A look at supply, demand, historic pricing, profits, oil industry surveys, and earnings calls, shows production and inflation don't explain the prices. The answer reveals a future economic threat.
What about other firms that do buy-backs? That is standard practice across industries. Completely irrelevant to the discussion. For example, Apple and other tech companies keep money offshore to avoid US taxes .Profits are the purpose of our capitalist system. Why shouldn't shareholders get profits? Investors who lost money with shale build out (billions) have never been compensated. Oil companies did not receive stimulus during covid when oil went negative. Exxon invested 118B on new oil supplies, 2x the net profits of 55B. https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/News/Newsroom/News-releases/2022/0615_ExxonMobil-statement-regarding-President-Biden-Letter-to-Oil-Industry
Misinformed no more!
Appreciate the depth of the research and will share as often as I can to those who are misinformed, of which there are many.