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Extraction Gives Executives Bonuses Ahead of Possible Default

By Kevin Crowley

Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. plans to pay 16 executives and senior managers a total of $6.7 million in return for staying with the Colorado-based driller ahead of a possible default on its bond payments. Rank-and-file employees may receive a cash payment equivalent to their target 2020 pay, the Denver-based company said in a statement Thursday. The payments will help “maintain the stability and cohesion of our workforce,” it said.Extraction didn’t make an interest payment on its bonds last month, indicating severe financial stress, as oil prices plunged earlier this year.

Whiting Petroleum Corp., Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. have made similar payouts to executives as they careen toward or have already embraced bankruptcy protection. Directors defend the packages as vital to preserving a company’s value but outrage is growing as thousands of workers lose their jobs and critics call them reward for failure.

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