The Canol Project, 1942-45

  • P.S. Barry
Keywords: Canol Project, Equipment and supplies, History, Logistics, Military operations, Oil well drilling, Petroleum pipelines, World War II, Bear Island (65 15 N, 126 52 W), N.W.T., Goose Island, Mackenzie River, Norman Wells, Yukon


... Except for the fact that the press dramatized the difficulty in constructing a mountain pipeline, the Canol Project is among the least known episodes of the war years in Canada. Yet Canol's contribution to the advance of oil exploration and development in the Mackenzie Basin is one of the significant events of the time. In August 1940, before the U.S. entered World War II, Prime Minister Mackenzie King and President Franklin D. Roosevelt met in Ogdensburg, New York, to decide upon future defence collaboration. Their agreement was the basis for U.S. military activities in Canada that began as soon as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941. Meanwhile, President Roosevelt had negotiated a deal to supply the Soviet Union with thousands of fighter planes on a "lend-lease" basis. These aircraft would fly to Siberia by way of Alaska, using an air route through northwestern Canada. As soon as the U.S. declared war, American aircraft converged on the region to transport men and materials to Alaska and to prepare the way for delivering the lend-lease airplanes ....
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