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Form of Award Notice for ESG Performance Shares under the National Fuel Gas Company 2010 Equity Compensation Plan
Contract Categories: Human Resources - Bonus & Incentive Agreements
EX-10.3 4 nfg-12312021xexhibit103.htm EX-10.3 Document
Form of Award Notice for ESG Performance Shares
under the National Fuel Gas Company 2010 Equity Compensation Plan
I am pleased to inform you that on [date of grant] the Compensation Committee (“Committee”) of the Board of Directors of National Fuel Gas Company (the “Company”) granted to you (the “Grantee” or “you”) Performance Shares under the National Fuel Gas Company 2010 Equity Compensation Plan (the “Plan”), subject to a Performance Goal related to reductions in methane intensity rates and greenhouse gas emissions, as set forth in this Award Notice. Performance Shares are an award, pursuant to Section 9 of the Plan, constituting units denominated in Common Stock, the number of which such units may be adjusted over a Performance Cycle based upon the extent to which Performance Goals have been satisfied.
The Performance Shares covered by this letter agreement (“Award Notice”) may be referred to in this Award Notice as “Your ESG Performance Shares.” The number of Performance Shares set forth above is referred to in this Award Notice as the “Target Opportunity.” The Plan and the Committee’s Administrative Rules (“Rules”) govern the operation of the Plan, as well as the terms and conditions of Your ESG Performance Shares, and are incorporated herein by reference. Capitalized terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the meanings set forth for such terms in the Plan or the Rules.
1. Performance Cycle and Performance Goal
The vesting of Your ESG Performance Shares is subject to a Performance Goal as set forth in this Award Notice. The Performance Cycle for Your ESG Performance Shares is [start date] through [end date]. Except as otherwise specified in the Plan or determined by the Committee, and to the extent the Performance Goal has been achieved, Your ESG Performance Shares shall vest on such date as the Committee determines the extent to which the Performance Goal has been achieved. Such determination date shall be not later than [date].
The Performance Goal upon which any vesting and payment of Your ESG Performance Shares is conditioned shall consist of two parts:
(A) Methane Intensity Rates. Rates of intensity of Scope 1 methane emissions by the Company’s operating segments do not exceed the following as of the last year of the Performance Cycle:
|For Reference Purposes Only|
|Segment||2024 Target Rate |
|2020 Baseline Rate|
|Pipeline and Storage||1.78||2.28||21.9%|
|Exploration and Production||1.82||2.61||30.3%|
(B) Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions for calendar year 2024, on a Company-wide basis, are lower than 1,988,666 metric tons CO2e, the Company’s 2020 Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions.
The Performance Goal is intended to incentivize and reward performance that helps position the Company to meet or exceed its 2030 methane intensity and greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets as disclosed in the Company’s Corporate Responsibility Report (as published from time to time, the “Report”). Methane intensity and greenhouse gas emissions shall be measured in all respects in the same manner they are measured for purposes of the Report.
Highland Field Services emissions are excluded from the Report as published in [date] and shall be excluded from calculations of performance levels under the Performance Goal.
To the extent permissible by applicable law, including without limitation Section 409A, the Compensation Committee may adjust the Performance Goal in the event of (i) any adjustments to measurement methodologies affecting Company or segment target intensity rates, target greenhouse gas emissions, 2020 baseline intensity rates, or 2020 baseline greenhouse gas emissions levels, each as determined in accordance with the Report, or (ii) any joint venture, joint development agreement, restructuring, reorganization, acquisition, disposition and/or wind-down or closing of any business unit.
Your ESG Performance Shares shall vest and payment shall be made on Your ESG Performance Shares to the extent the Company achieves the performance detailed below, provided that Your ESG Performance Shares have not previously been forfeited in accordance with applicable terms and conditions.
Target Opportunity Paid
|2 of 4 Part A segment targets achieved||50%|
|3 of 4 Part A segment targets achieved||100%|
|4 of 4 Part A segment targets achieved||150%|
4 of 4 Part A segment targets achieved and
Part B greenhouse gas emissions goal achieved
Any and all of Your ESG Performance Shares representing the percentage of the Target Opportunity not required to be paid shall not vest, and shall be automatically forfeited on the date the Compensation Committee makes its determination as to the extent to which the Performance Goal has been achieved, but no later than [date], if not previously forfeited in accordance with the terms and conditions applicable to such Performance Shares.
