Clayton Riddell, a geologist who took Paramount Resources Ltd. public nearly 40 years ago, died on the weekend after a short illness. He was 81.
An icon of the Canadian oilpatch, Riddell was a fervent advocate for the responsible development of Canada's natural resources and epitomized the entrepreneurial spirit, the company said in a release. He was also a committed philanthropist.
"He was an incredible man with so many accomplishments," said Jim Riddell, Clay's son and Paramount's CEO. "He will be dearly missed."
Riddell also had been chair of Perpetual Energy Inc., since its spinout from Paramount in 2002.
A graduate of the University of Manitoba with a bachelor of science degree in geology, Riddell began his career as an exploration geologist with The Standard Oil Company of California in 1959. He left after 10 years to start his own business, C.H. Riddell Geological Consultants Ltd. In 1971 he incorporated Paramount Oil & Gas Ltd. as a private oil and gas company and took that company's assets public in 1978, as Paramount Resources Ltd., concurrently raising $5 million on the Alberta Stock Exchange.
Beyond taking an active leadership role in various industry organizations, Riddell’s philanthropic contributions resulted in the creation of the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources at the University of Manitoba, the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management at Carlton University and the Riddell Library and Learning Centre at Calgary's Mount Royal University.