August crude oil prices waffled between gains and losses throughout the initial morning hours, amid uncertainty ahead of the EU summit and slowing global growth prospects. The outside market tone provided a modest drag for the crude oil, with global equity markets weaker and slight gains in the US dollar. Additionally, slowing growth concerns have offset concerns that North Sea supplies have come under added strain from an oil worker strike in Norway. August crude oil prices climbed to a new four day high in response to yesterday's EIA data that showed an inventory decline of 133,000 barrels last week. EIA crude stocks are 27.697 million barrels above year ago levels and 41.847 million barrels above the five year average. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 9.118 million barrels per day compared to 9.445 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was up 0.7% to 92.6%, which compares to 88.1% last year and the five year average of 88.55%.