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Wilfred Phillips


Born in Newberg, Oregon in 1923, his family moved several times before settling in Toronto in 1937. Upon completion of his schooling Phillips joined the A & P chain of stores as a parcel boy. Al quickly moved up through the organization and was promoted to store manager in Sudbury, Ontario as the youngest manager in Canada in the U.S.


When WWII began, Al joined the RCAF for pilot training, and flew Lancaster bombers over Europe during his tour of duty. Al returned to the grocery business in Calgary for a while but found it far less exciting than flying bombers.


After the Leduc Oilfield discovery, in 1947, Al decided to look for work in the oilfield and spent several years learning the skills of directional drilling, at which he was very proficient.


In 1952, Al and Roland Bergerson formed United Directional Drilling Ltd. Under Al's guidance, over the next 33 years, the company developed a reputation for creative innovation and enjoyed many "firsts" in the industry. Al and United Directional Drilling Ltd. set the industry standards for directional drilling performance in Canada.


Career Summary:

  • 1947 Derrickman - Northern Development Ltd.
  • 1952 Established United Directional Drilling Ltd.
  • 1972 United Directional Drilling Ltd. awarded contract with Mobil Oil to drill first offshore wells in Canada, off Sable Island.
  • 1982 United Directional Drilling Ltd. sold to Computalog Services.


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