What happened

Shares of small U.S. oil and gas company SM Energy (NYSE:SM) rose as much as 11% on Sept. 16. Fellow driller Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) were up roughly 10% at one point. Drilling services provider Core Laboratories (NYSE:CLB) also joined the energy sector uptick, rising around 9%. All three had given back some of their gains by 1 p.m. EDT, but were still holding on to high-single-digit advances.

So what

Each of the sizable daily advances here is owed, in great part, to a notable rise in the price of oil today. But to attribute the entirety of the moves to this single factor would miss the bigger picture. Oil prices have fallen to painfully low levels in 2020 because of the dramatic reduction in

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