Dear colleagues,

 

2015 has continued to deliver tough market conditions and the improvements we are making in Maersk Oil are more necessary than ever. I am pleased to see that we are making good progress in almost all aspects of our transformation journey.

 

Our safety focus has been re-energised by the successful roll out of the Incident Free refresher courses and the implementation of the Process Safety five year plans. Incident rates are falling and our safety performance has improved over the last year. Seeing the effort that we have put in to our safety performance over the last years, bearing fruit is a great pleasure.

 

It is no coincidence that our sharp focus on safety is helping us drive greater production efficiencies and more reliable operations too. We have seen improved uptime and production in the North Sea, as well as the positive impact of new production from assets such as Golden Eagle in the North Sea and Jack in the Gulf of Mexico. A great example is the turnaround on GPIII in the UK North Sea, which you can read more about on page 4. The consistent manner in which our production targets have been exceeded so far this year is a positive outcome of the hard work that has gone into improving uptime and better planned maintenance.

 

Our major project delivery stream is also on schedule. Important progress has been made this year, in particular Johan Sverdrup with the submission of the development plan and first oil from Tyra Southeast in the first quarter. Culzean too is on schedule, with everyone working hard towards sanction. The work to improve the economics of the Chissonga project is also progressing as planned.

 

I have been encouraged by the headway made to bring costs down, in line with our target to reduce OpEx by 20% by the end of 2016 under our Cost Transformation programme. By the end of Q1, operating costs were 9% lower than the same quarter last year. There are clearly still big savings and efficiencies that need to be found, but the fact that we have already renegotiated more

 

than 200 contracts and reduced travel and non-essential training costs means we are moving in the right direction. The key to success on the cost transformation journey is that we are all disciplined on spending.

 

In order to enhance our exploration performance we have announced a new Growth organisation, with the full responsibility to grow the portfolio and to capture new opportunities in a new combined setup comprising exploration, and business development. The Growth leadership team has been appointed and the new organisation will ensure we have the right people, in the right place, to seize opportunities in line with our ambitions.

 

Looking ahead, planned shutdowns in the upcoming period will impact our production but we still anticipate the full-year production to be higher than 2014. We have a busy summer schedule ahead of us and there is no room for complacency. The oil price may remain suppressed, but if we can continue the positive trends around safety, production and cost control delivered so far this year, we have the power to ensure we are positioned for growth.

 

 

 

Jakob Thomasen

CEO