cranny we could find to store gas."

      1984

      Expansion of the Dawn-Trafalgar system continues with the addition of 17.5 km of pipeline between St. Marys and Beachville. By 1984, Union Gas has spent more than $80 million expanding the Trafalgar system.

      1986

      A new state-of-the-art computerized control centre is installed at Dawn. It's used to monitor and control the compression, storage and transmission of Union Gas's own gas and the gas of other distribution companies which are now using Union Gas’s facilities.

      1988

      The construction of the Plant D compressor at the Dawn facility begins. It will add 33,000 horsepower to Dawn, enabling it to store a greater volume of gas at higher pressure. The deregulation of the gas industry in 1986 and the recent expansions pushed Union Gas to increase its storage and transmission facilities to meet added demand. Market demand is increasing and Union Gas adds an additional 42" section to the Dawn-Trafalgar system. It parallels the existing 26" and 34" lines from the Brantford transmission station east to the Kirkwall valve site.

    • The energy industry in the 1980's in Canada is dominated by government policies. On the heels of the oil embargo in the 1970's, Canada introduces a National Energy Program aimed at increasing both Canadian control and Canadian ownership of the energy industry. Deregulation will occur before the decade ends.

      1980

      The National Energy Program (NEP) is introduced by the Liberal government and gives significant advantages to Canadian companies. The NEP seeks to increase Canadian control of the energy industry and protect all Canadians from surging oil prices. The program also increases the federal government's role in the oil and gas industry and includes measures such as price controls and federal taxes on oil and gas production.

      Meantime, the first permanent buried pipeline is completed in the Canadian Arctic to carry light crude from Norman Wells to Alberta.

      1981

      The Hebron oil field is discovered offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Jeanne d’Arc basin. Located in Arctic waters, it’s estimated to contain 700 million barrels of recoverable oil. Hebron is one of three fields that will later become the Hebron project, which will take decades to develop and is expected to span 30 years.

      1984

      The Terra Nova oil field is discovered by Petro Canada, 350 km off the coast of Newfoundland. It's the second largest oil field off the east coast of Canada estimated to contain 440 million barrels of recoverable oil and have a life span of approximately two decades.

      1985

      The Western Accord, brought in by the Conservative government starts the process of deregulation of the oil industry. After decades of price controls on oil, the new approach is market-based. The Western Accord discards the National Energy Program, launches Canada’s oil prices and production into world markets and opens Canada’s borders to imports and exports. This same year, Panarctic ships the first tanker load of oil from the Arctic Islands, produced from the Bent Horn oil field.

      1986

      Shell Canada discovers the Caroline Swan Hills oil field, one of the most significant finds in the Canadian sedimentary basin in two decades. The field has an estimated 2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable sour gas.

      Advancements in technology reduce the cost of producing a barrel of upgraded crude from $35 Cdn to $13 Cdn a barrel.

      1988

      Newgrade Energy Inc., owned by the Consumers' Co-Operative Refinery Limited (CCRL) is Canada's first heavy oil upgrader located in Regina, Saskatchewan. The $700 million refinery opens in 1988 and converts heavy and medium crude oil into light synthetic, higher quality oil, producing about 55,000 barrels of synthetic oil a day.

  • Our Company
    Energy Industry
    • Deregulation in the late 1980’s ushers in a period of necessary expansion of storage and transmission capacity and Union Gas undertakes the biggest, most expensive expansion in its history. The era is also marked by a new age of international co-operation in the natural gas industry.

      1990

      As the decade begins, the newly inaugurated St. Clair pipeline, a 24“ pipeline under the St. Clair River linking Union Gas with Michigan Consolidated Gas Company (MichCon) gives Union Gas access to additional storage in Michigan plus access to U.S. supply sources through MichCon’s link to major U.S. natural gas pipeline systems.

      At Dawn, Plant ‘E’ is installed. It’s a 33,000 horsepower compressor station and one of three projects planned this year at Dawn Operations Centre. The total cost of the project is estimated to exceed $40 million. The other two projects involve the construction of 42“ pipeline connecting the North and South Station header systems; and construction of three 12” turbometer runs and associated valving to the Tecumseh Meter site. In addition to the new compressor at Plant ‘E’, a 33,240 horsepower unit is installed at each of the Lobo ‘B’ and Bright ‘B’ Plants. These two additions ensure security of supply by allowing for the transportation of increased volumes of natural gas through the Dawn to Trafalgar transmission system.

