Maersk Oil dismisses executive, launches organizational review

Offshore staff

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Maersk Oil has outlined plans to review the scope and scale of its headquarters organization over the next three months.

Despite a solid operational business performance, which saw the company return to positive earnings in 2Q 2016, Maersk Oil said it needs to continue to adjust the business to the continued low oil price, changes to both the portfolio and to long-term growth plans.

The review will be completed during the remainder of 2016. However, an initial phase to reconfigure the company’s growth organization and reduce the Technology and Projects group will be delivered by the end of this month, subject to statutory works council consultation and local labor laws.

As a result of the changes, Ebbie Haan, chief growth officer, will leave the company on Oct. 7, 2016.

Maersk Oil CEO-designate Gretchen Watkins said: “We fully recognize this announcement will be unsettling for our employees. By taking swift action we hope to minimize uncertainty and ensure focus continues, near term, on safe and efficient operations and continued execution of our world-class project portfolio in the North Sea. We are performing well in spite of the market, and we want that to continue.”

She continued: “Maersk Oil’s commitment to grow in the next few years is underscored by $1-2 billion in annual capex to deliver the exciting Culzean and Johan Sverdrup projects. They will deliver 100,000 bbl of new production to Maersk Oil. We have a bright future as the cornerstone business in the new Maersk Energy.”

This review was prompted by two recent pieces of news, the company said. The first was the recent outcome of the Maersk Group’s strategic business review, which saw the Danish giant reorganizing into two separate divisions: transport and logistics company A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S and Maersk Energy, which will comprise Maersk Drilling, Maersk Oil, Maersk Supply Service, and Maersk Tankers.

According to the company, the other trigger responsible for the review was its June announcement that it would exit Qatar in 2017. The original operator of the Al Shaheen oil field with a 25-year production-sharing agreement that expired this summer, Qatar Petroleum elected to partner with Total over Maersk Oil on the country’s largest producing offshore field.


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