Journalist Gordon Michael Jaremko, who was Natural Gas Intelligence’s Canadian correspondent for nearly 40 years, has died. He was 76.

Jaremko, who died Nov. 28, was long recognized as the dean of Canadian oil and gas  journalism. He spent decades working at some of Canada’s largest newspapers and energy magazines, as well as writing and contributing to several books. 

In recognition of his body of work covering the oil and gas industry, Jaremko in 2015 was inducted into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame. His writing, according to the selection committee, “guided the historical record of Canada’s energy industry and informed the business decisions of its C-suite.” 

NGI founder Ellen Beswick hired Jaremko in 1985 as NGI’s Canadian correspondent, and he filed hundreds of news stories about Western Canada’s energy industry over the following years. 

NGI Editor-in-Chief Alex Steis, Beswick’s son, shared memories of his former colleague.

“Gordon was a valued contributor and stringer as part of NGI’s family for nearly 40 years,” Steis said. “A veteran newsman, his knowledge on all things Canadian oil and natural gas, was unrivaled. Gordon was truly one of a kind and will be greatly missed.”

NGI’s Carolyn Davis, managing editor of news, worked with Jaremko for more than 20 years. 

“Gordon was professional in all ways,” she said. “We could count on him to write stories well beyond what was being reported. He shared his inside knowledge, always with a bit of wit, about what was happening behind the scenes, both at the corporate level and in the halls of government. Gordon can never be replaced.”

Fellow Canadian and former colleague Bill Whitelaw, managing director of Strategy and Sustainability for geoLOGIC systems Ltd., shared his tribute with NGI.

“If the Canadian oil and gas industry could boast of producing a public intellectual, one name and one voice spring readily to mind: Gordon Jaremko,” Whitelaw said. “Historian. Author. Journalist. All describe him accurately. But there’s really just one word that describes him best: Steward.

“It’s a fitting descriptor, because Gord saw his responsibility to the sector through the lens of stewardship; that he had a crucial role to play in developing and nurturing the industry’s sense of itself and its progressive evolution over time.”

Jaremko “was one of the sector’s true renaissance men and public intellectuals,” Whitelaw said. “He was a great colleague during our times at Oilweek magazine, and as a later-in-life entrant to the sector, he took me under his wing and encouraged me to ‘explore and produce’ as part of the industry’s ongoing evolution.”

Jaremko began his career as a newspaper journalist. He covered federal and provincial politics for the Calgary Herald, where he was the chief legislative and political affairs reporter for several years. Beginning in the early 1980s, Jaremko began covering the energy industry, which he covered for the Herald for nearly 20 years. 

Jaremko then took over as editor of Oilweek Magazine in 1997. In 2003, Jaremko joined the Edmonton Journal, where he led the oil and gas coverage. Five years later, Jaremko helped transform Alberta Oil into a news magazine, which in 2010 received the Kenneth R. Wilson Magazine of the Year Award.

In addition to his news writing, Jaremko co-authored The Great Oil Age (1993), Fields of Fire: An Illustrated History of Canadian Petroleum (1994), as well as Legendary Horsemen: Images of the Canadian West (1996). 

After spending one year embedded with the Alberta Energy Regulator, Jaremko wrote Steward: 75 Years of Alberta Energy Regulation, which was published in 2013. In addition, he contributed a chapter to the Edmonton Journal’s commemorative 2015 publication “Alberta: 100 Years a Home.”

Jaremko, who was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, is survived by his wife Beverley Smith. They were married for 53 years and had four children, Jacob, Rebecca, Sara and Deborah, as well as grandchildren Helaina, Andromeda, Myrina, Desmond, Julia, Ben and James. 

Services are planned for Dec. 18 at McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes in Calgary. In his memory, a tree will be planted near Calgary in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area.