      It’s a busy year and an expensive year for Union Gas. The company also constructs a 10.3 kilometre section of 48“ pipe running from the Kirkwall Valve Site to the Hamilton Valve Site at a cost of $23.4 million. The project gives Union Gas the ability to transmit additional volumes of gas on the Dawn-Trafalgar gas transmission system in order to provide for the increasing gas requirements of present and future customers, TranCanada PipeLines Limited and the Eastern Canadian Utilities. During construction, crews blast through solid rock to install over three kilometers of pipe.

      Another $34 million is invested to develop and acquire additional storage capacity with the Enniskillen and Sombra storage pools both brought into operation, adding 5.7 Bcf of storage capacity.

      1991

      Union Gas and Dow Chemical Canada Inc announce a joint 40-year venture agreement to develop a natural gas storage pool located in Lambton County at an estimated cost of $32 million. The designation as a storage area of the Dow-Sarnia (Block A) Pool, located on Dow property in Sarnia-Clearwater is completed in 1992 and provides over 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage capacity. Union Gas serves as the developer and operator of the new Dow-Sarnia storage pool, and also administers the joint agreement.

      Union Gas also completes the installation of three 35,000 horsepower compressors at each of Dawn, Lobo and Bright, at a total cost of $108 million. The new compressors increase total system compression by about per cent.

      1992

      Another compressor station is installed, this time at Plant ‘G’. The 35,000 horsepower compressor, part of a $33 million project, to help the company to meet increased service demands. The plant will be completed and fully operational by February 1993.

      The Edys Mills storage pool was developed at a cost of about $19 million, providing about 2.5 per cent of additional storage capacity.

      1995

      Throughout the year, Union Gas undertakes many projects to improve its system in order to better serve its current customers and attract new ones. $268 million is invested in storage, transmission and distribution facilities, in order to make this happen. The company’s transmission system has a very strategic location in between major U.S. markets in Michigan and New York State and by 1995 Union Gas has the largest storage facilities in Canada at 124 billion cubic feet.

      CMS Energy Corp & St. Clair Pipelines Ltd., an affiliate of Union Gas Ltd announce commencement of operation of the Bluewater Pipeline linking U.S. and Canadian natural gas systems. The $5.3 million project open Dawn to U.S. gas supply and consumption.

      In addition to new markets, Union Gas is developing new services. An innovative new service is created by partnering with Alberta Energy Company Ltd. (AECO). Known as the Union Gas/AECO Hub 2 Hub Service, it allows “seamless” deliveries of natural gas between the AECO C HUB storage facility in southwestern Alberta and the Union Gas service hub at the Dawn storage facility, south of Sarnia.

      1996

      By 1996 more than 350 companies are storing their gas at Dawn.

      1997

      A $28 million project to further develop the Bentpath and Rosedale storage pools improves their deliverability and reduces the Company’s overall gas inventory requirements. This project provided an additional 12 Bcf of storage available for sale to S&T customers.

      Union Gas receives Ontario Energy Board approval to sell 6 Bcf of storage space at market-based rates. The introduction and use of market-based rates fosters both new storage development and future revenue growth.

      1998

      The construction of the Plant D compressor at the Dawn facility begins. It will add 33,000 horsepower to Dawn, enabling it to store a greater volume of gas at higher pressure. The deregulation of the gas industry in 1986 and the recent expansions pushed Union Gas to increase its storage and transmission facilities to meet added demand. Market demand is increasing and Union Gas adds an additional 42" section to the Dawn-Trafalgar system. It parallels the existing 26" and 34" lines from the Brantford transmission station east to the Kirkwall valve site.

    • Environmental concerns about climate change and global warming prompt governments around the world to examine their energy policies and put new emphasis on greater energy efficiency and clean energy.

      1990

      Canadian refineries eliminate lead from gasoline completing a phase-out that started in 1973. It would be another six years before the US stopped the use of leaded gas, after passage of the Clean Air Act. The New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) starts trading natural gas futures contracts for delivery at Henry Hub, Louisiana. The futures contract trades in units of 10,000 million British thermal units (mmBtu) and the NYMEX futures contract soon becomes widely used as a national benchmark price.

