Born near Treherne, Manitoba, Clayton H. Riddell grew up in Winnipeg, graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1959 (BSc Geology). His career began with Chevron, but by 1969 the entrepreneurial spirit took over. Through exploration and development in northeastern Alberta, financed by joint venture partners, Clay accumulated the assets necessary to establish Paramount Resources Ltd. in 1978. Conducting operations beyond the ends of pipelines became the Paramount business model and is still evident today with Paramount’s activities including the Athabasca Oil Sands and the Cameron Hills, Liard and Colville Lake areas of the Northwest Territories. Between 2003 and 2005, Paramount spun off two new public entities, Paramount Energy Trust and Trilogy Energy Trust , providing a tax-efficient income stream to Paramount shareholders. In 2007, Paramount spun out MGM Energy Corp. to explore and develop hydrocarbon resources in the Mackenzie Valley and Mackenzie Delta.
Mr. Riddell has served on several scientific, industry and other volunteer boards including President of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and Chairman of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Mr. Riddell has significant interest in several business trusts, restaurants, thoroughbred horse racing and the Calgary Flames.
Mr. Riddell received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba, the J. C. Sproule award, and the Outstanding Explorer award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and various business awards recognizing his entrepreneurial success. The faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources at the University of Manitoba has been renamed the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources. Recently Mr. Riddell funded the creation of the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management at Carleton University.
In 2006, Mr. Riddell was inducted to the Calgary Business Hall of Fame and in 2008 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.