November 12, 1957 – Regina, SK
December 7, 2013 – Calgary, AB
Neil, beloved son of Fay and Roger Edmunds, passed away suddenly on December 7th, 2013 at the age of 56 years.
Neil spent only his first three weeks of life in Saskatchewan as the family was transferred to Alberta. He grew up moving back and forth between Edmonton and Calgary due to company transfers common in those days. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1978 receiving the gold medal for academic excellence.
He joined Gulf Oil after graduation and his abilities were quickly recognized and he was assigned to their Pittsburgh Research Centre. There he developed a a process for in situ heavy oil extraction, which Gulf patented. Gulf had a management career in mind for him when he returned to Canada, but Neil wished to pursue his passion in research and software development for heavy oil extraction. This led him to form Clearwater Engineering to develop software and to setup Surmont Resources to exploit the oil sands in the Surmont Region on which Surmont had an option. Unfortunately Neil was too far ahead his time and funds couldn’t be raised for a pilot project. In 1986 Neil joined Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) providing evermore advanced technologies for industry to exploit the heavy oil reservoirs. Following AOSTRA, he joined CS Resources to develop their Senlac Thermal Project and to consult for Encana providing new technologies for their Foster Creek pilots and provided expert testimony on gas over bitumen issues before regulatory hearings.
Neil was a founding member of Laricina Energy Ltd. in 2005, where he held the positions of VP, Enhanced Oil Recovery and Advisory Director until his death. One of Neil’s greatest legacies with Laricina was his pioneering work on the commercial exploitation of an emerging heavy oil reservoir in Alberta, the Grosmont carbonates, which he believed has potential of adding significant oil reserves to Alberta.
Besides his brilliance and passion in enhanced oil recovery, Neil was a master of his craft. He was a well-respected researcher, author and presenter of the many issues, challenges and technological advancements for heavy oil and bitumen recovery, publishing in excess of 25 papers, holds a number of patents, and was a distinguished lecturer on the subject. He loved to instruct the upcoming engineers on the science and became an Adjunct Professor in 2008 at the University of Calgary in the department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. He enjoyed hiking, traveling, reading and scrawling his vision on white boards.
Besides his parents Neil is also survived by his elder brother, David (Karen ) and their three children, Alyssa, Sean and Kyra, by his elder sister Pat Hladyboroda ( Taras ) and their two children, Michael and Leslie Matheson ( Layne), and by his sister Beth Pinckston ( Rob ) and their three boys, Scott, Chris, and Eric.
A Celebration of Neil’s life will be held at McInnis and Holloway’s Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Monday, December 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Mustard Seed Street Ministry, 102 – 11 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2G 0X5 Telephone: (403) 269-1319, www.theseed.ca.
In living memory of Neil Edmunds, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences