Directors in loss-making Gulf Keystone earn over $1.1m each

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The Independent Online

The six executive and non-executive directors of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, the junior AIM-listed oil & gas explorer, all took home at least $1.1m last year.

The loss-making group, which has substantial assets in northern Iraq, paid its chief executive, Todd Kozel, nearly $10m last year. According to the company's annual report, this included a cash bonus of $1.4m and shares worth $7.9m. This is generous compared to the bosses of the world's biggest oil companies. For example, BP's chief executive, Bob Dudley, was paid less than $2m last year.

A leading shareholder said: "A company like Gulf Keystone shouldn't be giving any cash bonuses when it's not yet generating cash."

However, Mr Kozel's remuneration does recognise the fact that the company has had some spectacular oil finds in recent years, and that the share price has improved significantly. At a market capitalisation of more than £1.2bn, it is one of the biggest firms on AIM.

Mr Kozel is going through a $100m divorce battle in the US. The case is significant as it sheds light on his shareholdings in Gulf Keystone.

There have been criticisms of the company for not being clear enough over certain issues, but it insists it has always given out relevant information.