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Merlin ERD reinforce their position as industry leaders in complex drilling as two senior personnel win Drilling Engineering Awards from The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in separate regions!


Neil Armstrong, Engineering Manager, overcame stiff competition to win the highly coveted North Sea regional award, while Senior ERD Engineer Sanzhar Zharkeshov, scooped the Russian and Caspian regional award.


These awards recognise outstanding technical and professional contributions to the advancement of petroleum engineering in drilling and production. SPE is the industry’s foremost organization in upstream Oil & Gas promoting technical innovation and learning. Both Neil and Sanzhar were selected independently for their contributions to deliver transformational technical improvements reducing project cost, time and risk. They then shared this knowledge with their peers through technical papers and actively participating at global SPE events.


Merlin ERD Managing Director, Iain Hutchison commented, “It’s great to see another two of our Chartered Engineers (IMechE) gaining the industry recognition that they deserve.”


Hutchison added “Neil is a great leader, who has built an exceptional team. They continually disseminate technical knowledge and transfer their expertise to projects with the aim of improving drilling efficiency; it is no surprise therefore that clients continue to enlist expert engineering support on some of the world’s most challenging wells.”


The awards follow a string of recent accolades – SPE Best Small Company award and a second Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade, to name a few – what’s next for Merlin you ask?  Just watch this space.


For further information about Merlin ERD please visit or call 01738 627 922.

Sanzhar Zharkeshov Senior Drilling Engineer

Sanzhar Zharkeshov, Senior Drilling Engineer

Neil Armstrong – Engineering Manager