DIRECTORS of Bowleven, led by chief executive Kevin Hart have missed out on share awards worth around £434,000 in total because the company did not generate the required returns for shareholders.

The Edinburgh-based oil and gas firm said the award of 1.8m shares in total to five directors under the Long Term Incentive Programme in December 2011 had lapsed because the relevant performance conditions had not been met.

Mr Hart had been in line to receive 729,328 shares under the LTIP, worth a total of around £171,000 at yesterday's closing price of 23.5p.

Finance director Kerry Crawford had been awarded 199,426 shares worth £46,865 subject to conditions.

Chief Tabetando was set to get 341,782 shares worth £80,340 in total.

Exploration head Ed Willett and General Counsel Peter Wilson were due to get shares worth around £71,400 and £64,270 respectively.

In Bowleven's latest annual report the company said LTIP awards would vest if the total shareholder return (TSR) in the Company ranks median or above when compared with the TSR of a pre-defined comparator group over the relevant three year performance period.

Shares in Bowleven closed at 67.125p on 12 December 2011, when the LTIP awards were made.

The company has not paid a dividend since then.

Bowleven's annual report shows it paid no performance-related bonuses to any directors in respect of the year to June.

Mr Hart could have collected a bonus worth up to 100 per cent of his $627,000 salary.

Six directors, including Mr Hart and Chief Tabetando, will collect shares awarded under a LTIP dating from 2009 if Bowleven completes the $250m sale of its Cameroon stake it agreed in June. This is subject to an official decree from Cameroon's President Biya.

Mr Hart will get 117,000 shares if the farm-out completes, worth £27,500 at yesterday's closing price.

Bowleven said non executive director Philip Tracy bought 100,000 shares yesterday at 23p each.