South Korean oil company gives staff 1,000% bonus for 2022

2022 was a good year to work in an oil company.

Matthias Ang | January 04, 2023, 12:58 PM

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The staff of a South Korean oil refining company, Hyundai Oilbank, have received bonuses that are 1,000 per cent of their base salaries, following a strong performance in profits for 2022, The Korean Herald reported.

The Korea Economic Daily reported that the bonuses were handed out on Dec. 30, 2022.

The company did not disclose the specific amounts that were handed out.

The Korean Herald further reported that previously in 2021, Hyundai Oilbank had given its staff an average of 121 million won (S$127,360), which included bonuses that were 600 per cent of their base salaries.

Bonuses follow strong profits for 2022

The company had recorded a profit of 2.8 trillion won (S$2.9 billion) for the third quarter of 2022, an increase of 226 per cent from the same period in 2021 when it posted a profit of 851.6 billion won, the Korea Economic Daily further reported.

In addition, the cumulative profit for 2022 is reportedly expected to increase once the profits of 2022's fourth quarter are added in.

Other refining companies in South Korea such as SK Energy, S-Oil and GS Caltex have yet to decide on the size of their bonuses.

Previously in 2022, SK Energy and GS Caltex gave bonuses that were 1,000 per cent of base salaries to their employees, while S-Oil gave a bonus of 1,400 per cent.

However, an anonymous official from a major oil refining company was quoted by The Korean Herald as saying that the bonuses are expected to be similar to those given out by Hyundai Oilbank.

Increased demand for heating in winter and invasion of Ukraine pushed up price of oil

Another anonymous industry official was further quoted as saying that "global dynamics" have been a key factor in the profits of refining companies.

In particular, the prolonged impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and increased demand for heating in the winter have caused a surge in the global oil price.

Another factor is the decision by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners to maintain their policy of cutting oil production to 2 million barrels a day, under the leadership of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Calls have reportedly emerged for windfall taxes to be imposed on the refining companies for their earnings.

Top Screenshot via Hyundai Oilbank/Instagram