Interview by Ditte Namer

Meet Henrik, who with 18 years in the waters offshore Esbjerg, has built up a phenomenal knowledge of how things work offshore in Denmark, being one of the few who has worked on almost all installations Maersk Oil.

How did you end up in the Danish Business Unit?

I graduated as a mechanical engineer and moved on to the Royal Danish Navy as an officer. Having sailed in the waters of Faroe Islands and Greenland, I left to join Maersk Oil in 1998. And I’ve been here ever since - and I’ve been around on almost all the fields:


  • Tyra West for seven years
  • Harald for four years
  • Dan fox for three years
  • Halfdan for one year
  • .... and then on Tyra East since 2012


Having worked all over gives me good operational oversight - something I benefit from when spending time at the office during my rotation, and gives me a certain responsibility: I feel accountable, like I have a certain responsibility to contribute and use my knowledge to move and change things in the right direction if I see anything not working.


What is the best thing about your job?

The diversity offshore – I get to meet some great, professional colleagues, doing a lot of different jobs. A platform is a gigantic production facility, a small community in its own right, and every employee and every position has a very important purpose and fulfills an integral function in keeping the community afloat. The technical knowledge pooled together out here is quite something. I’ve always been proud to be part of that and very aware of the responsibility we all have towards each other.

What has inspired you the most in Maersk Oil?

It has been the opportunity to develop both my technical competencies as well as managerial, through the different positions across the installations.

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the 18 years in DBU?

From an operational angle there’s more paperwork; more processes; different competencies and a more proactive take on how we work with safety - basically there’s less firefighting.  And my gut-feeling is that there is also a different, more open culture. As an example, intervention has become fully ingrained in our work culture, where it’s not just acceptable to intervene, but recognised as being more of a moral duty. I think we can be proud of that change.


What does Safety Leadership mean to you?

Working it this extreme environment with the ruthless, North Sea-wind hauling around the clock, the waves sending a steady beat of movement up your spine and temperature dropping to minus degrees in the winter, safety is our number one – and as a leader, you gotta walk the talk, so I make sure to leave my desk and get out to my men and engage in the job they are performing. I think it’s key to not be afraid to have a conversation – especially the difficult ones, which is where you have an opportunity to really change things for the better. We start the day with safety – and we end the day with safety.


What are you doing when you’re not working?

Being out here, you can quickly get caught up in a lot of work, but it’s important to remember to  ‘re-load’ and relax after a 12-14 hour shift. We do a lot of different things; we generally spend a lot of time in  the gym, read the paper, play darts, pool or ‘Duer’ a pretty Danish game. But usually, after having spent an entire day out in the cold, Danish rain or winter, you just want to hit the sheets early.