      1992

      Canada and 160 other countries sign the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change and agree to begin limiting emissions of greenhouse gases that may contribute to global climate change. In the same year, the Energy Efficiency Act of 1992 provides Canada with the legal authority to introduce minimum energy performance standards.

      1994

      As interest grows in renewable energy as a way to reduce greenhouse emissions, the Cowley Ridge wind plant, near Pincher Creek, Alberta, becomes the first commercial wind farm in Canada.

      1995

      The first Energy Efficiency Regulations are passed in Canada and cover 22 energy- using products. (There have since been four amendments to cover additional products and strengthen standards for some products.)  Alberta adopts Electricity Utilities Act to deregulate energy supply markets.

      1997

      The Hibernia oil platform was towed to the Hibernia oil field off Newfoundland and Labrador and positioned on the ocean floor in June of 1997. It began producing oil on November 17, 1997.

      In December, Canada is one of many countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol linked to the UN’s Framework on Climate Change. It sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period from 2008-2012. Under the environmental treaty, developed nations have the heaviest burden for cutting emissions. Part of Canada’s response to the Kyoto Protocol is the establishment of the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) within NRCan. OEE’s mandate is to strengthen and expand Canada’s commitment to energy efficiency as a way to address climate change.

      1999

      Ontario establishes OPG (Ontario Power Generation) as a precursor to deregulation of the province’s electricity markets. Ontario Hydro is split into five separate corporations and OPG is created as the owner and operator of all of Ontario Hydro's electricity generating stations.

  • Our Company
    Energy Industry
    • The Union Gas Dawn facility becomes a world-class trading hub during the decade, with significant expansion to storage and transmission capabilities and the development of innovative new services to meet changing market needs.

      2000

      In June, construction begins on the Canadian portion of the Vector Pipeline, a key new supply connecting Dawn to the Chicago area gas hubs and to the newly completed Alliance Pipeline from northeastern British Columbia and Alberta supply basins. During the year Union Gas also converts the Mandaumin Storage Pool, discovered by Imperial Oil in 1956, to storage. It's the first pool in the Union Gas system to utilize horizontal well-drilling technology. As part of the Century Pools Phase II development Union Gas also converts to storage the Bluewater Storage Pool discovered by Bluewater Gas & Oil in 1980, and the Oil City Storage Pool, discovered by McClure Oil Company in 1975. The development of the Bentpath East and Booth Creek storage pools adds over 6 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas storage space to the Union Gas system.

      2001

      Union Gas continues to expand its storage and transmission system with the construction of the 20 km Beachville to Bright, 48-inch diameter pipeline on its Dawn-Trafalgar pipeline. The completion of the Mandaumin, Bluewater and Oil City natural gas storage pools adds another 7 BCF of storage space to Union Gas' system. Union Gas also purchases Dow Chemical’s portion of the Dow-A Storage Pool, which was originally developed a joint venture by Dow Chemical and Union Gas. At 2,260 feet below ground level it is the deepest pool in Union Gas' portfolio.

      2002

      The 16km Owen Sound to Brantford 48-inch diameter pipeline that crosses the Grand River near Cambridge is put into service and further expands the company’s storage and transmission facilities.

      2006

      A $156 million expansion project sees the construction of two new sections of 48-inch diameter pipeline added to the Dawn-Trafalgar pipeline from Brooke to Strathroy and Hamilton to Milton as well as construction of new compression facilities at Dawn. The expansion increases Union Gas’ system capacity by 360 million cubic feet (MMcF) a day to meet the increasing natural gas needs of Union Gas’ current and future customers.

      2007

      The Ontario Energy Board approves another new section of 48-inch diameter pipeline on the Dawn-Trafalgar system between Strathroy and Lobo and expansion is completed at the company's Parkway compressor station on the Milton-Mississauga border. The two project cost $125 million and add a further 480 MMcF capacity per day.

      2008

      A major upgrade is completed at the Bright Compressor Station, replacing two aging turbine engines with state-of-the-art low emission models and adding over 40,000 horsepower to the station.

      2009

      An expansion at Dawn Hub, started in 2008, is completed and gives Dawn up to 412,000 GJ’s a day of increased storage deliverability. The result is a twenty per cent increase in peak day capabilities.

