25 May 2016

As the latest Oil & Gas industry tenant in Beacon Innovation Centre, Oil Guru is projecting itself in many exciting directions of this ever-changing energy sector. As the Centre Coordinator of the Beacon Innovation Centre I wanted to get an insight into what a day in the life of the Oil Guru looks like. I sat down with Lee Woodrow to discuss a ‘normal’ day.

Emails are a common start to the day for most, and for Lee there is plenty to go through. He tells me most of these are from local marketing companies looking to use the Oil Guru website to further outreach their sector specific press releases, as well as several global support requests for expert Oil & Gas and Energy Training and CV writing. This already sounds like a whole day’s work to me!

Next up, website updates. Anything from event promotion, industry news updates, oil prices, new technology, and company press releases. Having read some recent updates posted on Oil Guru, I’m intrigued as to where the extensive information on there is sourced from. The simple answer – hard work to find it. Research and looking in the right places to find relevant updates is Lee’s bread and butter. Updating the website with information keeps viewers engaged and informed – “The information updated comes from all over the globe to provide outreach to its thousands of viewers from each corner of the world. Oil Guru currently has over 4500 members interacting through its website,” Lee confirms.

As the conversation continues and a new cup of tea is brewed, Lee briefly touches on how running a busy website unfortunately (as with most IT) does come with its difficulties. Software and database issues can take some time to rectify, but he takes it in his stride.

Pushing on to the more exciting details and really getting to know Lee as Oil Guru, I ask about the training courses he’s running. But the question I had in mind was – who trained the trainer? Where has this wealth of knowledge come from? Surely it didn’t just happen overnight.

To become an expert in Oil & Gas, I would expect a fair amount of training is required. After 8 years in the military as an instructor, including two tours of duty, coupled with 14 years of hands on Oil & Gas engineering experience in upstream and downstream projects, Lee is now a qualified engineer and instructor, drawing on his global experience. Having worked internationally in over 21 countries on both land and offshore operations, Lee has successfully been involved with drilling over 35 technically hard to drill wells and has covered such roles as Well Site Supervisor, Managed Pressure Drilling Engineer, Project Manager, Drilling Advisor and Instructor for Shell. Lee is now a provider of both online and classroom based training in areas such as; Drilling, Process and Pipeline, Production Operations and Maintenance. Wanting to see the training first hand, I’ll be attending one of his courses – ‘ Introduction To Drilling’. It’s been a long time since I’ve used my school pencil case, so I guess I’d best sharpen them up ready to learn.

Fearing that I am eating into Lee’s business day I ask  Lee, what’s next for Oil Guru? Lee tells me Oil Guru is a newly accredited EEEGR member, so he’ll be attending events hoping to build partnerships with local companies. Networking lets him meet companies who want to use the website and growing social media network to advertise their products & services, or who wish to attend one of the upcoming courses – Introduction To Drilling  training, and a military career transitional workshop to name a few.

All courses are provided by local experts, and Lee is building a core team to provide some unique and innovative energy training. “All of this training is in preparation to meet the needs of the industry and the future energy skills gap”.

Its easy to tell Lee knows where the Oil & Gas sector sits, but also understand where its going next (and most importantly, when it will return to its previous status). With a vast knowledge of the sector, and something to offer just about everyone, whatever level they are in the industry, Lee is certainly a welcome addition to the Beacon Innovation Centre as the Hub for Oil & Gas in the East Of England. After all, he is the Oil Guru.

Written by Jake Stock, Centre Coordinator at Nwes’ Beacon Innovation Centre, Gt Yarmouth.

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