At the expiration of the Performance Cycle, the Committee shall certify in writing the number of Performance Shares earned and vested on the basis of performance in relation to the Performance Goal. The Committee shall determine whether earned Performance Shares are to be distributed in the form of cash, shares of Common Stock or in a combination thereof, with the value or number of shares payable to be determined based on the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock on the date of the Committee’s certification. Any fractional share otherwise payable in settlement of Your ESG Performance Shares shall be paid in cash. Payments in settlement of Your ESG Performance Shares shall be subject to any applicable deferral election under the National Fuel Gas Company Deferred Compensation Plan for Directors and Officers.
3. Restrictions on Transferability
Your ESG Performance Shares may not be sold, assigned, transferred or pledged during the Performance Cycle, except that the Committee may permit (on such terms and conditions as it shall establish) some or all of Your ESG Performance Shares to be transferred during the Performance Cycle to a Permitted Transferee in accordance with Section 14(a) of the Plan.
4. Rights as a Shareholder
You shall not have any right, in respect of Your ESG Performance Shares, to vote on any matter submitted to the Company’s stockholders until such time, if any, as the shares of Common Stock attributable to Your ESG Performance Shares have been issued. Dividend Equivalents shall not be paid or payable on Your ESG Performance Shares before they become earned and vested.
5. Termination of Employment
In the event your employment with the Company or its Subsidiaries terminates due to your death, Disability or Retirement, or due to the Company divestiture of one or more Subsidiaries or other business segments, divisions or operations in a transaction that does not otherwise qualify as a Change in Control, then the number of Your ESG Performance Shares that otherwise would have vested after the end of the Performance Cycle shall be pro-rated to reflect the time period from the commencement of the Performance Cycle through the date of the termination of your service to the Company or its Subsidiaries, as described in Sections 11(a)(i) and 11(c)(i), respectively, of the Plan, and any of Your ESG Performance Shares that do not vest shall automatically be forfeited. In the event your employment with the Company or its Subsidiaries terminates for any other reason, the provisions of the Plan shall control.
6. Change in Control
Subject to the terms of the Plan and the Rules, in the event of a Change in Control of the Company, each of Your ESG Performance Shares then outstanding shall be deemed earned at the target level of performance for such Award. In addition, the Committee may direct that each of Your ESG Performance Shares be settled in cash with its value determined based on the value received by the shareholders in any transaction that constitutes a Change in Control. The Plan also allows the Committee to reasonably determine in good faith, before a Change in Control, that this Award shall be honored or assumed, or new rights substituted therefore, by your employer or the parent or affiliate of your employer, provided that any such honored, assumed or substituted award must satisfy the requirements set forth in Section 12(b) of the Plan, including “substantially equivalent economic value.”
7. Adjustments in Common Stock
In the event of an Adjustment Event, including any stock dividend, stock split, merger, consolidation, reorganization, recapitalization or other similar event affecting the Common Stock, the Committee shall equitably adjust, in its discretion, the number of shares subject to this Award Notice. To the extent the Committee deems equitable and appropriate and subject to any required action by shareholders of the Company or of any successor in interest to the Company or any direct or indirect parent corporation of the Company or any such successor, in any Adjustment Event that is a merger, consolidation, reorganization, liquidation, dissolution or similar transaction, Your ESG Performance Shares shall be deemed to pertain to the securities and other property, including cash, to which a holder of the number of shares of Common Stock covered by this Award Notice would have been entitled to receive in connection with such Adjustment Event. Any Committee determination pursuant to this Section 7 shall be final, binding and conclusive.
8. Authority of Committee
The Committee has the authority to interpret the Plan and all Performance Shares granted thereunder, to establish rules and regulations relating to the Plan and to make all other determinations it believes necessary or advisable for the administration of the Plan. The scope of the Committee’s authority is more fully described in Section 3 of the Plan. All determinations and actions of the Committee are final, conclusive and binding on you.
