Terry Etam

About the author, that sounds funny. I’m just a regular guy who’s been working in and around the energy industry for several decades and has been fortunate enough to be able to try new opportunities as they came up in a variety of fields. I have a very peculiar resume, because I’ve pursued what seems interesting, rather than following a linear career path. Linear career paths pay well, and lead to power and fancy titles. Power and fancy titles lead to Maseratis, iron-jawed certainty, executive hair, and a certain where’s-my-coffee demeanor. Fine if that suits you, but the executive route draws your attention to all sorts of corporate issues and away from the nuances of the overall energy business, because you’ve got to spend your day fencing with all the power-mad weasels below you. So I took to the ditch, as Neil Young once said, because it’s far more interesting than the middle of the road. I’ve tried all sorts of things, and I’ve worked for the smallest companies and for ones with 100,000 people in the company directory.

I’ve had some weird jobs, and every position I’ve held has given me the opportunity to work with some highly capable people in many disciplines and learn from them. Many are world-class talents, including geologists, geophysicists, engineers, lawyers, and commodity traders. I’ve even learned a lot from accountants (poetry in motion), bankers, not-for-profit workers (energy companies sometimes feel pangs of guilt at the piles of money laying around), human resources/corporate communications specialists, field operations staff, safety specialists, well drillers, etc. At one job I learned a lot from the guy who cleaned my office, a fellow who spent 9 years in the Lebanese military and had hair-raising stories that I couldn’t imagine going through (hi Eli, hope you’re well). You can learn a lot from almost anyone, if you’re interested enough to ask.

Going back a bit further, I grew up on a farm, which I think shaped me a lot and made me more accepting of things you can’t do anything about. Watching a year’s work go belly up in a 15-minute hailstorm can do that. On the other hand, I was an “alternative” character so to speak. I was probably an early goth prototype, though I was outside that spectrum (goth farmers are rare) and before their time. Not that I wasn’t often black from head to toe, but that was dust from riding a tractor.  I eventually escaped from that slow-moving life with my affection all things raw and unrefined intact, and an appreciation for balance and contrast. The keys to beauty and meaning and life. And also that viewing anything through a narrow perspective is not healthy or educationally useful, the middle of the road is dangerous and boring.

I’ve come out of this background as both an environmentalist and a capitalistic oil patch worker, a mythical beast, like a sasquatch. Yet here I am. And I suspect there are a lot more like me.

Why should you believe me? You shouldn’t, necessarily. I can’t explain everything that’s going on and I can’t pretend to understand it all. Don’t listen to people that act like they can. What my wide background does do is allow me to see from many vantage points, try to be sympathetic to those viewpoints (unless they’re just f*cking crazy) and be able to explain why certain things are the way they are, or why certain vested interests may or may not be believable.  I’m sure others have similar backgrounds, but I’m betting they have better things to do than write a blog.

I don’t have all the answers, but I do have the background and experience to evaluate where there’s more to the story than what you’ve seen in the papers, and there’s a better way to view the issue than through the lenses of biased, argumentative dingbats. I will work hard to keep this website kook-free. Or, if you find this site idiotic, I’ll work hard to keep bugging you at a consistent level.


  1. Boho Hobo says:

    isn’t it strange that we live in a world where we have to hide our identities in hopes of avoiding danger because we know certain information? haha. what a wacky but wonderful world we live in. thanks for sharing all you know and shining a light where for most of us there is darkness.
    blessings x


    • Thank you for your comment and taking the time to read! Yes it is terrible to have to hide my identity, I would much prefer not to, but the possible trouble makes it a good idea. For now anyway. Someday…Glad you enjoyed the site, I’m hoping it will get only better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Boho Hobo says:

        Cool, I found it really interesting. We each come from different perspectives in life and I love hearing about new ones and seeing things through fresh lenses… I get it – about hiding your identity but at the same time, you aren’t really hiding anything, cos you are more than your name, so your presence is more than enough to suffice 🙂 YOU are here and that’s all that matters! Thanks for sharing the knowledge with everyone else! Blessings from Africa – keep on doing your thing and it will always get better and better ;p Blessings from Africa xxx


  2. John says:

    Hola! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent job!


    • No bravery required! Happy to chat anytime. Thanks for reading. If you are into more hardcore energy topics, I also write a column for a website called BOE Report, search for articles by Terry Etam. A new one will be published there on Monday.

      Take care and thanks for the comment.


  3. Jessica says:

    With respect to your recent column in BOE Report where you mention:
    “How on earth did successive governments sanction hundreds of billions in oil sands investments without even twinning the main highway to the oilsands region?”

    Has it not?

    I’m confused.


    • Hi, good question. Yes the highway has been twinned – recently. Most segments opened in mid to late 2015. For most the intensive phase of development, it was not, and every significant piece of equipment traveled up that highway, which is a lot of stuff. All the construction materials, big equipment, pipes, infrastructure, etc., along with thousands of people making the drive continuously. There were many accidents, deaths and delays associated with that road. As it relates to the article, that this bottleneck existed was strange considering the importance of oil sands development to the province.

      Hope that answers your question. Thanks for reading!


  4. Nicholas Town says:

    Love your articles if you can I would likento read them all I have been in the northern BC and Alberta oil and gas and construction industry for the past 18 years and love how your articles are the honest truth while almost every other piece of news is garbage and lies sometimes it makes me even feel guilty furthering the energy sector. Any and all information you gather I would love reading

    Nicholas Town


  5. Carol Lormand says:

    Voice of reason and critical thinking in a world rife with pedantic idiotic 150 word upchucks……


  6. Sotto Voce says:

    I just discovered your site through a link on Powerline. I’m adding your blog to my reading list. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Abraham J Andres says:

    Just listened to your conversation with Alex Epstein on Power Hour , and I found it tremendously interesting. I will also be purchasing your new book.
    Keep it up , we have to keep telling the world how asinine the governments and Climate change people are,trying to sell the bill of goods that Solar /Wind energy can ever supply enough energy to run our world .Just like electric cars, another pipe dream


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