UPDATE 2-Superior Energy scraps dividend, cuts executives' pay

Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:51am EDT
 
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* Executives' base salaries cut 15 pct

* Annual director fees also reduced 15 pct (Adds details on executive and board compensation pay cut)

March 31 (Reuters) - Oilfield services provider Superior Energy Services Inc scrapped its quarterly dividend and cut the base salaries of its executives as part of efforts to preserve cash amid a prolonged slump in crude oil prices.

The executives' base salaries have been reduced by 15 percent, effective April 1, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The Houston-based company also approved a 15 percent cut in the annual director fees.

A near-65 percent plunge in crude oil prices since June 2014 has forced oil and gas producers to slash spending and scale back drilling, hurting demand for services provided by companies like Superior Energy.

"This downturn has been severe in extent and duration...," Chief Executive David Dunlap said in a statement.

Superior Energy joins a growing list of energy companies such as ConocoPhilips, Noble Energy and Cimarex Energy who have slashed or eliminated their dividends.

Superior Energy, which paid a quarterly dividend of 8 cents per share last month, posted a bigger-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter in February.

The company said in July it had cut 24 percent of its workforce since the end of 2014.

Up to Wednesday's close, the company's shares had fallen 41 percent in the past 12 months. (Reporting by Manish Parashar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian and Sriraj Kalluvila)