LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) - The head of North Sea oil producer Premier Oil saw his final pay package rise by a third last year to 1.4 million pounds ($1.7 million) as a reward for his work to cut costs amid weak oil prices, the company said in its annual report.
London-listed Premier Oil, which had been struggling with high debt before agreeing a restructuring deal in February, remained loss-making before tax in 2016 but its share price rose 52 percent as the price of crude recovered.
The main remuneration increase for Chief Executive Tony Durrant came from his bonus, which had been capped at 10 percent of salary in 2015 due to the market downturn.
Durrant’s bonus payment rose to 378,400 pounds in 2016, equivalent to 67 percent of his salary, compared with 56,700 pounds in 2015, the report showed.
Premier Oil’s remuneration committee said his “leadership and execution of low-oil price environmental strategy, driving down cost, rebalancing the portfolio and ensuring future balance sheet recovery” were the main reasons for the higher bonus.
Director of Exploration Robin Allen was rewarded for the integration of E.ON’s UK North Sea assets, which Premier Oil bought early last year, the committee said.
His remuneration package rose to 733,900 pounds, with a bonus of 227,815 pounds.
Jane Hinkley, chairman of Premier Oil’s remuneration committee, said the company’s new policy, to be put to a shareholder vote at an annual meeting on May 17, would include a restricted share award tied to reducing debt. ($1 = 0.8054 pounds) (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Dale Hudson)