Merlin ERD

Merlin ERD works its magic and extends its reach in the Middle East as complex wells and geothermal drilling

With the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) 2024 now just around the corner, it was a pleasure for HFI to catch up with Steve McLoughlin of Merlin this week in Abu Dhabi. Originating from Perth in Scotland in 2007, the business is reaching out in the Middle East.

Merlin boasts a team of world-class drilling engineering advisors, collaborators and educators, specialising in delivery assurance for extended reach and complex wells. The team specialise in extended reach drilling, high angle and complex wells, directional drilling, advanced drilling engineering training, horizontal drilling, ERD, ULL, horizontal wells, training, drilling, geomechanics, and managed pressure drilling. 480 projects in over 50 countries have been completed.

Highlights at IPTC 2024 will be a session led by Alan Iravani of NOV Grand Prideco and James Lang of Aucerna on “Delivering Complex Wells” at IPTC 2024 introducing cases studies from regional projects at Aramco, ADNOC and PDO.

One of Merlin’s areas of speciality touched on by Steve McLoughlin is geothermal drilling.  “Drilling for heat” comes with its own set of challenges and Merlin has gained leading expertise derived from lessons learned on the world’s most challenging wells. Projects have included drilling granite for steam and coal seams for warm water. 

“Harnessing Geothermal Energy” will be a key topic at IPTC 2024 and Abdulla Al Jabri of PDO and Gudmundur Thoroddsson of TAQA Geothermal will lead a session by that name which will explore topics and case studies from Saudi Arabia and the UAE including the reuse of abandoned hydrocarbon well and reservoirs for geothermal energy. 

Another date for the diary at HFI is the IGA virtual event, Geothermal 2024- SPE Aberdeen organised by SPE Aberdeen, taking place on 21 - 22 February 2024 in parallel with Global Underwater Hub’s Subsea Expo 2024 event. 

Our ADVI - Abu Dhabi Ventures Initiative (ADVI) supports advanced petroleum technology and energy transition technology ventures in the UAE including at KEZAD and MASDAR, supporting clients to address key challenges including 100% foreign ownership laws, local partner agreements, technology licences, manufacturing facilities contracts, corporate taxation, ICV and Emiratisation.

Across the Gulf, our SAVI Ventures Initiative is focussed on similar opportunities and challenges in the Kingdom with the impact of IKTVA and Saudization in focus, including at the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) and the International Maritime Industries (IMI), the largest maritime facility in the MENA region. The recent announcement that Aramco will scale back from its plans to expand production capacity up to 13 million bpd has caused food for thought but the fact remains that maintaining Saudi capacity at 12 million bpd will still generate massive investments in capex and opex.   

Very much looking forward to catching up with clients and connections in Dhahran, Abu Dhabi and Aberdeen.