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Robert B. Peterson


Robert B. Peterson, 66, of Toronto, rose through the ranks in a 41-year career with Imperial Oil, retiring in April of 2002 as chairman and chief executive officer.


Born in Regina, Peterson started with Imperial's producing department in 1958 as a summer student while attending Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario. He rose to be chief reservoir engineer. At the helm of Imperial's Calgary-based Esso Resources, he championed the company's 1970s leadership in the Alberta oilsands both as the senior partner in the Syncrude Canada consortium and with its own Cold Lake project.


He pioneered phased development as an alternative to megaproject construction for large resource properties in adverse economic conditions. He also played a key role in developing the Norman Wells oilfield in the Northwest Territories, the biggest project in Imperial's history when it was completed in 1985.


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