Wednesday morning's release of crude oil inventories form the Department of Energy showed a stronger than expected build in stockpiles (2.86 mln vs 1.5 mln). As shown in the chart below, crude oil inventories are in the middle of their seasonal autumn increase, but this year the increase is beginning from what are record inventory levels for this time of year. Going back to 1984, there has not been a single year where crude oil inventories were as high in the current week as they are now.
Gasoline inventories also showed a larger than expected build this week (1.72 mln vs 0.5 mln), but unlike crude oil, the increase is taking place from below average levels. As shown in the chart below, even after this week's larger than expected increase gasoline inventories are still below average.