The phrase “oil rig selfies” is not one that is often heard.
But Washington-based Oil Consultants has thousands of them and they give a fascinating – if sometimes odd – insight into a world of work that is like no other.
Oil Consultants provide technical services and also workers to the offshore industry, meaning that people on their books work in all corners of the world.
Rated one of the country’s fasting growing firms, the company began its “oil rig selfies” competition to find the most unusual and eye-catching photographs from the many locations its people work in.
And the results – if sometimes strange – are wonderful.
From breathtaking scenery to jaw-dropping machinery, the world of oil rigs makes for some wonderful photographs.
And there is the wildlife: a bird of prey staring imperiously from the Maersk Discoverer rig in Egypt, donkeys and cows wandering around the bottom of an onshore rig in the Middle East, a fox caught on camera at a rig in Russia and bears getting a little too close for comfort to a bus with oil workers on it.
Even better is the sequence of photos sent in by Newcastle-born Stewart Anderson from the Yemen, who rescued a turtle caught in rigging equipment, or the puppies found in sub-zero temperatures in Kazhakstan which were rescued and hand-reared by oil worker Steve Davies. He became so attached to the pups that he transported them back to the UK so they could live with his family. It cost him, in total, £7000 to do this.
Whilst working in Alexandria, Anderson stumbled across some Victorian canons. When examined closely, it transpired that these had been made on the Tyne in 1872 during the height of the North East's nineteenth century industry boom.
Melissa Young, marketing manager of Oil Consultants, said: “We’ve got around 15,000 people on our Facebook group, which is a combination of people who work for us or who are just interested in what we do.
“They are working all around the world and they put really nice pictures of where they’re working.
“We started to ask people for their pictures and we got loads and loads. They’re great for our company literature because they show what it’s really like to work in these places.
“These aren’t people who work for us because we are a recruitment consultants so in a lot of cases we have set up their contracts.
“They like to keep in touch and we’re now getting pictures every day.”