Dear colleagues,

 

The swing back to profit in the second quarter against a challenging industry backdrop is reward for a great effort and focus from everyone. Across the board, our performance metrics have improved this year. A stand-out return on capital invested of 12% is testament to the efforts being made throughout the organisation and outperformed our peer group competitors and the majors.

 

The strong delivery against safety, production, project maturation and cost targets has also been achieved while maintaining the break-even oil price at USD 40-45 per barrel for the full year.

 

The financial result and gains made in the second quarter were realised alongside continuously improved safety performance. In the Q2 reporting period Maersk Oil had the fewest ever recordable high potential incidents in one quarter, and at the time of going to press, Kazakhstan has remained Incident-Free for the year-to-date.

 

Delivery across Maersk Oil’s major North Sea projects Culzean and Johan Sverdrup continues on-schedule and within budget. With the Well Head Platform jacket installed and the drilling rig on station, Culzean is taking shape and entering a new and exciting phase.

 

In June I had the opportunity to visit Kvaerner's fabrication yard in Verdal, Norway, where the jacket for the Johan Sverdrup riser platform dominated the skyline. We had the chance to walk up the giant structure, an invigorating exercise which tested everyone’s head for heights, and was a great demonstration of the project delivery road we’ve travelled in 2016.

 

Culzean and Johan Sverdrup will add material production to our portfolio in the years to come but the ground-work and project management taking place today is laying the bedrock of our future success.

 

Maintaining focus and positive momentum in the current climate has been all the more commendable given the uncertainty brought about by our departure from Qatar in 2017, and the Maersk Group strategic and structural review, announced in late June.

 

In Qatar work is underway to ensure a smooth transition to a new Al Shaheen operator. Safe and reliable operations remain our key focus out to July 2017, and we remain fully committed to ensuring a smooth and professional transition of our people and activities. The Qatar exit decision was not the outcome we sought, but it means we can focus our efforts on future growth and strengthening our positions in the North Sea and elsewhere.

 

The Group strategy work has fuelled lots of speculation. Until we know the outcomes of the process in Group, we must continue to execute on our existing strategy and stay focused on our priorities: delivery of top-quartile safe and reliable production, stringent management of costs and the timely and on-budget execution of our major capital projects.

 

Continuously improving in these areas we give ourselves the best foundation to build on, regardless of the conditions we find ourselves navigating. I’d like to sign off by congratulating the organisation on its recent safety performance. While there is no room for complacency the turnaround this year has been impressive, so well done, and keep up the good work.

 

 

Jakob Thomasen

CEO