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Vernon L. Horte
Vernon L. Horte played a key role as an architect of Albera's natural gas industry for much of the last 50 years.
Trained as a chemical engineer at the University of Alberta, in 1949 he began his hands-on education analyzing geological cores, natural gas, oil, and water samples taken from exploratory and development wells with the Chemical and Geological Laboratories.
Horte joined the Alberta Oil and Gas Conservation Board in 1950, where he worked almost exclusively on evaluating Alberta's natural gas reserves. Horte was also involved in evaluating the competing gas export pipelines then being proposed for Alberta.
After a stint as a reservoir engineer with Texas-based consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton, Horte returned to Western Canada to work for TransCanada PipeLines as chief gas supply engineer. Horte was responsible for negotiating gas supply arrangements for the just completed pipeline connecting Alberta reserves with Eastern Canada.
During his 15 years at TransCanada Horte rose to become president and chief operating officer of the company. His accomplishments included negotiating an agreement with Pacific Petroleums to build Alberta's first straddle plant to extract natural gas liquids. He was also instrumental in establishing Great Lakes Gas Transmission, providing an alternative route for moving western gas into eastern Canada and south to export markets in the U.S.
After leaving TransCanada, Horte turned his attention to the north, serving as president of the Canadian Artic Gas Project, a proposal to build a pipeline from Alaska and the Mackenzie Delta south. Prior to the NEB rejecting the proposal in 1977, Horte was appointed president and chief executive officer in charge of building the $10 billion project.
In 1978, Horte organized ProGas, Canada's first independent natural gas aggregator. ProGas brought together willing buyers and sellers and negotiated the first transportation contract for TransCanada. This concept was the forerunner of today's unbundled transportation service, now the universal standard throughout North America.
"Throughout his career, Vern refused to accept the status quo, and constantly searched for a better way" says current TransCanada president and chief executive officer Hal Kvisle. "As a result, he became a true visionary for the industry."