Shell Reveals That Chief Executive’s Pay Doubled In 2011 As It Admits To 207 Oil Spills In 2011
Shell chief executive Peter Voser earned more than £10m last year in pay and bonuses at a time of near-record oil prices and in a year when the firm was responsible for 207 oil spills – considerably more than the year before.
The remuneration, made up of salary, bonuses and long-term incentive schemes, was more than double the figure for 2010 but the company said it was justified by Shell’s strong operating and share-price performance. The oil firm reported global annual earnings of $28.6bn (£18bn) in 2011 – or more than £2m an hour – a 54% increase on the previous year.
Voser’s pay was revealed in the company’s annual report less than 24 hours after directors were criticised by British MPs for alleged complacency over safety plans for future drilling in the Arctic.
Shell said in its report that the number of “operational spills over 100 kilograms” increased to 207 during 2011 from 195 in 2010, but it admitted the figure for last year could still grow. The group is still investigating a further four spills in Nigeria that it admits “may result in adjustments to the 2011 data”. A similar adjustment was made to the 2010 number.
Among the confirmed spills last year was a leak from a pipeline connected to the Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea, plus one off the Bonga field in Nigeria. The company said that it regretted both incidents, but had taken “prompt and comprehensive response actions”.
Shell admitted that environmental problems it was still grappling with included 23 square kilometres of “ponds” containing toxic metals caused by the mining of tar sands at Athabasca in Alberta, Canada. It said it was still working with local authorities on what to do about the discovery of fresh water from a local aquifer in the bottom of one pond at the Muskeg River Mine, Athabasca.