Nabors Cuts Best-Paid U.S. Oil CEO’s Salary Amid Rout

Nabors Industries Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Tony Petrello, the best-paid oil executive in the U.S., and his finance chief are getting salary cuts as the world’s biggest land-rig contractor confronts an industry downturn.

Petrello’s base salary for the first half of next year will be pegged to an annual rate of $1.53 million, a 10 percent cut from the current $1.7 million. Chief Financial Officer William Restrepo is also getting a 10 percent cut in his annualized base salary, to $585,000, over the same period, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based company said today in a federal filing.

“The salary reductions do not affect the calculation or payment of any ancillary benefits,” Nabors said.

In 2013, Petrello’s total compensation included equity awards at $43 million when they were granted in March of last year, and he was granted $21.2 million in cash. This year, his potential total compensation reached more than $100 million in July, before Nabors shares plummeted more than 50 percent in six months.

Oil-service companies and rig contractors are preparing for an estimated 25 percent drop in spending next year from explorers and producers after crude prices dropped to a five-year low.

Halliburton Co., the largest fracking services provider, said last week it was cutting 1,000 jobs in the Eastern Hemisphere.