October crude oil prices trended lower during the overnight and initial morning hours before bouncing back toward unchanged levels. The macroeconomic tone was a bit weaker following disappointing economic readings in Japan and the Euro Zone. October Brent crude oil prices were higher, supported by talk of a potential oil workers strike in Norway. This would leave the North Sea supply situation even tighter if flows from Norway were shut off. Meanwhile, yesterday's EIA inventory data that showed an unexpected build last week of 3.778 million barrels. EIA crude stocks are 7.473 million barrels above year ago levels and 25.39 million barrels above the five year average. The build came from a surprisingly large increase in imports of 9.495 million barrels per day compared to 8.207 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was unchanged last week at 91.2%, which compared to 89.20% last year and the five year average of 88.82%. While Isaac has halted nearly 95.0% of Gulf of Mexico offshore oil production, reports so far suggest that damage to rigs are likely minimal.