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Garnet Edwards


Garnet Edwards was born in Belmont, Manitoba on May 22, 1916 and moved to Okotoks, Alberta in 1929 and then to Turner Valley in 1931. He started as a truck driver for Union Drilling, hauling mud and drilling supplies in 1932 during holidays and then went back to school.


In 1934, he moved east of Longview, driving truck, working in the warehouse, and tooldresser on a cable tool rig until he lost two fingers. In the fall of 1934, he went to Lundbreck for Raven Oils hauling coal and rig supplies for $75.00 per month, working 12 hour plus days. He then went back to Turner Valley and worked as a water pumper, spare roughneck and truck driver. In the spare times he welded for Sam Hector on pipe lines and also with Harry Hanson abandoning oil wells.


In 1937, he went roughnecking steady and worked throughout the Valley until 1941 when he started drilling (Garnet Edwards was the second youngest driller in Canada).


In 1946, Garnet went to work with "Oilwell Reflow" as a cable tool driller on Westflank #2 which was shot with 5300 quarts of nitro-glycerin and 2 tons of marbles. After that he went wildcatting in Wainwright and Hanna. In April of 1947, they were completing the second discovery well in the Leduc field and he moved two Union Drilling steam rigs in to drill for Leduc Consolidated on the east flank of the field pushing two rigs and built a camp for the men. There were no telephones in the field and the nearest supplies were in Calgary. He drilled two dry holes and had the first blowout 1/2 mile east of Atlantic #3. There were no BOP's being used at that time so it took 5 days to kill the well. After that, Garnet drilled for Northern Development for the winter and back to Union in the spring to re-drill Consolidated #2 while Atlantic as blowing wild. In 1949, he drilled and pushed for Commonwealth Drilling and worked on a blowout in Bon Accord. In 1950, Canada West Drilling hired Garnet as a Drilling Superintendent over their operations. With six run-down rigs and trucks, he developed 5 wells for them. With one overshot and a taper tap for fishing, he took them and himself to the jobs. He did all the fishing and casing jobs and did not have a fishing job over 3 days long. It meant extensive travelling and very little sleep. The company had 3 people in Calgary and Garnet handles the rest out of Leduc including the competitions. Garnet had the last steam rig running in Canada and it finished up on Hargol #3 in 1951.


In 1951, Canada West sold out to Trinidad Leaseholds and Garnet continued with them until they closed down in December 1952. In all, Garnet drilled more than 25 wells in the Leduc / Calmar area. He then went with Eastman Oilwell Survey as Area Manager and left them in 1954 to go to Trinidad with Trinidad Leaseholds for 7 months to prepare to take over their contract operations in Canada - they united with Texaco and Garnet came back and went with Leidecker Tool on wellhead and service work, working through the start of Drayton Valley. In 1963 Leidecker Tool was quitting so along with a partner he bought Tubetest and built it up to a thriving company. During those years he was active on the executive of O.T.S., Oilmen's Bonspiel, and Christmas Party Group. He consulted for Andex Oil for about 7 months building a heavy rig in 1979.


Career Summary:

  • 1941 Started drilling - second youngest driller in Canada.
  • 1950 Hired as Drilling Superintendent with Canada West Drilling.
  • 1963 Purchased Tubetest.
  • 1978 Retired. Commenced building working models of Cable Tool Rigs.


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