Bob Merkley – President

Bob 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.

Craig Furlong – BSc, VP Operations

Craig has been the VP of Operations of Blackstone Fluids since 2017 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 over two decades. 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 23 years of experience working in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and Canada’s East Coast, Sean 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 of Sales and Marketing of Blackstone Fluids since 2010.

Jeff Dimitroff – VP, Technical Services

Jeff 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.

Graham Crawford – Operations Manager

Graham 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.

Robin Cryderman – CPA, CA, Controller

Robin obtained her Chartered Accountant designation in 2013. She has been in the oil and gas industry since 2010 and held Management positions since 2014. Her dedicated work ethic and attention to detail make her a valuable asset at Blackstone.

Taylor Hoffman – Distribution & Technical Sales

Taylor brings over 20 years of Oil & Gas experience to Blackstone. He started in drilling fluids in 2006 when he completed mud school in Houston, Texas. He then worked in Western Canada as a Drilling Fluids Specialist in Northeast BC, all throughout Alberta, and an Arctic project. His experience also included transfers to Wyoming, Oklahoma, and the Netherlands up until 2010 where he moved to Calgary as an Operations supervisor for 6 months. The 5 years that followed, Taylor held the role of in house representative at Talisman Energy. In 2015, he took over the role of Federal Wholesale Canada Representative until August of 2018 when he accepted his current role at Blackstone Drilling Fluids. Taylor’s experience in different aspects of the business and different areas of drilling fluids makes him a valuable asset and we are proud to have in on our team.

Scott Tkachuk – B.Ed. Sales 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.

Katie MacDonald – HSE Manager

Katie has been in the oil and gas Industry since 2008.  She started with a major Canadian operator taking care of data and document control and moved into supporting the Western Canada Oil Sands Health, Safety, and Environment(HSE) team in 2012. Her ongoing formal learning and training furthered her career in HSE.  She is a certified Auditor and maintains her qualifications with the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships. Katie's passion for people make her an asset in fostering a culture where the health, well being, and safety of our people and the business is paramount.

Tony Hutchings – Field Superintendent

Tony has been in the oil and gas industry since 2004. He attended Drilling Fluids school in Houston, Texas where he was assigned to the International Pool, as a Drilling Fluids Engineer. First international assignment was in Qatar (2004 – 2008), working offshore on developmental wells working on jack-ups in water depths of 180 – 220m, where he worked his way up to lead Drilling Fluids Supervisor. He then transferred to Brazil in (2008- 2012) and worked for various IOC clients involved with pre-salt deep-water exploration wells. He gained experience with deep-water operations, working on Semi-Submersibles and Drill-Ships in water depths of > 2500 m, eventually getting his deep water and IFE certification. Tony transferred back to Western Canada in 2012. He brings decades of international technical services and field experience to Blackstone and is a valuable asset in operations.

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