What does simplication in practice

mean to you/your function?

To me simplification should mean clarity about what needs to be done and how we should do it - safely. It is also a mindset change whereby we consider the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the company to be wasteful. The practicality is if something in our daily work is not facilitating the safe and efficient exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons ($/bbl) then we need to challenge ourselves whether we should stop that activity so we can concentrate on the things that do.

 

Where have you seen concrete examples

of that in Maersk Oil?

There are a number of examples around the Maersk Oil BU’s, however, close to home here in MOQ I think the best example is our new Production Optimisation team formed during the recent MOQ reorganisation.  The formation of the new team, which integrates surface and subsurface engineers, has greatly simplified the interface between the reservoirs and wells to the surface facilities, improving communications and breaking down some old silos.  The new setup now allows much faster optimisation of oil production and water & gas injection across the full production system from reservoir to FSO.  We see gains in production and injection on a daily basis from this approach.

 

Where have you seen examples outside Maersk Oil that has impressed you?

I often hear from colleagues who have worked for Shell previously about their ‘Lean’ process (inherited from Toyota) whereby the aim is to Eliminate, Standardise, Simplify and Automate areas of work.  This is a good mantra for us to keep in mind when we look at our own areas of the business.  In terms of other sectors, one company that sticks out in my mind is IKEA.  I was in the Qatar store the other day and with the exception of some signage in Arabic and Shawarma on the menu in the cafeteria I could have been in any other IKEA in the world.  As a customer they automatically guide you through the entire store in one flow.  When you buy a piece of furniture in flat-pack the assembly methods are standardised and simple.  I think the assembly instructions are the best examples for us in the oil industry.  The simple pictorial instructions mean that pretty much anyone in the world could safely assemble a piece of IKEA furniture.  Perhaps a few more pictures or illustrations in our own procedures could help us raise the bar in terms of IF and efficiency.

 

What simplification opportunity

excites you the most?

I think the simplification opportunity that excites me most is the remote operation, automation and control of facilities offshore from onshore. In conjunction with our new collaborative working environment this has the potential to further improve and optimise production and injection through greatly speeding up changes to our operational settings. It would also free up some bed space offshore for a greater focus on maintenance and reliability or allow a greater number of unmanned installations, helping us to reduce operating cost, increase uptime and importantly also improve safety.

Alan McInally Head of Subsurface in Maersk Oil Qatar.

What does simplication in practice

mean to you/your function?

Simplicity is complex to deliver whilst complexity is simple to achieve. What I mean by that is through the process of growing, expanding, learning and improving we strive for oversight, assurance, repeatability and best practice and in doing so, with good intent, we create complexity, erode simplicity and stifle agility. The unintended consequence is mediocre performance in aspects of our business.

 

Where have you seen concrete examples

of that in Maersk Oil?

I see it around me in my department and in my business unit. I absolutely accept that we operate in a high risk environment in the context of both safety and our operations. However I would challenge the hypothesis that simplicity and agility can be delivered through policy, procedure and guideline. The most complex aspect of my business is the delivery of facilities projects which is the currently the management system version of quicksand.

 

Where have you seen examples outside Maersk Oil that has impressed you?

Maersk, in comparison with the 10 years I worked in another Operator prior to coming here, appears very complex with multiple systems, processes, procedures and controls. Organisations that impress me are those which are results orientated and which act and behave responsibly through people and culture, not by being reliant (perhaps naively) on process and procedure.

 

What simplification opportunity

excites you the most?

What excites me right now is the opportunity here in Maersk Oil UK to drive the attributes of simplicity and agility through the Facilities and Projects department. We have the opportunity, whilst maintaining company and industry standards, to simplify our execution plan, simplify our contracting strategy and simplify our organisation which is absolutely in the mind-set of simply better and firmly in the interests of the UKCS as a whole which is heading rapidly towards being uncompetitive in a global market.

Mark Fotheringham Director Engineering and Projects in Maersk Oil UK

What does Simplification in practice mean to you?

The fundamentals of the Finance function are to have one global way of working so that we can deliver value adding reporting which enables effective decision making. We aim for globally applicable processes and standards which facilitates consistency across the Business Units.  SAP is the vehicle which allows us to drive this consistency and deliver simplicity that allows the Finance Teams to be effective and act as one Global Unit. With one way of delivering; it allows the time to focus on the decision, rather than taking time to understand the differences.

 

Where have you seen concrete examples

of that in Maersk Oil?

Maersk Oil is on a journey with SAP. Over the past 18 months since the final locations went live, we have been driving a programme to bring simplicity and standardisation to our global SAP template. This allows for each Business Unit to be compared against another, we can then drive improvements so that together, we can strive for best practice behaviour. The Global Process Owners in SAP are a key player in delivering and driving the global template, it is their role to ensure that each location will work towards the same goal of having one SAP.  We have many examples of global teams coming together to seek the common and best solution, these people come from each Business Unit with the drive and determination to take Maersk Oil and SAP forward.

 

Where have you seen examples outside Maersk Oil that has impressed you?

