Energy Execs Are Now Paid to Pump Cash, Not Oil

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Oil companies are making more money than ever, but they are spending less of it exploring for new wells. One reason: Executives aren’t getting paid as much to boost production.

Compensation packages for oil executives today pay them more to increase their company’s cash flow rather than its production, a shift from historical patterns. The change is helping hold back how much oil comes out of U.S. soil at a time when President Joe Biden and others have been urging producers to pump more.