Fossil fuels make the world go round.

Hydrocarbons like oil and natural gas are some of the major fuels that power our industrialised global society. The petrochemical industry is still the driving force behind the manufacturing sector that produce the majority of what we consume, as well as powering the transport systems that convey the products from producer to the consumer.

The energy process

Maersk Oil pushes boundaries to unlock potential in challenging environments.

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 Maersk is committed to responsibly managing its environmental footprint.

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People and careers

Maersk is always looking for the best and brightest talent.

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Powering global progress

As the global demand for energy grows, easily accessible sources of oil and gas are becoming scarcer. Energy companies need to cope with ever more complex challenges in order to unlock potential new fields. Maersk operates at the forefront of energy technology, using new thinking and new methods to push the boundaries of possibility and challenge old conventions.

Oil and gas are energy-dense substances that are widely dispersed all over the world. These fossil fuels were formed when organic matter was buried under layers of sediment and subjected to high levels of heat and pressure over the course of millions of years.

Hydrocarbon fuels aren’t just used to generate energy and power. More than half of all the oil produced is used in the manufacture of over 6,000 different everyday objects that we take for granted, like plastic bags, buttons, and sunglasses.


In the future, innovative technologies will play a critical role in unlocking new supplies of energy. It is likely that the next transition will be about improving the way we develop, produce and consume the world’s supplies of oil and natural gas, accompanied by a rise in demand for natural gas.

The Energy Process

Exploration, drilling, extraction and processing

Searching for oil

Maersk Oil unlocks potential, tuning marginal and challenging oil fields into commercial successes.

“It’s like a treasure hunt. We know it’s hidden underground — we just don’t know where.”


of the crude oil formed will never be found




Maersk Oil specialises in extracting oil and gas from challenging environments like ultra-deep water


The Exploration:

It takes knowledge, innovation, and determination to drill for oil. But before you can start drilling, you have to find it. Only a small area of the earth’s surface has been surveyed and oil exploration is an expensive, demanding business that requires teams of specialists, including geoscientists, geophysicists, geologists and more.

To determine whether or not an oil reservoir is present in locations that meet the five basic conditions, a series of geological surveys is carried out. The geological surface is charted using seismic and gravimetric measurements, exploratory wells are drilled, and samples of the penetrated rocks are analysed.

Oil reserves are becoming harder to reach than ever before, so oil companies are pushing the boundaries and exploring in ever more remote locations and extreme conditions.

Even when an oil reservoir is found, it may not be profitable to start trying to produce oil from it. Production costs are high, and rates of recovery from new oil fields are often uncertain.

Whether a proven deposit can be put into production depends on the porosity and permeability of the reservoir rock, and the actual oil saturation.

Reaching it

The days of simply drilling a hole in the ground and striking oil are long gone. Oil companies now expect to find new supplies of oil and gas in challenging environments like ultra-deep water.

Drilling for oil on the sea floor is a complicated process. It takes place from drilling rigs, ships or barges, which come in different varieties depending on requirements and needs.

Maersk Drilling continues to lead the way in the technological advancements of ultra harsh environment drilling. The new XLE rigs are the most advanced jack-up drilling rigs in existence, with numerous improvements to the previous generation that enhance operational efficiency and safety.

Maersk Deepwater Advanced Drill ships are purpose-built for safe operations under extreme conditions. The 228-metre long drillships can operate at water depths up to 3,650 m (12,000 ft) and can drill wells more than 12,000 m (40,000 ft) deep. With their advanced positioning control systems, the ships automatically maintain a fixed position in severe weather conditions with waves up to 11 metres high and wind speeds up to 26 metres per second. Special attention has been paid to onboard safety. Both XLE rigs and drillships are operated by relatively small crews, with a high degree of automation that ensures safe operation and consistent performance.

Want to try drilling for oil yourself? Play Maersk’s Quest For Oil game

Using these rigs and drillships, it is possible to drill down and then sideways to hit an oil-bearing layer just a few metres thick, under several kilometres of water. Maersk Oil has become a leader in the industry in terms of long-range horizontal well drilling, with the capability to reach oilfields over 10km away from the wellhead. Maersk Oil was the first oil company to use horizontal drilling technology in the North Sea and has become an expert in developing wells with patterns of closely spaced horizontal well lines that allow more gas and oil to be recovered.

Extracting and processing it

Oil wells need to be kept under continuous pressure to ensure they constantly produce oil. The most common method of doing this is to pump water or gas into the surrounding layers of rock through nearby wells. More than 300,000 barrels of oil and more than 500,000 barrels of water are pumped up from North Sea oil fields every day. At the same time, 800,000 barrels of water are pumped back down.

Once extracted, the crude oil has to be processed into oil products like petroleum, jet fuel, petrol, diesel oil, fuel oil and liquid gases, which are used for paint, plastic and thin fibres like nylon that are woven into fabric.

