Embrace the Energy of Geothermal Drilling with Merlin

Merlin delivers a wide range of engineering services, applied training programs, and dependable operational backing for Geothermal drilling. With a focus on maintaining geothermal system stability, Merlin ensures immediate risk control and extends appropriate training to strengthen your team's knowledge base. With Merlin's guidance, you'll proficiently comprehend your geothermal system's limitations, devise effective geothermal drilling designs, and navigate potential drilling complications with ease.

Explore Our Key Services

Engineering Services

Drilling for heat comes with its own set of challenges, demanding rigour in planning and execution to assure success in a sensitive commercial environment. Best practice, derived from lessons learned on the world’s most challenging wells ensures drilling projects are developed sustainably.

Training Courses

High angle, large diameter wells are often required to deliver the kind of flow rates needed to provide heat for domestic and industrial applications. Merlin's training is designed to upskill teams on the critical success factors, ensuring that wells are delivered on time and on budget.


Drilling for heat comes with its own set of challenges, demanding rigour in planning and execution to assure success in a sensitive commercial environment. Best practice, derived from lessons learned on the world’s most challenging wells ensures drilling projects are developed sustainably.

Engineering: Geothermal

As drilling engineers, Merlin is concerned with ensuring that the system is capable of supporting the loads which will be imposed as the well is drilled. The system in this case, being the capability of the rig and surface equipment package, as well as the subsurface environment and its ability to withstand the loads which will be applied as we drill, measure, test and complete a wellbore. Our Engineering Services consist of a range of activities designed to ensure that your well can be drilled with the environment and equipment you have, and if not, what do you need to change or do, to achieve the well’s objectives. Examples of our work are illustrated in the panes below.

Offset Well Review

Geothermal drilling means different things to different people. Regardless of whether you are drilling Granite for steam or Coal seams for warm water, understanding the challenges which have gone before is the foundation for planning a well which will meet the subsurface objectives whilst accounting for risk. Merlin are experts at unpacking the real lessons from the noise to deliver this foundational information in a way which promotes reliability in well design and execution in later stages.

Feasibility Study

As engineers, we often have limits imposed on us. It could be down to the drilling location, the equipment we have available or the economics (and hence allowable budget) of the project we are working on. We need to know how the mechanical design of our geothermal well will impact on those constraints to make a value judgement on what to do next. A detailed feasibility study sets out what the well needs to look like in order to remain within the boundaries of your project. Merlin can help you understand where the critical elements are to ensure that your solution remains within limits at all times.

Problem Review

Operational problems are tough going. Large bore, high angle wellbores, small, shallow wellbores with precise directional control requirements, limited resources to achieve the well objectives – all situations which can stress teams and create opportunities for failures to creep in. Merlin has been involved in problem reviews since the inception of our business. We know it take sensitivity and a focus on facts to get to the bottom of what went wrong and what’s gone on in a way which brings the best out of the team. Our focus is on supporting the team to integrate the lessons learned from the problem event into the next activity.

Detailed Well Design

We are drilling engineers. Regardless of the downhole conditions, we can help you create well designs which meet the subsurface objectives, regardless of the fluid being produced. Optimized well designs come from a detailed understanding the subsurface environment and the constraints likely to be imposed by the available solutions. Our drilling engineers can help you define hole sizes, wellhead types, casing points, drilling fluids, drilling tools and so on – all of the individual elements which come together when the rig is on location to create the final end result. Merlin’s engineering focus is on designing out risk where we can and mitigating through procedure were necessary.

Training: Geothermal

Covering the fundamentals of hole cleaning and drilling load generation through to advanced engineering subjects, our training will help you and your team drill further, faster, more efficiently.

Public Training School

Drilling operations come in all shapes and sizes but the fundamental processes are the same, regardless of whether you are drilling for heat or hydrocarbons. Merlin’s public open seat training courses (classroom or online) have taught hundreds of delegates the fundamental success factors related to the well construction process, with a focus on deviated and high angle wells. It is also true that the factors that make these complex wells successful translate equally well to vertical, shallow or low angle wells when we talk about proactively managing hole conditions, how to write SMART drilling instructions, specifying drilling fluid properties, or size a drilling team. We discuss all of these topics and more in our internationally recognised training courses.

Client School and Bespoke Training Courses

For some clients with larger projects or high profile wells we tailor specific courses to suit the needs of these groups. Perhaps your doublet has a pair of shallow horizontal sections or large diameter surface holes to deal with large production flow rates. These sections have their own particular sets of challenges. As industry leading training providers, Merlin can adjust the agenda to more closely reflect the situation that the operational team will find themselves in, or create exercises based on previous examples from the field. These courses can be taught face-to-face if possible or virtually, should it be difficult to bring the team together in one place before operations begin.

Simulator Training

Human beings learn best by doing. Using a drilling simulator (e.g. Drilling Systems DrillSIM:5000) to reinforce the theory taught in class is a great way to ensure that the operational team is up to speed on the challenges they are likely to face on the well. These sessions are run in the classroom with around 50% of the work based on theory, the remainder of the time spent in the simulator, working through related challenges using real scenarios from the well.

Course Overview


Highly Recommended

Painful experience has shown that even the most robust Extended Reach Drilling Training programme can fail through incorrect implementation techniques.

Due to the increased challenges and numerous procedural revisions associated with high angle wells, educating personnel on how to identify issues before they become problems is crucial in delivering a successful deviated well.

Invest in yourself, your team and ultimately your results by attending Merlin ERD’s Horizontal & High Angle Operations & Engineering Training Course.

What will I Learn?

  • How to determine the maximum reach from your location
  • Key planning considerations to delivering trouble free wells
  • Root cause of problems encountered in high angle wells
  • Identifying minimum equipment specifications for ERD projects
  • What others are doing around the world to assure success
  • Latest tools and techniques used to reliably deliver ERD projects
  • How to minimise downtime due to 3rd party tools

Operations: Geothermal

Independent delivery assurance and support for extended reach and challenging high angle wells – from upfront engineering, training, through to execution in the field, Merlin ensures project value is delivered and objectives are met.

Real-time management and optimisation:

Practices & Procedures

The physics of how cuttings move from the bottom to the top of the well does not change in relation to what is being drilled. Operational requirements will vary according to hole size, inclination, the drill string and subsurface pressure limits. From experience of drilling the world’s longest wells, Merlin’s onsite advisors are experts in ensuring that the practises and procedures employed on your Geothermal well are consistent with what is done internationally in other environments, getting you up the learning curve quickly and helping to avoid mistakes.

Proactive Performance

Geothermal wells require excellence in execution. These developments are often characterised by marginally positive project value with payback periods Stretching into decades. Problems executing wells, leading to cost over-runs are very likely to push a marginal project over the edge. Merlin’s advisors take a proactive approach to well delivery and performance management onsite. They support our clients Drilling Supervisor in ensuring that focus never deviates from what the well needs at any given point.

Onsite Mentoring & knowledge transfer

Having an additional pair of experienced eyes at the well is cheap insurance. Economic conditions have conspired to create an inexperienced labour force across all aspects of the drilling business. Merlin’s onsite personnel typically have 20 years plus of experience in well execution, often as Drilling Supervisors, or highly experienced senior service hands. This knowledge allows us to see problems developing before they become critical, allowing us to guide and mentor personnel at the rigsite.

Get in touch to discuss your next project.

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