As you may have noticed, energy stocks and particularly MLPs have moved sharply higher since the new quarter started last week. Whether this is a “dead cat bounce” remains to be seen. Consensus thought has been that even though rig counts are down, efficiency gains have meant that production itself has not dropped. With that in mind, I thought the chart below might be interesting. It shows a dramatic reduction in U.S. rig count, which I showed in a recent blog, along with U.S. crude oil production. As you can see, production has begun to tick down. Will it end up being just a tick, or are we on the verge of a measurable drop in production?