Although the consensus was looking for a drawdown of 2.8 million barrels in the latest week, according to the Department of Energy, actual stockpiles rose by 1.994 million barrels. If last week's build continues going forward, it will mark an earlier than normal start to the period when stockpiles tend to increase heading into winter. As it stands now, US crude oil inventories remain well above their historical norms for the time of year.
While crude oil inventories are still well above average, gasoline inventories are below average for this time of year. In the latest week, analysts were expecting gasoline stockpiles to fall an additional 1.8 million barrels. The actual drawdown, however, was only 1.177 million barrels. So for those worried about rising gasoline prices, it could have been worse.