    • A dramatic rise in the price of oil during the decade coupled with increased attention on the environment heightens demand for energy efficient products and energy sources.

      2000

      The Alliance natural gas pipeline begins commercial service after construction of a pipeline from Fort St. John, British Columbia to Chicago. In Alberta, Syncrude’s $600 million Aurora project is the first remote oil sands plant and in Joffre, Alberta Canada’s largest cogeneration power plant comes online.

      2001

      When natural gas prices reach record levels, the Alberta government provides rebates to natural gas consumers.

      2002

      Canada signs the Kyoto Accord, which commits to limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

      2003

      A massive blackout hits Ontario, Quebec and the northeastern United States on August 14th during a heat wave. Union Gas service is not disrupted which draws attention to natural gas as a fuel choice for generators.

      2004

      The government of Canada announces it will sell its stake in Petro-Canada within the coming twelve months. Fuel prices are high and oil companies report their highest profits in history this year with Exxon Mobile reporting profits of $242,365 Billion, followed by Royal Dutch Shell at more than $235 Billion and British Petroleum at more than $232 Billion.

      2005

      The Kyoto Protocol takes effect although the United States and Australia have not signed on in support. In Canada, the federal government signs a multi-billion dollar deal with Newfoundland, Labrador and Nova Scotia for offshore natural resources revenues.

      2006

      The Alberta government announces it’s providing $239 million in bioenergy program funding to support development of bioenergy projects.

      2007

      An announcement comes that Alberta will have the first solar powered community in North America. The planned neighbourhood, the Drake Landing Solar Community near Okotoks will be heated by a district system that gathers solar energy and stores it underground in the summer, then uses it to heat homes during the winter.

      2008

      The price of oil, which had hovered around $25 a barrel at the start of the decade, reaches an all-time high, peaking at $147.30 in July 2008. The recession that follows, caused in part by the high oil prices, will lead to a drop in price but volatile prices will remain for the decade.

      2009

      Canada reports it generated 604.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity this year, making it the sixth largest electricity generator in the world.

      2010

      The worst oil spill in US territory occurs when a mobile offshore drilling unit explodes in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20 near Louisiana. Known as the BP Oil Spill or Gulf Oil Spill it’s estimated the well leaked 53,000 barrels of oil a day until it was capped on July 15.

  • Our Company
    Energy Industry
    • What a year it’s been so far!

      January

      On Jan. 1, Union Gas kicked off 2011 with the launch of this Centennial website, which documents our 100-year history of delivering safe, affordable and reliable natural gas to more than 400 communities across the province.

      A few days later, on Jan. 6, celebrations kicked into high gear with simultaneous employee celebrations at our Chatham head office and many of our seven district offices across the province. President Julie Dill was on hand to enjoy the party in Chatham with employees past and present.

      February

      As January turned to February – and much of southwestern Ontario braced for what would turn out to be one of the year’s first major snowstorms – we added the first decade of a historical timeline and a virtual museum to our website, giving visitors the chance to get an inside look at Union Gas through the ages, without having to leave the comfort of home!

      We bid farewell to February with an announcement guaranteed to take the chill off the blustery month: As part of our Centennial celebration, we would be giving 100 special grants of $1,000 to non-profit community organizations across the province that focused on the environment, community safety, and education. The applications began rolling in.

      March

      Others were celebrating our 100th anniversary too. On the evening of March 24, friends, employees, retirees and dignitaries gathered at the Chatham-Kent Museum to officially open a new exhibit honouring our Centennial. Dill was on hand to give the museum a special thank you for pulling together this retrospective. And our Union Gas librarian and in-house historian Jane Parry made an appearance as well!

      Parry has been an instrumental part of our Centennial planning committee, even helping to locate, dust off and display antique gas stoves and other memorabilia in our Chatham headquarters and district offices as a visible reminder of the long history of natural gas in Ontario.

      Over the course of our Centennial year, Parry and other employees have given several special tours of the memorabilia at our Chatham head office for our retirees and other members of the public. A group from St. Andrew’s United Church, The Golden Genies retirees and Take Our Kids to Work students were among those shown around the building by employee volunteer "tour guides".

      April

      In spring, our thoughts turned in earnest to what special ways we could give back to the communities that have helped us create a century of success.

