Maersk Oil

Maersk Oil has announced plans to close its Houston office in the US and reduce the Luanda team due to weak market conditions for deepwater developments.

The company’s latest decision follows ongoing work to reduce capex and improve returns of the un-sanctioned Chissonga deepwater project in Angola, and is set to impact around 100 staff across two sites.

Maersk Oil chief operating officer Gretchen Watkins said: "Chissonga, like many deepwater projects in our industry, remains economically challenged in the current market environment.

"Chissonga, like many deepwater projects in our industry, remains economically challenged in the current market environment."

"Maersk Oil remains committed to the Chissonga project and we have evaluated multiple options to commercialise these resources in the best interests of our partners and the Angolan authorities."

As well as minimising overall project costs, the company is looking at options for a possible joint development.

Restructuring of the Chissonga project team is aimed at securing a future development project for Maersk Oil in Angola.

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Around 60 of the total 100 employees are based in Houston, with a further 40 in Luanda.

The latest changes will transfer some responsibilities for the project to the Maersk’s Copenhagen headquarters.

As part of the decision, Maersk Oil’s non-operated activities in the Gulf of Mexico, which are run from Houston at present, will shorlty be transferred to its Copenhagen headquarters.

Image: Maersk Oil’s latest decision is aimed at improving returns of the Chissonga deepwater project in Angola. Photo: © A.P. MOLLER – Maersk Group.