This week's release of energy inventories from the Department of Energy showed that stockpiles of crude oil and gasoline both declined in the latest week, although for both commodities the declines were either in line with or less than the seasonal norm. With regard to crude oil, this week's decline of 2.8 million barrels was nearly twice what traders were expecting (-1.5 million). As shown in the second chart below, relative to average inventory levels, there was little change in the last week.
In the case of gasoline, stockpiles saw a decline of 1.169 million barrels. This was actually less than the 1.6 million barrel decline that traders were looking for. Additionally, given the case that inventories usually decline by 2.8 million barrels during the current week, current stockpiles are actually further above average than they were last week.