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WM. Murray Varty


Murray Varty was born in Sulphur Springs, Alberta, on March 30, 1927. In 1948 Murray started with Halliburton Oilwell Cementing Company and gained much experience dealing with the Atlantic #3 blowout. He was soon promoted to operator, and, in 1953, promoted to assistant testing supervisor.


In 1955, he was hired by Strata Testers Ltd. and built the company into a very credible testing company. In 1960, Murray purchased 50 per cent of Wellsite Coring Ltd. While at Wellsite Coring, Murray's knack for inventing expressed itself when he developed and patented a downhole tool for differential sticking of drill collars. The patent for this tool was sold to Homco Fishing Tool Co. Ltd. in 1964.


He was hired to manage Drill Stem Testers Ltd. and Canadian Diamond Coring Ltd. in 1965. While managing these companies, Murray and others at Drill Stem Testers designed and patented the first fail safe valve for drill stem testing. Drill Stem Testers Ltd. grew rapidly under Murray's influence, and Dresser Industries Inc. purchased this operation.


In 1970, Murray and Don Zerb formed an operation called Cougar Tool Company Ltd. They developed and patented the Cougar Shock Tool that had such success it was shown at all major trade shows. Oil Patch Industries purchased Cougar in 1974; after the purchase, Murray was appointed vice-president and served on the board of directors. He resigned in 1975.


After his resignation, Murray remained active in the oil industry by forming Murray Varty Ventures and later Mur-Ray Equipment Ltd. Varty is a pillar of the petroleum community and was the driving force behind the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame.


Career Summary:

  • 1948 Joined Halliburton and worked on Atlantic #3.
  • 1960 Purchased Wellsite Coring Ltd.
  • 1965 Became manager of Drill Stem Testers and Canadian Diamond Coring Ltd.
  • 1970 Formed Cougar Tool Co. Ltd. with Don Zerb and invented the Cougar Shock Tool.
  • 1975 Formed Murray Varty Ventures Ltd.
  • 1984 Formed Mur-Ray Equipment Ltd.
  • 1997 Became chairman and key organizer of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame.


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