Perth-based drilling engineers Merlin recruit Texas industry veterans

Jaime Avendano and Luis Gonzalez at Merlin HQ in Perth

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DRILLING engineering specialists Merlin welcomed two recent recruits from the Americas to Perth, Scotland to meet the team. Head of Development, Luis Gonzalez and Operations Manager, Jaime Avendano are set to accelerate Merlin’s expansion in the Western Hemisphere from their base in Houston, Texas. The pair are industry veterans, each with over 20 years of experience drilling some of the world’s most complex extended reach or horizontal wells in basins across the globe.

Energy security in its various forms is currently a topic for serious conversation in senates, parliaments, and board rooms around the world. Luis and Jaime enhance Merlin’s ability to support our clients, ensuring that drilling CAPEX is spent wisely, with a focus on maximizing value from new developments whilst simultaneously facilitating maximum economic recovery from mature fields, reducing the requirements for raw materials for these types of industrial energy projects.

Whilst Merlin’s focus is on drilling for gas and oil in conventional and unconventional reservoirs, the company now includes heat (Geothermal), and drilling foundation piles for the latest generation of offshore wind turbines in its basket of services. The requirements for offshore wind, whilst not setting benchmarks in terms of length or depth of the wells drilled, come with a host of fascinating technical challenges related to the water depths involved, sizes of the holes to be drilled, and scale of the equipment to be installed to support the turbine – none of which are trivial. As the market for offshore wind power increases (as recently demonstrated by the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round), Merlin is well placed to bring drilling project management expertise from the oil and gas sector into this arena. Our recent work on an offshore wind farm being installed in extremely challenging conditions demonstrates there is an opportunity to bring proven process and procedure from oil and gas drilling projects and add material value to these types of installations.

Merlin’s Managing Director, Ron Ramage commented:

“We were pleased to welcome Luis and Jaime to the Merlin mothership in Perth. Pandemic working has kept Luis away for longer than anticipated as he has been with Merlin as a staff member for more than a year, whilst Jaime however only joined the team 3 months ago.”

“We have seen a sustained ramp up in activity in the Americas primarily driven by Luis’s business development activity, and having Jaime engaged adds an extra layer of technical competence to the organisation and enables us to better serve our Western Hemisphere clients. Being accessible and Spanish speaking has enhanced our ability to undertake office-based engineering and field work for clients in North and South America.”

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