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Our People
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MANAGEMENT/TEAM PROFILES:

Principals:

Craig Furlong – BSc, VP Technology and Operations

Craig Furlong has been the VP Technology and Operations of Blackstone Fluids for four years and has worked as a field and technical service manager in Indonesia, West Africa, North Sea, China, Canada’s East Coast and the Northwest Territories for the past sixteen years.  His strong technical background and problem-solving skills, as well as his comprehensive training, have made him an expert leader in drilling fluids and systems.

Sean Furlong – BSc, VP Sales and Marketing

With 15 years of experience working in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and Canada’s East Coast, Sean Furlong has gained extensive experience in the development of SAGD fluids and operations with major players in the industry.  With extensive training, Sean was a Sales Manager for four years, and also has experience in both small and large project management of fluids and fluids waste.  He has been the VP Sales and Marketing of Blackstone Fluids for the past four years.

Neil MacKenzie – Vice President

Vice President Neil MacKenzie has more than forty-five years of drilling fluids experience.  He has been the director of various public companies, and created and successfully ran Protec Drilling Fluids for twenty-five years before it was sold to Newpark Drilling Fluids in 1998.  He also has four years with IMC and four years with Wilson Mud.

Bob Merkley – President

President Bob Merkley has more than forty years of drilling fluids experience in North America.  Starting out with IMC, he then created and ran Mudtech and Optimum Fluids before selling to Newpark Resources in 1998.  Bob became Vice President of Newpark from 1998 to 2001 and President from 2001 to 2009.  He was also a Technical Manager for Reef Mud.

Key Team Members:

Jeff Dimitroff – Technical Manager

Jeff Dimitroff has been in the Oil and Gas industry since 1997. He started as a solids control technician and attended mud school in Houston in 1998. After working as a Drilling Fluids Specialist offshore in Eastern Canada and Africa for 6 years, he was transferred to the Calgary Office as a Project Engineer for Shell Canada. This eventually led to the roles of Operations Manager and Project Engineering Manager. He recently moved to Blackstone Drilling Fluids as a Technical Sales representative.

Jeff’s experience in running fluids systems worldwide, along with his WCSB experience, brings a unique and refreshing approach to solving drilling fluid problems in Western Canada. He also has a strong background in solids control, with additional experience in the design and execution of waste management programs. Jeff’s extensive experience in drilling and completion operations makes him a valuable asset in planning and management of drilling operations.

Chantal MacKenzie – BA, Account Manager

Chantal MacKenzie has four years of in-depth drilling fluid training, completed mud school and has done field visits with fluid training in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. She has been an account manager for the past six years.

Suzanne Baden – CMA, Controller

Ms. Baden has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, most recently as CFO and Controller of three small start-up companies, Tandem Energy (2008-2013), Mosaic Energy (2004-2008) and Grid Resources (2001-2004).  Prior to this she had various managerial roles in production and financial accounting at NAL, Elan, and Baytex Energy.

Tom Brodie – P.E.T, Technical Sales

Tom has six years of oil and gas experience. Tom started off working on the rigs for Trailblazer drilling. From there Tom worked on the operators side of the business performing Project Management for RCS Energy. Tom then went to work for Phoenix Directional as a lead MWD hand in Canada and Overseas. Tom brings a wide variety of experience to Blackstone. He is a SAIT graduate in the Petroleum Engineering Tech program.

Graham Crawford – R.P.F.T, Technical Sales

Graham Crawford has been in the Oil and Gas industry since 2005. He started as Drilling Fluids Specialist. Once he completed mud school in Houston Texas, he worked in Western Canada before transferring to the North Slope of Alaska. Graham worked 1 year there and was assigned to Mississippi for 6 months. He then transferred back to Western Canada where he worked predominantly in NWT and North-Eastern BC. Graham then transferred to the Calgary Office as the Operations Supervisor in 2010. In 2011 he assumed the role of Operations Manager for Western Canada. Graham recently decided to take a Technical Sales position with Blackstone Drilling Fluids. Graham’s experience in running many different fluid systems and Drilling Operations in North America makes him a valuable asset in planning and management of drilling operations.

Trevor Jacobs – Technical Sales

Trevor Jacobs has been in the Oil and Gas industry since 1997. He started on the drilling rigs in Alberta and British Columbia, working up to derrick-man until 2004. In 2004 he was hired as a Drilling Fluids Specialist. Once he completed mud school in Houston Texas in the fall of 2004, he was off to Yemen for a few months and then to Qatar for 4 years working offshore on Jack-up rigs. With work in Brazil starting to pick up in 2008, Trevor went to Brazil for 3 years, working offshore on platforms, deep water semi-submersibles and ultra-deep water drill ships. Trevor hired on with Blackstone Drilling Fluids as a Senior Field Representative, working primarily in the south and central of Alberta. After working in the Alberta oil patch for a few more years as a Senior Field Representative, Trevor decided to take a Technical Sales position with Blackstone Drilling Fluids. Trevor’s experience in running many different fluids systems worldwide makes him a valuable asset in planning and management of drilling operations with his technical ability to solving drilling fluid problems in Western Canada.

Ashley Bird – Bsc, HSE Coordinator/Accounts Receivable

Ashley Bird has over two years of oil and gas industry experience. With a background in university level chemistry, she has an in depth understanding of drilling fluid logistics. She is also highly committed to Blackstone’s Health and Safety Program and is continually ensuring that the company’s high safety standards are being upheld.

Louise Graves – Inventory Control / Accounts Receivable

Louise Graves, originally from England, has 8 years of accounting experience in Calgary. Prior to emigrating to Canada she served in the British Royal Navy as an Aircraft Engineering Mechanic gaining experience in helicopter maintenance, parts procurement, leadership and technical office management.

Lorrie Christianson – Sales Assistant / Receptionist

With more than 10 years’ experience in the Oil & Gas industry and many years of public relations, Lorrie provides a wide range of executive level administrative tasks. As a quick-thinking, confident interpersonal administrator, she display’s professionalism and the ability to be resourceful, prioritize, and problem solve.

Field Personnel:

Naden Parkin – Drilling Fluids Specialist - Grande Prairie Area
Jason Fairbairn – Drilling Fluids Specialist - Edmonton Area
Ryan Cooper – Drilling Fluids Specialist – Spruceview
Cayley Hatchard – Drilling Fluid Specialist – Turner Valley