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Perth drilling firm Merlin ERD appoints new MD to cast fresh spell

Renewable energy is not yet ready to replace fossil fuels the outgoing managing director of a world leading Perth drilling firm has said.

Iain Hutchison, who is set to step down as managing director of Merlin ERD Ltd, said the oil industry will “remain with us and still be here with our children.”

Merlin specialises in the design and delivery of horizontal, extended reach and complex high angle wells.

Mr Hutchison, who founded Merlin, said there was still plenty of oil and gas opportunities globally.

He said: “The UK is a mature province, and the smaller pools are more expensive to exploit, while the bigger reserves remain in the international sector, and currently around 80% of our work is carried out abroad.

“We continue to gather the best drilling minds, with a restless desire to be ever better, designing wells to develop difficult to access small hydrocarbon pools and making marginal opportunities economic.

“Some countries are less reliant on fossil fuels, but in other countries, where for example, there is a growing need for power through increasing use of technology, there is a huge use of fossil fuels including coal.

“In stark contrast, people are eating tofu instead of mince and think they’re making a difference.”

Merlin survived the oil and gas downturn of 2015 and 2016 and stayed in profit which secured the retention of their team.

In 2017, the firm moved to an employee ownership model, which Mr Hutchison saw the company “break all records.”

Mr Hutchison said: “We really are leading the way and Perth is a great place to lead the way from.

“At Merlin, it’s all about the people and investing in the team – we really walk the walk.”

Later this month Mr Hutchison will hand over the reins to Ron Ramage, who is currently chief executive at Flexitricity.

Mr Ramage boasts more than 15 years of senior level experience of business leadership and operational delivery in technology based high growth environments.

The incoming boss said: “The know-how, expertise and importantly the passion to successfully deliver is evident within the team, which will utilise the systems and structures to support its ambitions.

“Our aims will be to capitalise on the investment to date, whilst maintaining a strong focus on the company’s core values.

“Merlin ERD is an exceptional business and has real high-growth potential.”

Mr Hutchison will become the executive chairman of Merlin’s board of directors.

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