December crude oil prices waffled around unchanged levels throughout the early morning hours. It seemed that private inventory reports late Tuesday showed an unexpected build in crude oil stocks, and that provided the early pressure. There were more concerns over rising borrowing costs in some European countries, and that served to keep the crude oil market on edge. There were somewhat supportive comments from the IEA earlier this morning, noting a tightening global oil market and that average crude oil prices are up about 39.0% in 2011 compared to 2010. Crude oil prices seem to reflect a modest fear-premium, as discussions over the further relationship with Iran (and their nuclear program) are hashed out. Expectations for this morning's EIA crude oil inventory report are for stocks to have declined by 1.25 to 1.5 million barrels.