JOSHUA FREED

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) ¿ The chief executive of oil refiner Tesoro Corp. saw his 2008 compensation fall 18.6 percent during a year when crude prices plummeted from all-time highs.

The San Antonio-based company paid Bruce A. Smith, its chairman, CEO and president, compensation valued at $8.8 million, according to an Associated Press analysis of a regulatory filing.

The pay included a salary of almost $1.3 million, up 8.2 percent from $1.2 million in 2007. He also collected stock and options valued at almost $6.9 million when they were granted on Jan. 30, 2008.

Additionally, Tesoro awarded Smith $658,137 in other compensation, most of it for dividends on restricted stock. The company said Smith repaid it for personal use of the company plane.

The company paid him no bonus in 2008, and his incentive plan compensation fell to zero from $1.6 million in 2007. The AP valued Smith's total 2007 pay at $10.8 million.

The AP formula is designed to isolate the value the company's board placed on the executive's total compensation package. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive's compensation in the previous fiscal year.

For the full year 2008, Tesoro earned $278 million, down by more than half from the $566 million it earned during 2007. Revenue for the year rose 29 percent to $28.3 billion.

In the past year Tesoro's shares have traded between $6.71 and $33.40. They closed Thursday at $16.36.

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