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Delta throwback: No oil bonanza

Those who invested ended up disappointed
People were convinced there was oil because gas wells would occasionally catch fire, but it was later realized it was the result of swamp gas.

They were hoping to strike it rich with black gold in Delta a century ago.

Vancouver-based Boundary Bay Oil Company was formed in 1918 and obtained leases on the tidal flats near the foot of Mathews Road (now called 96th Street) to drill several wells.

Following a fire in 1919 that destroyed the first rig, a second well managed to drill to a depth of 1,473 feet before the drill tools were lost.

More holes would be drilled in search of that elusive oil and leases were even sold to hopeful local residents.

By 1922, a drill managed to reach a depth of over 4,100 feet but no oil was ever found.

The company would later go dormant but there were subsequent attempts in later years to find oil in Delta, all coming up dry.