      In April, we held a Centennial Earth Week Challenge across the company, where employees did everything from organizing a clothing and household good donation in our London/Sarnia district, to creating an Earth Day themed mural in our Brantford office.

      May

      And on May 1, we kicked off a very special Centennial challenge.

      Every year, our employees and retirees roll up their sleeves and donate thousands of hours to complete projects for community organizations across the province through a special employee volunteer program we call Helping Hands in Action.

      Volunteers do everything from planting trees, installing safety coat hooks in classrooms, painting and refurbishing office areas and more. And employees can receive project funding through our Community Improvement Grant program.

      This May, the goal was special: To complete 100 projects in 100 days. And Union Gas volunteers set to the task with the strong community spirit for which they are justly known.

      To cap off a spring of giving, we chose the recipients of our 100 Centennial Community grants, which included community and non-profit groups from Kingston to Thunder Bay to Windsor.

      June

      June came like a flash, bringing with it warmer weather and the news – announced at a Centennial celebration at our London district office – that the first of 10 Signature Centennial grants of $10,000 was being awarded to the Trees Ontario Foundation to help plant 3,333 trees in the London and Sarnia areas.

      And one day before the first official day of summer – June 20 – we made a major Centennial announcement: A $100,000 Signature Grant to the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority to fund new biodiversity education, conservation and restoration programs and an expanded community trees initiative.

      The conservation authority serves 10 member municipalities, including West Elgin, Southwold and Chatham-Kent, which has been home base for Union Gas for almost all of the past century.

      Bill Esrey, chairman of our parent company Spectra Energy’s board of directors, presented the grant to conservation authority chair Brian King at a Centennial reception at the Chatham Armoury Banquet Conference Centre.

      Other members of the Spectra Energy board and Greg Ebel, Spectra Energy's president and CEO, joined Esrey, Dill, Union Gas employees, retirees, government officials, community leaders and other community partners at the reception as well.

      We rounded out June with two more Centennial celebrations at our district offices in Thunder Bay and Waterloo – and two more Signature grants to support a green roof program and an environmental education program.

      And just to add a little extra fun to the mix – we marked Blue and White Day in all our offices across the province in June, as well as hosting a special Centennial barbeque for our more than 800 Chatham employees at our head office on Keil Drive.

      July

      Summer was in full bloom in late July, when our district office in Burlington held its Centennial celebration. A highlight of that event was the presentation of a Signature grant to Royal Botanical Gardens, recognized as a leader in sustainable gardening, ecological restoration and plant preservation.

      August

      In the first week of August, we celebrated the great news that not only had we met the Helping Hands in Action challenge we had set for ourselves, we surpassed it, completing 111 projects in 100 days. Our year-to-date total has since hit 158.

      In late August, we marked "back to school" with a Signature grant to the Essex Region Conservation Foundation to support its Nature in Education program, a hands-on study course that helps students learn about habitats, water and wildlife using environmental science-based studies. The announcement was made at the Centennial celebration at our Windsor office, where employees also had some fun dressing up to represent different decades.

      September

      And we continued to hit the books in September.

      Hot off the presses came our own Union Gas – 100 Years of Energy, a commemorative Centennial book that all employees, retirees and contractors at Union Gas received as a special keepsake.

      While our Centennial book looked back into our past, our next Signature grant looked forward to the future.

      In late September, we awarded a $10,000 grant to the University of Waterloo's Institute for Sustainable Energy for a research project to expand the concept of a "smart grid" beyond electricity.

      We welcomed a number of our Centennial Community grant recipients to the celebration at our district office in North Bay on Sept. 23.

      And we rounded out the month as we started it, by celebrating two Signature grants with decidedly educational bents.

      At the Walpole Island Fall Fair, Union Gas was recognized for our grant to the Bkejwanong Eco-Keepers (BEK) program, which gives First Nations students the chance to work with environmental researchers in their own community on the island on the north shore of Lake St. Clair.

      And under the watchful eyes of a Grade 3/4 class at Dawn-Euphemia School, Dill and Dave Simpson, director of storage and transmission operations for Union Gas, presented a $10,000 grant to the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority for its 2012 Spring Water Awareness Program, which will teach elementary school students about the dangers of the spring thaw.

      October

      We began October with the exciting news we had been named to the top of the class, making the list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the second year running – the perfect icing on our Centennial cake.

