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Eugene Marius Coste


Eugene Marius Coste, (1859-1940), born in Ontario at Amherstburg and educated as a mining engineer in France, stood out as one of the fathers of the Canadian natural-gas industry and a business pioneer in the early West. Mr. Coste prospected for the Geological Survey of Canada, drilled the nation's first commercial gas well in Ontario's Essex County in 1888, discovered the Bow Island field in southern Alberta in 1909, then built a pipeline to Calgary and founded Canadian Western Natural Gas (now ATCO Gas).


In Ontario, Mr. Coste was the first Canadian exporter of natural gas. With an 1889 drilling success in Welland County, he founded a trade that now takes about 60% of Canadian production and fetches revenues measured in billions of dollars.


Mr. Coste also pioneered a feature of the Canadian oil and gas industry throughout its history - financing its development by raising foreign investment. Mr. Coste built his Alberta pipeline by raising $4.5 million with sales of debentures in England. He was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America.


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