Francis Murray Patrick McMahon
Francis Murray Patrick McMahon, industrialist (b at Moyie, BC 2 Oct 1902; d at Hamilton, Bermuda 20 May 1986). He began as a driller working for mining companies in BC, and in 1927 established a small business as a diamond-drilling contractor. In 1930-31 he participated in drilling in the Fraser River Delta in search of natural gas for nearby Vancouver, and when that failed he proposed a 1000 km pipeline to transport gas from the Peace River district of northeastern BC.
In 1936 he acquired for $100 an option on 32 ha of oil and gas rights near an oil discovery at Turner Valley, Alta. A successful oil well on this property led to the establishment of Pacific Petroleums Ltd, which became one of the most successful oil- and gas-producing companies in western Canada. In 1957, 25 years after he had first promoted the plan, McMahon completed construction of the Westcoast Transmission pipeline from the Peace River, Canada's first large natural-gas pipeline. In 1979 Petro-Canada acquired ownership of Pacific Petroleums for $1.5 billion.