April 11 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp said on Thursday its chief executive's overall 2012 compensation rose $7.5 million despite a cut to his bonus to reflect a series of "operating incidents" last year.
CEO John Watson's total 2012 compensation was $32.2 million, including nearly $17 million in stock and option awards as well as $9.9 million in other compensation and pension benefits.
Chevron had said last month that compensation would take into account the company's strong overall performance. Chevron shares hit a record high of $121.56 on March 25, boosted by the second-largest U.S. oil company's projected growth of 25 percent in production by 2017.
Yet Watson's cash bonus shrank to $3.48 million from $4 million, following a decision by the board to account for some Chevron accidents over the past 18 months.
Just a few months after an oil leak off Brazil in late 2011, a fire burned for weeks at a Chevron well off the coast of Nigeria in early 2012.
Then there was the August fire at its oldest refinery in Richmond, California, causing damage that has kept the plant operating at reduced capacity for eight months.
Among other top executives, Chief Financial Officer Pat Yarrington saw her total compensation fall to $10.4 million from $11.3 million, while pay for the head of refining, Mike Wirth, fell $2.5 million to $8.8 million.
George Kirkland, head of Chevron's oil and gas production, saw compensation rise to $18.8 million from $16.5 million the year before.
At the company's annual meeting on May 29, Chevron shareholders will also vote on shareholder proposals for company reports on country selection, lobbying disclosure, climate risk, offshore oil wells, and shale energy operations.
Last year, shale was in focus at the meetings of both Chevron and Exxon. A proposal for a report on the risks of hydraulic fracturing in shale had support from 27 percent of Chevron shareholders, while a similar proposal received 30 percent support among Exxon shareholders.