      And we turned back to nature once again, with Centennials grants to support a 100,000 Tree Campaign in the Sudbury area, a new forest trail in Timmins and two water conservation programs in eastern Ontario.

      On Oct. 29, Union Gas employees and their families brought their garden gloves, shovels and their community spirit to a Centennial tree planting event in partnership with our $100,000 grant recipient, the Lower Thames Conservation Authority.

      Under a bright autumn sky, volunteers helped to plant 100 coniferous trees that will form a windbreak for future plantings at the Merlin Conservation Area in Chatham-Kent, once again demonstrating an outstanding commitment to give back to the communities we serve.

      November

      As November draws to a close, we’re looking to our official birthdate – Dec. 19 – with bittersweet excitement. It’s been a busy year, full of company and community spirit. Check in again to see just how we celebrated our big day, and what’s in store for our next 100 years!

    • In the wake of another energy crisis this year due mainly to worries over Libya’s oil production during the Arab Spring revolts, there’s a renewed focus on safe, affordable and reliable energy as one of the foundations for economic stability around the world.

      January

      A cold snap in Quebec leads to record demand for electricity from Hydro Quebec. After nearly four decades of controversy, the federal cabinet is expected to approve the Mackenzie Pipeline after the National Energy Board granted approval at the end of 2010. There are more than 250 conditions attached to the approval including no federal subsidies for the $16.2 Bbillion project. At end of the month the National Energy Board approves the $307 million Horn River Project, which will transport sweet natural gas from the Horn River Basin in northeast British Columbia to NGTL's Alberta System and provide customers direct access to the NOVA Inventory Transfer (NIT) market.

      February

      The Arab Spring revolts raise concerns over Libya's oil output and crude oil prices rise by 20 per cent in a two-week period setting off the 2011 energy crisis. On February 19th an explosion ruptures the Trans-Canada Pipeline in Beardmore, Ontario, forcing the temporary evacuation of the community.

      March

      International expertise is announced to guide commercial scale deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects in Alberta in line with new legislative guidelines passed at the end of 2010. Following approval from the federal cabinet the National Energy Board issues a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the 1,196-kilometre long Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, part of the Mackenzie Gas Project.

      April

      Alberta implements a Renewable Fuels Standard requiring an annual average of two per cent renewable diesel in diesel fuel and five per cent renewable alcohol in gasoline sold in Alberta.

      May

      The National Energy Board releases its summer outlook and warns Canadian consumers to expect higher energy prices over the summer particularly for oil and electricity. It also predicts stable natural gas production levels for 2011, citing a record number of horizontal wells drilled recently in North America’s major shale gas formations.

      June

      Greengate Power receives approval for the construction of its 300 MW Blackspring Ridge 1 project in Vulcun County, Alberta, which will be the largest wind farm in Canada. Construction of the wind farm is targeted for 2012, and it is expected to be in service in 2013.

      July

      Canada's Energy and Mines Ministers' meet in Kananaskis, Alberta and discuss a national energy strategy and decide that a national action plan will be reviewed at the 2012 conference in Prince Edward Island.

      August

      Ontario announces a number of initiatives to encourage clean energy by making it easier for energy developers and manufacturers to do business in the province. More than 20,000 clean energy jobs have already been created in Ontario, and the province is aiming to create 50,000 clean energy jobs by 2012.

      September

      Nova Scotia announces that they are developing a strategy on marine renewable energy, with a focus on tidal power and offshore wind. A report from Geological Survey of Canada forecasts that geothermal energy resource is a potential upcoming source of renewable, sustainable energy in Canada. According to a report by the Geological Survey of Canada, current geothermal energy resources are estimated to exceed one million times Canada's current electrical consumption, although current technology allows only a portion of this energy to be produced.

      October

      The National Energy Board approves an application by KM LNG Operating General Partnership (KM LNG) for a licence to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Kitimat, British Columbia to markets in the Asia Pacific region.

      The licence authorizes KM LNG to export 200 million tonnes of LNG over a 20-year period.

      November

      US President Obama announces a delay of the Keystone Pipeline project until 2013 to review possible routes. The pipeline is intended to bring crude oil from Alberta to important US markets.

      December

      Union Gas, a division of Spectra Energy, marks its 100th anniversary on December 19th capping a year of Centennial celebrations.