The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data recorded an inventory build of 5.9 million barrels for the week ending September 8th following a build of 4.6 million barrels the previous week.
Consensus forecasts were for a build of 4.0 million barrels, although there was again an important element of uncertainty given the impact of hurricane Harvey which continued to cause sharp fluctuations across all metrics.
Crude inventories increased to 468.2 million barrels, although there was still a year-on-year decline of 2.5%.
Cushing inventories recorded a build of 1.02mn barrels on the week which was close to consensus expectations.
Domestic crude production recovered sharply by 6.5% on the week at 9.35mn bpd following the 7.9% decline the previous week as production restarted following hurricane Harvey. There was an annual increase in production of just over 10.0%.
Gasoline inventories declined a record 8.4 million barrels on the week with a 4.4% annual decline while distillate stocks fell 3.2 million barrels with a year-on-year decline of 11.2%.
Refinery use fell a further 2.0% on the week due to the continuing impact of outages as flooding caused substantial damage, although markets had been expecting a recovery in capacity use for the week.
Potential price support from the decline in gasoline inventories was offset by the higher than expected headline build and sharp recovery in production.
From around $48.75 p/b ahead of the data, prices edged higher although the overall reaction was limited given a very mixed report and there was no net change in prices.