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Chevron says executive pay to reflect 2012 "incidents"

A lit sign at Chevron's oil refinery in Richmond, California is seen through a window after a large fire erupted earlier in the evening on A
A lit sign at Chevron's oil refinery in Richmond, California is seen through a window after a large fire erupted earlier in the evening on A

(Reuters) - Chevron Corp said on Wednesday its executive pay would reflect certain incidents in 2012 as well as a financial performance that outpaced the U.S. oil company's peer group.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Chevron's board has trimmed equity awards by 11 percent and bonuses by at least 10 percent for Chief Executive John Watson and several other executives as a result of a string of accidents.

A Chevron spokesman declined to comment beyond the statement, which said that despite the company's strong overall performance, it had some "operating incidents" during 2012.

"These incidents were reflected in Mr. Watson's and other senior executives' compensation awards," the statement said.

Just a few months after an oil leak off Brazil in late 2011, a fire burned for weeks at a Chevron well off the coast of Nigeria in early 2012.

Then there was the fire at Chevron's oldest refinery in Richmond, California, which led to damage that has kept the plant operating at reduced capacity for more than six months.

"The board's compensation actions reflect the fact that Chevron takes management accountability seriously," the company said. "Our leadership understands that there are consequences when it doesn't meet expectations, especially in areas as critical as process safety."

Watson earned total compensation of $24.7 million in 2011, including $5.1 million in stock, $7.2 million in option awards and $4 million in non-equity incentives, according to a filing last April with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The equivalent filing for 2012 is due from Chevron in the next few weeks.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang)

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