(a) This Award Notice shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the Company (and its successors and assigns) and you (and your heirs, legal representatives and estate) and shall be governed by the laws of the State of New Jersey, and any applicable laws of the United States. The Performance Share award under the Plan does not alter, amend or otherwise affect your employment status with the Company or its subsidiaries. No contract or right of employment shall be implied by this Award Notice.
(b) The Committee may at any time unilaterally amend any unpaid Performance Shares award, including Awards earned but not yet paid, to the extent it deems appropriate, provided, however, that subject to Section 5(d) of the Plan, any such amendment which is adverse to the Grantee shall require the Grantee’s consent unless the Committee determines that such amendment or modification is necessary or advisable to comply with applicable law as a result of changes in law or regulation or to avoid the imposition of an additional tax, interest or penalty under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
(c) If Your ESG Performance Shares are assumed or new Performance Shares are substituted therefor in any corporate reorganization (including, but not limited to, any transaction of the type referred to in Section 424(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended), employment by such assuming or substituting company or by a parent company or a subsidiary thereof shall be considered for all purposes of this Award Notice to be employment by the Company.
(d) In consideration of the Grantee’s privilege to participate in the Plan, the Grantee agrees (i) not to disclose any trade secrets of, or other confidential/restricted information of the Company to any unauthorized party, (ii) not to make any unauthorized use of such trade secrets or confidential or restricted information during his or her employment with the Company or its Subsidiaries or after such employment is terminated, and (iii) not to solicit any then current employees of the Company or any other subsidiaries of the Company to join the Grantee at his or her new place of employment after his or her employment with the Company or its Subsidiaries is terminated. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1833(b), an individual shall not be held criminally or civilly liable under any federal or state trade secret law for the disclosure of a trade secret that is made: (1) in confidence to a Federal, State, or local government official, either directly or indirectly, or to an attorney, and solely for the purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law; or (2) in a complaint or other document filed in a lawsuit or other proceeding, if such filing is made under seal. Additionally, an individual who files a lawsuit for retaliation by an employer for reporting a suspected violation of law may disclose a trade secret to his or her attorney and use the trade secret information in the court proceeding, if the individual: (1) files any document containing the trade secret under seal; and (2) does not disclose the trade secret, except pursuant to court order.
(e) This Award Notice, together with the Plan and the Rules, constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof. You hereby acknowledge that you have been provided with a copy of the Plan and the Rules, and understand the terms and conditions of these documents and of this Award Notice.
(f) In the event of the invalidity of any part or provision of this Award Notice, such invalidity shall not affect the enforceability of any other part or provision hereof.
10. Tax Withholding
The Company will be entitled to deduct from any payment under this Award Notice, regardless of the form of such payment, the amount of all applicable income and employment taxes required by law to be withheld with respect to such payment or may require you to pay to it such tax prior to and as a condition of the making of such payment. Tax withholdings will be in accordance with the Rules.
11. Securities Law Requirements
The Company will not be required to issue shares in settlement of Your ESG Performance Shares unless and until (a) such shares have been duly listed upon each stock exchange on which the Company’s Common Stock is then registered and (b) a registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933 with respect to such shares is then effective. The Board may require you to furnish to the Company, prior to the issuance of any shares of Common Stock in connection with the settlement of Your ESG Performance Shares, an agreement, in such form as the Board may from time to time deem appropriate, in which you represent that the shares you acquired upon such settlement are being acquired for investment and not with a view to the sale or distribution thereof.
12. Performance Shares Subject to Plan and Rules
Your ESG Performance Shares shall be subject to all the terms and provisions of the Plan, the Rules and this Award Notice, and you shall abide by and be bound by such terms and provisions and all rules, regulations and determinations of the Board or the Committee now or hereafter made in its discretion in connection with the administration of the Plan.
13. American Jobs Creation Act
In addition to amendments permitted by Section 9(b) above, the Company may make amendments to Your ESG Performance Shares, without your consent, in order to ensure compliance with the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. And, further, amendments may be made to the Plan to ensure such compliance, which amendments may impact Your ESG Performance Shares.
If the foregoing is acceptable to you, kindly acknowledge your acceptance by clicking the “Accept” button below. By clicking the “Accept” button, you acknowledge that you have read the terms and conditions of the grant, and agree to be bound by those terms and conditions.
Very truly yours,
|NATIONAL FUEL GAS COMPANY|