If I felt like you about COP I would:sell my holding,cut my loses and move on, why have a stroke. Maybe you should submit your resume to COP board for Mulva's job. Sounds like you may do a better job running COP. Nobody bitched about the guy when the stock was above $90 and natty gas was over $15/1000 btu's.
Mulva is a pure finance guy. As such he, believes engineers are technical tools/geeks interested in wasting money on techy projects that have no IMMEDIATE ROI. He believes that to maximize share price and WALL STREET happiness you need spend money on projects that have a big impact immediately so you ignore the engineers long term projects and BUY BUY BUY. Unfortunately most assets for sale are the CASTOFFS of other companies. One asset cited earlier in this string was ARCO Alaska that was acquired because of an FTC mandate, not a castoff. Unfortunately this was a winner that, as we have seen, gave false credibility to a flawed long term strategy. Jim is 64 this year and therefore eligible for reduced Social Security benefits. I suggest that the BOD offer him a golden parachute to bridge his payment to FULL RETIREMENT AGE 66 benefits so he can afford to retire NOW!
I complained at the time to which you refer. Specifically I was worried about exactly what happened. We bought back shares at inflated prices, bought nat gas (burlington) at inflated prices and got into another version of Venezuela (Russia) by choice rather than heritage. Stock buybacks are a tool for internal options and not for stock holders. And don't feed me that bull about EPS. When your $35B in debt nobody cares about your EPS by comparison. At least if we get out of LUK now we will get paid something rather than waiting to Putin to pull a Chavez.