Energy investors are focusing on what U.S. independent producers have to say in coming financial sessions about their ability to survive a period of $50 oil after many were geared up for richer crude prices. Photo: Associated Press A year ago, Houston oil and gas company Energy XXI Ltd. was getting ready to take on $1 billion in debt to buy a rival. Its stock climbed toward $24 a share. On Monday, the debt-laden company laid out its strategy for survival after that deal contributed to a $377 million loss for its December quarter. On the list: asset sales, expense cuts and cashing in oil-price contracts it signed before prices tumbled. Shares of the energy producer, which operates in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, now change hands for less than $4 apiece. “The culture of the company has changed, with more focus on cost savings and […]