While the second quarter will be remembered for disappointment in Brazil, a look at the underlying performance of the business results show that our focus on sharper prioritisation and business improvement is having an effect.
Our earnings continued to rise on the back of stronger production performance and while we know we will have to battle for every barrel in the journey ahead, we are making headway with our production excellence programme in the core portfolio.
I would like to take the opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of those many hundreds of colleagues in Denmark, the UK and Qatar and Kazakhstan who have helped deliver an extensive programme of maintenance and asset optimisation over the summer period. They have helped to ensure the continued safe operation of some of our older, but critical assets.
Despite the fact that we had no big upsets during the summer shutdowns, the level of high potential incidents and lost time accidents remains too high in our operations.
There is nothing inevitable about the safety incidents in our business. We showed, after many months of hard work, that we can deliver with regards to safety, if we place it top of mind in every single task we do – no matter how small or seemingly hazard-free. Incident-Free is not optional or occasional, it’s an imperative that falls on each of us to do the right thing – every time!
I am looking to the leadership to take accountability to make the next step changes towards Incident-Free.
Looking forward to the rest of 2014, we will start to bring forward aspects of our recent strategy review. When we updated the markets in September, two years on from our inaugural Capital Markets Day presentation, we reflected on a period of significant change in our industry.
Although these changes may challenge Maersk Oil, they also present opportunities.
I believe we have built a healthy portfolio of diverse world class assets. They include mature assets with untapped future value and major new projects. Sustaining that position in the longer term will require successful exploration, which remains the most cost effective way to build our reserves base. We are currently reloading the exploration portfolio after a period of challenging performance. Combined, these elements will create a strong platform for the business to 2020 and beyond.
I would like to explain the important changes to the Maersk Oil Executive Team that have been announced recently. We have reorganised ourselves to be more sharply focused and to accelerate executive decision making behind critical business priorities – namely improving the safety and reliability of our operations; deliver the projects that are fundamental to our medium term growth; and to underpin a successful long term growth strategy in exploration and new business.
Good luck for the next few months of the journey. Think safety and act safely in everything you do.