Area History

Quirk Creek is part of the ancestral lands of the Tsuut’ina Nation (“Sarcee”), a signatory to Treaty No. 7.  A reservation was created for the Nation north of Quirk Creek in 1880.

In the 1870-80’s Quirk Creek was known as the North Fork of Sheep Creek or simply “North Fork”. John Quirk, an Irish settler established the Quirk Cattle Ranch in the 1880’s. He and his wife came from Montana by covered wagon, driving a herd of 650 head of cattle. The name “Quirk” became well known in the early days as the Q Ranch grew and their herd grew to 2000 head. 140 years have passed, and the area remains rich in cattle ranching with many other well-known names including the Fishers, Wares, Kendalls and Balls. Local creeks and mountain peaks in the area also bear their names.

Natural Gas Discovery

Natural Gas Reserves were discovered in the Quirk Creek Area in 1967 by Imperial Oil Enterprises. The field was estimated to contain more than 500 billion cubic feet of sour gas and associated liquids. The reservoir is described as a two-zone (Mount Head and Turner Valley) producing formation within Mississippian age carbonates. An outcrop of this formation is visible at Rundle Mountain in Banff National Park.

The original Rundle reservoir extends west into the Kananaskis Country and south of the plant. The reservoir is heavily faulted and folded given its proximity to the mountains and is comprised of several separate reservoir sheets.  Most of the gas production is derived from the shallow A sheet.  Other gas comes from a deeper plate that is part of the same formation (the “Deep Plate”) located west of the plant. 12 Rundle A wells were drilled to an average depth of 6,500 feet (1980m) and 3 Deep Plate wells were drilled to 9,200 feet (2896m). An 11 mile (18km) gathering system was constructed bringing these volumes to the Quirk Creek Plant for processing.

In 1969 Stearns and Rogers were contracted to build the Quirk Creek Plant, Field and NGL shipping line and in March 1970 construction started and in February 1971 the Plant was online.

Field gathering infrastructure was further developed to include production from the Moose Mountain Area to the Northwest, Millarville Area to the Northeast and as far as Longview from the Turner Valley Oil Field to the Southeast Based upon this existing infrastructure, there is significant potential to direct additional production and reserves to the Quirk Creek Plant.