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 Technology and Operations

Craig 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 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 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.


Chantal MacKenzie – BA, Senior Account Manager

Chantal 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 (Maternity Leave)

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.


Trevor Jacobs – Technical Sales

Trevor 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, Accounts Receivable

Ashley 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, 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 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.


Talon Berlando – Technical Sales

Talon has over 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Superior with a degree in Business while on a scholarship for NCAA hockey. During the summers he was a summer student with Encana working on various projects. Upon graduation Talon hired on full-time with Encana. He decided to join the service side of the industry in business development for downhole tools. He looks forward to the opportunity at Blackstone and what the future has in-store.


Tiffany Monica – BBA, Accounts Receivable/ Accounting Assistant

Tiffany obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration (major in Accounting, Management and Finance) in 2018 from Mount Royal University. Although new to the industry, she has adapted quickly to her position and has enrolled to obtain her Chartered Professional Accountant Designation.


Taylor Hoffman – 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.


Wendy Dickinson – Administrative Assistant

Wendy joined the team at Blackstone in May 2018. She brings us over twelve years in various office management roles, including seven years of accounting experience. Wendy also has two years prior experience in the Oil & Gas industry. 


Dan Hickaway, CPA – Interim Controller

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


Derek Flinn – Drilling Fluids Specialist - Lacombe


Wade Havenga – Drilling Fluids Specialist - Spruce Grove


Steve Haslett – Drilling Fluids Specialist - Hinton

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