Crude oil is made of many different components, each of which has a different boiling point. This makes it possible to separate oil into several fractions by heating it — a process called fractional distillation. By contrast, natural gas is made up of only one type of molecule, overwhelmingly methane, which is why it only needs to be cleansed before it can be used.

Once oil has been refined, it is loaded onto small product tank ships that are designed to transport several different kinds of oil products. The product tank ships convey the various oil products to ports safely, reliably and efficiently.

Find out about Maersk Tankers

While refineries are capable of converting all types of crude into all types of products, the actual quality and quantity of products depend on the quality of the crude oil used. Some types of crude will yield high quantities of jet fuel, while others might produce a lot of petrol and only a little fuel oil.


Responsibly managing the environmental footprint

Minimising enviromental impact

Maersk Oil is committed to responsibly managing its environmental footprint, for example, one focus area is the elimination of oil spills.

"Our ambition is to become incident-free"

Mark Wallace, Managing Director, Maersk Oil Denmark


CO2 reduction per container since 2007

Maersk Line


Maersk Oil is committed to identifying and minimising its environmental impact


Burning fossil fuels to generate energy has proven to be an effective way of powering global progress. The downside is that burning fossil fuels emits more CO2 than the earth’s natural processes can absorb. This leads to a net increase in atmospheric CO2 that contributes to global warming.

As an industry leader, Maersk recognises its responsibility and is always looking for new ways to raise industry standards and minimise environmental impact.

Our ambition to become an ‘Incident-Free’ Maersk Oil helps us to keep focused on delivering an oil and gas production that is safe, and one where the footprint on the environment is managed in a responsible way.
Mark Wallace, Managing Director, Maersk Oil Denmark

Most container vessels run on bunker oil, the densest and least pure liquid fuel product of crude oil. To lower the environmental impact of its shipping activities, Maersk Line has adopted a number of initiatives including network and speed optimisation, technical upgrading of existing ships, and deployment of new and more efficient ships. The latest and greatest is the new Triple-E class container vessel, designed for Efficiency, Economy of scale, and Environmentally improved.

Maersk Line’s new container vessel will cut emissions by more than 50% for every container it moves, compared to the industry average on the Asia-Europe trade. The Triple-E’s energy efficiency has been achieved by modifying the hull design to increase container capacity, as well as by fitting two slow-running engines, twin propellers and a waste heat recovery system.


Another key element of Maersk’s sustainability policy is employee safety. Maersk is committed to offshore safety and maintaining a safe working environment. Their goal is as simple as it is ambitious: to be a company with zero accidents.

The Stop Work directive

Every Maersk employee has the authority to prevent accidents. In an unsafe or dangerous situation, it may not always be possible to wait for guidance from a supervisor. That's why every employee has the power to stop work if they have any concerns.

Maersk believes in creating a strong safety culture to avoid major incidents. Safety controls exist in procedures and safety culture, as well as in equipment design, technical specifications, operations and maintenance.

In an industry of steel, heavy machinery, and challenging environments, there is an inherent element of danger. However, for Maersk, nothing has higher priority than ensuring the safety of all its employees. Every incident and injury is followed-up, and root causes addressed.

Read the Maersk Sustainability Report for full details


On- and offshore positions at the forefront of energy technology

A good place to work

We’re always looking for the best people to work at the forefront of global challenges, technologies and innovation in the oil industry.


“I asked for a challenge and Maersk gave me one"

Muhammed, Maersk Oil


Maersk Drilling: 3,300
Maersk Oil: 4,300
Maersk Supply: 2,200
Maersk Tankers: 3,300
Total: >13,000


All employees regularly receive safety training


Many of today’s challenges are tougher and more complex than ever before. Oil reserves are harder to reach, global trade demands new levels of efficiency, and we are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of human industry. Finding solutions to these challenges means pushing the boundaries of technology, and possibility.

Maersk is always looking for the most talented and resourceful people to work in their energy-related businesses. People with inquisitive minds, skill, and knowledge, who are continuously looking for ways to improve the industry, and whose new thinking can develop new methods that will unlock new opportunities.

Offshore jobs offer many opportunities to professionals who thrive on challenges and responsibility. On- and offshore positions are currently available at Maersk Drilling, Maersk Oil, Maersk Supply Service, and Maersk Tankers, including functions like Administration/Clerical, Commercial/Sales/Marketing, Communication, Customer Service, Drilling, Engineering/Technical, Finance/Economics, and General Management functions.

If you’re interested in a rewarding career in the energy industry, Maersk can offer a variety of positions both on- and offshore. Watch the videos linked below to find out more
What’s it like working at Maersk Oil?

What’s it like working at Maersk Supply Service?

In today’s competitive world, if you don’t innovate you stand still. Maersk is constantly advancing, investing in a sustainable future, and pushing the boundaries of efficiency and safety to the benefit of people, planet and profit.

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