Today's release of weekly energy inventories from the Department of Energy (DoE) showed an unexpected decrease in crude oil inventories and an unexpected build in gasoline stockpiles. In the crude oil space, traders were expecting inventories to rise by 450,000 barrels, but actual inventories declined by 624,000 barrels. Even with this unexpected decline, though, current inventories are at their third highest reading ever, and well above the historical average.
While crude oil inventories declined, gasoline inventories showed an unexpected rise. While traders were looking for a decline of 1.1 million barrels, actual inventories rose by 2.588 million barrels. This represented the largest weekly increase since the first week of January. This week's increase came just in time as it helped to ease some of the tightness that had been building in the supply of gasoline relative to average ahead of summer driving season.