Tuesday, 24 November 2015



Iain Hutchison, Managing Director of Merlin ERD, has been shortlisted for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award organised by Entrepreneurial Scotland.

Headquartered in Perth, Merlin ERD is a successful engineering consultancy and training organisation serving the international oil and gas sectors.  It has pioneered the development of Extended Reach Drilling technologies which enable oil companies to extract oil from difficult to reach, complex, or marginal reservoirs.

The company has carried out assignments across the globe in 34 countries gaining numerous awards and accolades for its technical and engineering excellence, including a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2014 and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) ‘Best Small Company' Award in 2015.

A Chartered Mechanical Engineer, experienced aviator and graduate of Heriot Watt University, Iain relishes a challenge: “When we are told that it is impossible to get any more oil out of a reservoir it is music to our ears.  The technologies we have developed enable oil companies to drill further and deeper than previously thought possible.  All this can be achieved with minimal environmental impact and reduced cost at the same time.” 

He added: “Being nominated for this award is great as it shows the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Scotland.   The oil sector has been going through a tough time lately and whilst Merlin has demonstrated our resilience, we have not been immune to the downturn. Nonetheless we firmly believe that this is the right time to invest for the future.  The North Sea has produced 4246 bn barrels of oil with an estimated 12-24bn still recoverable.

Applying Merlin’s drilling techniques could add another 10bn barrels of oil to North Sea fields’.  It’s now or never, since the vultures are circling and if the existing assets in the North Sea are abandoned the opportunity to produce this oil will be lost forever.  Special times call for special measures and Scotland is proving it can lead the world once again in engineering.”

Merlin ERD currently employs 34 people between its headquarters in Perth and office in Aberdeen, but Iain has ambitious growth plans for the future: “We are looking at doubling our headcount over the next three years and opening an office in Houston. We are also reviewing several acquisition opportunities, which will accelerate our growth significantly.”   

Merlin has also established a highly successful training division which hosts specialised training courses in the field of extended reach drilling delivered by Merlin’s expert engineers.

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