After a surprise build in crude oil inventories as measured by API last night, crude oil inventories as measured by the DoE showed an unexpected decline.  While trades were expecting crude inventories to increase by 2 million barrels, they actually fell by 553K.  With that decline, crude oil inventories continue to close in on levels they were at this time last year, which was admittedly still above average.  In fact, at current levels, crude inventories are 165 million barrels (46%) above their historical average.

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Gasoline inventories also came in lower than expected this week, falling by just under 2 million barrels compared to forecasts for a decline of just one million barrels.  As shown in the charts below, gasoline stockpiles are also above average for this time of year but nearing levels they are at this time last year.
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