BP chief executive Bob Dudley was paid almost $20 million in 2015 - an increase of about 20% from the previous year - even as the company posted one of the biggest losses in its history.
Dudley did not see an increase in his base salary, nor did any other executive directors, BP said in its annual report on Friday. It added that salaries for executives will remain flat in 2016 as well.
Dudley's increase in pay came in the form of a payment to his US pension plan, a rise that stems from deferred bonus payments in 2012, the company said.
"2012 deferred bonus was conditional on safety and environmental sustainability performance over the period 2013 through to 2015," BP explained in the report. "There was strong and consistent delivery against this hurdle and 2012 deferred and matching shares vested in full."
His overall bonus, paid in cash and shares, was $4.2 million. BP said that 100% of Dudley's 2016 bonus "will be based on group results".
Ann Dowling, chair of BP's remuneration committee, said the company exceeded operational and safety targets throughout 2015.
"The oil price is outside BP's control, but executives performed strongly in managing the things they could control and for which they are accountable," Dowling said. "BP surpassed expectations on most measures and directors’ remuneration reflects this."
Like its supermajor peers, BP had a rough 2015. It reported a $6.5 billion loss for the year - its worst year on record.
It has also slashed its workforce by thousands. It most recently announced, in January, layoffs totalling around 4000 for 2016 - with possibly more to come - as it tries to reign in spending.
On the plus side, BP finally closed the door on the years-long hangover from the 2010 Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, reaching an approximate $20 billion settlement with the US government covering most claims.
Dudley's pay has risen steadily since he took over post-Macondo, and his compensation has been a frequent point of tension with shareholders.
BP's annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for next month.