The integration process

Pre-integration is proceeding apace following the announcement of Total’s acquisition of Maersk Oil for USD 7.45bn. The transaction is expected to be closed during first quarter 2018, pending regulatory approvals. 

Spooling sea

In late November, senior Total leaders visited Copenhagen in the first opportunity for general engagement with Maersk Oil employees.

It was the latest step in a thorough pre-integration process as Maersk Oil will become part of the world’s fourth largest oil and gas company. Total will take over Maersk Oil’s entire organisation, portfolio, obligations and rights and Denmark will become the regional hub for all of Total’s activities in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands.

Hosted at Maersk Oil’s new headquarters at Amerika Plads in Copenhagen, the session with Total leaders was made available to all employees both onshore and offshore, on screens set up in each business unit for those not able to attend in person.

“As a member of the Integration Leadership Committee, I have spent valuable time with counterparts from Total,” says Troels Albrechtsen, Chief Technology Officer. “Three things strike me in these engagements. First, while it is clearly the case that Maersk Oil is being acquired, the process is being shaped and delivered in the spirit of a merger. We are co-creating the pre-integration objectives and work scopes together.

“Second, there is a genuine curiosity to understand how Maersk Oil’s strengths can be preserved and further developed under the new ownership. Third, there is an equally strong curiosity as to how Total can best ensure Maersk Oil’s people understand what it is like to work in their organisation, and what can be done to help colleagues feel enthused about joining. There is a genuine commitment to making us feel wanted.”

Management positions

Until the transaction is formerly closed Maersk Oil and Total remain completely separate companies. Whilst concrete decisions cannot be made, planning to ensure a successful integration and continuity of the businesses is permitted.

To this end the first management positions for the future business have been indicated. Martin Rune Pedersen, Chief Operating Officer, will be appointed Vice President of Total’s operations in Norway, Denmark & Netherlands. Troels Albrechtsen will be appointed Vice President for the technical centre to be established in Copenhagen. The appointments are subject to successful deal closure and will not be effective before this.

The appointments follow Maersk Oil CEO Gretchen Watkins’ decision to pursue other career opportunities once Total’s acquisition of Maersk Oil successfully closes.

Safe operations

There are 15 individual integration workstreams towards Day 1 – the first day of Total’s ownership of Maersk Oil. One is dedicated to Day 1 readiness - hence its focus is on securing the continued safe and efficient operations of the Maersk Oil assets and clarity regarding accountabilities and reporting lines for all employees, including emergency response preparedness.

“It goes without saying that the Incident Free mindset and commitment to safe operations is a goal that both Maersk Oil and Total share,” says Anders Damgaard, Integration Programme Manager.

“A key consideration in all Day 1+ discussions will be the timing and process for providing clarity for all employees on career paths and decisions on the design of the new organisation, alongside communications and onboarding for our employees,” says Damgaard.