Oklahoma-born, Yale and Colorado University graduate John A. Masters moved to Calgary in 1966 as president of Kerr-McGee Canada. But he left Kerr-McGee later, and formed Canadian Hunter Exploration Ltd. with fellow geologist Jim Gray in 1973.
In 1974, the young company drilled 84 wells. Rapid growth followed, but the best was yet to come. In 1976, it found and confirmed Elmworth Field on the Alberta-British Columbia border. It is still one of the largest gas discoveries in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, with more than 30 trillion cubic feet of reserves.
It was Masters who coined the term “deep basin” to describe this prolific area, which grew into a huge gas play 250 miles long and 40 miles wide, still one of the most heavily drilled plays in Canada today.