Maersk Oil

Maintaining Safe Production During Organisational Restructure

The Company: The natural upstream oil and gas partner

Maersk Oil is an international oil and gas company with operational production of over 500,000 barrels of oil per day. It has a 50-year track record pioneering technologies and harnessing talent to create value while operating safely and responsibly.


  • Assist the organisation during an industry specific financial crisis.
  • Facilitate a large and significant company restructure.
  • Maintain safety, standards and employee peace of mind.


  • Co-created PMO, co-run by Maersk and Mannaz consultants.
  • Executed a change process quickly to minimise inefficiency.
  • Delivered practical workshops to involve and empower employees.


  • Organisational change programme completed ahead of schedule.
  • Increase in safety and production indicators.
  • 700 people successfully switched jobs.

The Challenge: Sink or swim

The price of a barrel of oil had plunged by more than 70 per cent. Such a dramatic fall profoundly affected Maersk Oil Danish Business Unit (DBU). These fluctuating marketing conditions required Maersk to implement a major organisational restructure that would affect over 700 employees.

Maersk knew it had to redesign the organisation into a strong matrix structure to give it greater agility in delivering business-critical projects, while reducing operating costs. That kind of extensive restructure required swift and strong change management processes to maintain safe and stable production.

We knew facilitating this project would be a sensitive matter. As Head of Programme Management Office at Maersk Oil DBU, Hanne Bruhn Madsen remarked, ‘some people were promoted, others demoted, some got new managers or new areas to work in. It was all about finding the right operating processes and rhythm for the company.’


The Solution: Enabling speedy and safe change

To handle these changes, we co-created a Programme Management Office (PMO), comprising of Maersk resources and our own change management consultants. In addition to bespoke workshops and training sessions, a pull model was used to provide continuous support.

To minimise any employee insecurity, the process was fast and intense. Early on, all employees had the chance to discuss, question and voice any concerns about the case for change with their old and new managers. Any issues were dealt with rapidly, allowing employees to focus on the business not the change.

We also facilitated over 50 customised workshops, which clarified roles and responsibilities and helped identify opportunities for cost reduction.


The Impact: Tangible results

The focus on the needs and concerns of the team and business paid off. Derek Charlton, Head of Wells, saw clear change in his team’s roles and responsibilities: ‘I had some good conversations with the Mannaz team. They came with lots of good advice for me and my direct reports. It was great to have them supporting the change.’

Nine months later the new matrix structure was firmly in place. 700 people switched jobs, while managers, teams and the organisation as a whole had a new-found agility. The combination of a clear strategy, speedy process and continual support saw not only the transformation completed ahead of schedule but also an increase in safety and production indicators.

”The combination of a clear strategy, speedy process and continual support saw not only the transformation completed ahead of schedule but also an increase in safety and production indicators.” - Cookies

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