I am impressed when I hear that the Operators are working together to improve safety in our industry, when competition is put to one side to allow for the best solution to be developed. Such examples are seen in the area of helicopter safety and Step Change. As all of our assets age, we are continually facing integrity and uptime efficiency challenges, by the Industry working together, rather than separately, we will succeed. I should add I found this a difficult question to answer, as I have worked here for over 16 years!

 

What simplification opportunity

excites you the most?

I am really driven by the mindset of Sharpened Prioritisation. We must ensure that we focus our resources on the most value adding areas in Maersk Oil. We should continually challenge ourselves on how we deploy our resources to ensure that focus is given to the areas which will deliver at the highest levels for Maersk Oil. Within this process, we should also be considering the opportunity cost of both doing the activity and not doing it. In some cases, not doing it may be more value adding as the resources can be deployed to another activity which will increase the value for Maersk Oil overall.

Nicola McIntosh Corporate controller in Maersk Oil Corporate Finance.

What does simplification in practice

mean to you/your function?

For me, simplification is about putting the clarity into an organization that drives prioritisation and focus. What simplification is not, is making things simple. It is a complex business and we need to ensure that our processes and practices are well understood by the workforce and that they effectively improve our ability to deliver safely, consistently, and reliably.

 

Where have you seen concrete examples

of that in Maersk Oil?

The effort in Qatar within the wells teams to drive an incident free culture across the four drilling rigs now operating for us. The team has developed a very clear and engaging message and ran several key workshops to ensure our key contractors understood our commitment to safety and our expectations of them. The message has been continuously reinforced during the drilling campaign through various leaders during field visits.

 

Where have you seen examples outside Maersk Oil that has impressed you?

Transocean’s HSE Quick Share process is an excellent example. To help promote fast and efficient transfer of HSE related incidents, Transocean has developed a common template that allows their offshore staff to do a preliminary investigation and share relative preventative measures/actions within 24 hours of an incident occurring across their worldwide fleet of drilling rigs.

 

What simplification opportunity

excites you the most?

Refreshing the Well Delivery Process. Done in the right way, this process has the ability to improve integration between subsurface and wells communities enabling us to deliver higher quality wells consistently on time and within budget. Today, we have many variations of this process within our business driving a high level of work but not necessarily a commensurate level of delivery.

Steve Haden Head of Corporate Drilling in Maersk Oil.

What does simplification in practice

mean to you/your function?

Simplification for both HR and the business, means having fit for purpose processes and ways of working together that are intuitive and transparent.

 

Where have you seen concrete examples

of that in Maersk Oil?

While I am still relatively new to Maersk Oil my impression is that the Maersk Oil intranet site is quite straight forward and easy to navigate.  Once you are shown where some of the information is kept there, it’s not hard to find your way around for the information you need.

 

Where have you seen examples outside Maersk Oil that has impressed you?

I know that for many employees the Performance Management module in MyHR can appear complicated, however I worked in a previous organization that used a very similar SAP based system and after a couple of times using it, employees and leaders were very comfortable with it and used it easily.

 

What simplification opportunity

excites you the most?

I think by becoming clearer, more systematic and transparent in the decision making process around people deployment, we will overcome a source frustration that exists in Maersk Oil today, and that would be a really useful accomplishment.

Noël Lenehan Head of Global HR Operations.

What does simplification in practice

mean to you/your function?

Simple comes to me in many forms, the common aspect is that “I know it when I see it”. We work in an industry that spends big money, looks for mega solutions to many of the problems we face, often resulting in grand designs, millions of consulting dollars and missing the small stuff that makes it all work. We over complicate our business with language, and three letter acronyms, that to the outside world creates the illusion of grandeur and uniqueness. Simplification to me is the ability to KISS (keep it simple stupid) through the ability to first understand complexity then create clarity and transparency for the things that really matter in our endeavours.

 

Where have you seen concrete examples

of that in Maersk Oil?

The UK Flyndre field was discovered in 1974 and straddles the UK/Norway median line and Cawdor was discovered in 2008. The complexity arises in bringing forward a business solution for what were marginal stranded discoveries. Whilst the subsurface and water depth environment are relatively benign the discoveries straddled two regulatory governments (Norway and the UK) across three licence blocks in three separate reservoirs. Added to this is a stakeholder environment including seven co-venture owners which do not always have aligned business priorities.

The role of the UK development team is to bring technical solutions to the table with countless permutations of commercial options tabled and evaluated. This has been simplified into a single acceptable development solution, consisting of a co-developed subsea tie-back to the Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited operated Clyde platform. Flyndre will be developed with a single production well. The Cawdor field will be developed initially with a single production well, with potential development of two further wells based on field performance.

 

Where have you seen examples outside Maersk Oil that has impressed you?

I have been inspired by Eric Berlow. He’s an ecologist who has taken some great ideas from his research and applied them to making the complex simple.

 

What simplification opportunity

excites you the most?

Leadership and creating a winning team.

Glenn Brown Head of Corporate Subsurface in Maersk Oil.

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