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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 21 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 eleven years.

Jeff Dimitroff – Vice President - Technical Services

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 moved to Blackstone Drilling Fluids as a Technical Sales representative in 2010. Jeff has been an owner of Blackstone since 2017.

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.

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:

Ravi Singh – Technical Manager

Ravi started working in oilfield the summer of 1990. Upon graduation from University 1993 (Major Chemistry/ Analytical Chemistry); he was hired as formation evaluation analyst by EXLOG and gained valuable experience drilling and formation data logging.

 Ravi joined PETROLITE Trinidad Inc in 1995 (TRETOLITE/WELLCHEM) as technical sales representative was responsible for daily chemical treatment programs at Amoco’s offshore platforms (East Coast Trinidad) and production terminal. During this time worked with various chemical treatment programs and gained experience in production treatment chemicals.

 Ravi was hired by M-I SWACO agency in Trinidad and Tobago in 1997 and worked internationally in various field, operational management, and technical support positions in Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, and Turkey. He has extensive technical experience in extended reach, deepwater, wellbore strengthening, brines, Reservoir drilling-in fluids, high performance water based system and Non Aqueous (invert) systems. He also has extensive experience  involving total fluids management projects with high technical complexity.

 He joined Blackstone Drilling fluids in October, 2016 and before coming to Calgary to provide technical support; he worked on field for 6 months to re-familiarize himself with Western Canadian Basin operations.

Chantal MacKenzie – BA, Senior Account Manager

Chantal MacKenzie has years of in-depth drilling fluid training. She completed mud school and has done field visits with fluid training in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. She has been a drilling fluids account manager since 2007.

Robin Cryderman – CPA, CA, Controller

Robin obtained her Chartered Accountant designation in 2013. She has 8 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, most recently in the financial reporting group at Trident Exploration Corp. (2014 – 2017).

Scott Tkachuk – B.Ed Sr. Account Manager

Scott started in the oil and gas sector since 2007.  He brings 10 years of downhole and sales experience to the Blackstone Sales team.   He has  a bachelor of Education with a major in Science from the University of Alberta.

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 six 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.

Tony Hutchings – Technical Sales

Tony Hutchings has been in the Oil and Gas Industry since 2004. He started as a Drilling Fluid Specialist hired into the International Pool. His first assignment was rotating out of Qatar. He spent 4 years on assignment working offshore on Jack-ups drilling gas wells for a major client. Tony then took a transfer to Brazil where he spent 5 years working offshore working on Semi-submersibles and drill-ships for various IOC clients, involved in pre-salt Deepwater exploration.  While in Brazil he obtained his Deepwater certification in drilling fluids, which helped excel  his knowledge of high performance WBM, and Synthetic based fluids needed to drill in water depths greater than 2000m. 

In Q1 of 2013 Tony transferred back to Western Canada, as a Senior Drilling Fluids Engineer, assigned to a High profile HTHP project in NE BC Horn River.  In Q3 of 2014, Tony took the role of Field Superintendent, then promoted to Field Service Manager in 2015 and was responsible and managed up to 25 direct reports. Tony joined Blackstone Drilling Fluids in Q1 of 2017. With  Tony’s experience in running many different fluid systems, both land and offshore makes him a valuable asset in the planning and execution of drilling operations.

Field Personnel:

Steve Haslett – Drilling Fluids Specialist - Hinton Area
Jason Fairbairn – Drilling Fluids Specialist - Edmonton Area
Ryan Cooper – Drilling Fluids Specialist – Spruceview
Cayley Hatchard – Drilling Fluid Specialist – Turner Valley
Bowdrie Widell – Drilling Fluid Specialist - Hinton Area
Brett Silvers – Drilling Fluid Specialist - Central AB