Oil Drops To $96 A Barrel As Energy Prices Decline 1.4 Percent In April

Here’s an interesting look at the continuing trend of big banks unwinding their trading operations amid increased regulatory oversight and proprietary trading prohibitions. Many of the big players have left the space that’s increasingly being filled by new entrants like major trading houses. ‘“Today’s markets are ‘boring,’ said Thomas Thees, a former head of North American credit trading at Morgan Stanley and a former co-head of fixed income at Jefferies Group. “This is affecting the opportunity to make money, and ultimately the earnings these [trading] businesses can provide.”’ [Wall Street Journal]

This is an extremely detailed profile of the Norwegian oil and gas industry that includes an interview with the country’s petroleum minister, who said advancing CCS is one of his main policy goals. Norway has made some significant new discoveries over the past year at a time when North Sea output is experiencing relatively steep declines. [World Oil]

US gas prices will likely be impacted by short-term weather – which looks set to trend cooler this week over a large portion of the country – and fundamentals including output levels, storage replenishment and power sector demand. “At this juncture, it’s not out of the question that sellers may attempt to test of the major $4 psychological support level in the short term, particularly if spot prices across a large area of the nation press lower as a result of the lackluster summer demand.” [Natural Gas Intelligence]