The latest crude oil inventory figures showed a decline from last week, but the data's impact will likely be muted by a data revision for the preceding week.

For the week ending Dec. 22, inventories of U.S. crude oil declined by 2.06 million barrels to 288.98 million barrels, according to the

American Petroleum Institute

(API). The drop -- something generally welcome by energy investors -- was unexpected, as analysts were expecting a rise in oil inventories, according to a

Reuters

poll. However, because the API also revised last week's figures upward by almost 2 million barrels to 291.04 million barrels, the change is not as much of a departure as it might have been.

Total U.S. distillate inventories fell a larger-than-expected 1.856 million barrels to 114.66 million. Distillate stocks are now down 8.5% vs. the same period a year ago, when they were at 125.36 million barrels.

API Oil Inventories, Last Two Months

Source: American Petroleum Institute