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CEO compensation surged 75 per cent in Canada’s oil and gas sector last year: Report

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January 17, 2024
By Talent Canada

Photo: Getty Images

There has been a substantial surge in executive compensation in the oil and gas sector, according to a new report from the Bedford Consulting Group.

And while there has been some progress on the diversity front, it noted that only three per cent of CEO roles are occupied by women.


Pay increased by 75 per cent in 2023 compared to the previous year, with CEO total compensation ranging from $425,255 in companies with assets under $100 million to $16.6 million for firms boasting over $30 billion in assets. Total compensation also grew in most asset classes for CFOs and COOs year over year.

“Economic factors and forecasts have worked to drive compensation up which is reflected in our report,” said Frank Galati, managing partner with Bedford Consulting Group. “CEO and CFO compensation has grown significantly in almost all asset tiers year-over-year, representative of the strong position oil and gas currently finds itself in after a lengthy downturn from 2014 through 2021.”


Producers can expect the TMX pipeline to add over half a million barrels per day for export beginning in 2024. Specifically in western Canada, access to west coast shipping ports will narrow the WCS differential and bolster corporate revenue. As a result, Bedford expects to see further increases in executive and director compensation in the coming years.

Board compensation climbing

Similar increases were observed in board compensation, with retainers, fees, and equity grants increasing in value from fiscal 2021. The report also highlights a significant shift away from meeting attendance fees for board members.

In the latest data, only 8.4 per cent of companies provided a specific per-meeting fee, marking a nearly 50 per cent decrease from the previous year.

Some progress on diversity, but long road remains

The oil and gas industry has been actively working towards increasing diversity around the boardroom table, the Bedford Consulting Group said in a press release.

As a result, it has the highest percentage of female board members (26.6 per cent) relative to Bedford’s findings from both its mining (21.8 per cent) and clean technology (23.8 per cent) industry reports. It also represents an increase of 3.2 percentage points from 2021.

While strides have been taken when it comes to board diversity, this has not translated to an increase in female CEOs with only 3.2 per cent of CEOs and 11.6 per cent of all NEOs identifying as female.

“It’s clear that the industry has taken strides on board diversity, but it lags behind when it comes to diversity in the C-suite, particularly for CEOs,” said Stephen Diotte, compensation partner with Bedford.

“The industry needs to make shifts to become more intentional when it comes to C-suite diversity. This could include best practice tools like developing a more comprehensive skills matrix and researching corporate practices at companies that have been successful in diversifying their boards and executive teams.”

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