BHP chiefs forgo bonus after Shale writedown

The CEO of BHP Billiton, Marius Kloppers, and head of petroleum Mike Yeager The CEO of BHP Billiton, Marius Kloppers, and head of petroleum Mike Yeager will not accept their bonus for 2012, after the company said it had suffered large impairments on its US shale gas assets.

''It is very disappointing that low US gas prices have impacted the carrying value of the Fayetteville assets. As a result of the write down both Marius Kloppers and Mike Yeager have advised the Remuneration Committee that they do not wish to be considered for a bonus for the 2012 financial year. The Remuneration Committee and the Board respect and agree with that decision,'' the company said in a statement.

Kloppers last year received $4.7 million in short-term incentives – half of it in cash and the other half in share payments deferred for two years – compared to a base salary of $2.1 million.

Yeager received $2.7 million in cash and deferred share payments last year and a base salary of $1.24 million.
 
BHP Billiton yesterday said, it would take a $2.84-billion writedown on its US shale gas business and additionally a $450 million writedown on Australian nickel operations after a plunge in commodities prices i (BHP Billiton expansion plans at risk on falling ron ore prices).

''The Fayetteville charges reflect the fall in the US domestic gas prices and the company's decision to adjust its development plans by shifting drilling from dry gas to the more liquids-rich fields,'' said Kloppers.

The US gas prices plunged to about $1.90 earlier this year from about $4 per British thermal unit.