Oil prices fell down sharply today after EIA released its weekly inventory report, revealing that US commercial crude inventories increased by 4.2 million barrels last week to 487 million barrels. This is the seventh straight week of inventory increases. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted an increase of around 1.1 million barrels, far less than the actual increase. Total supplies of crude oil and refined products rose 2.6 million barrels to 1.3 billion barrels, nearing all-time highs.

US crude oil refinery inputs increased by 302,000 barrels per day to 15.9 million barrels/day, although oil rig count has been dropping in the past few months. Imports also increased 434,000 barrels a day, up to 7.4 million barrels/day.

With the market oversupplied, oil prices are expected to stay low until the rest of the decade. And while this may be good for the consumer in the short term, in the long term it may mean trouble for the energy market.

“Demand’s decent, it’s just that supply is not giving it up,” said Kyle Cooper, analyst at IAF Advisors in Houston. The continued growth in crude stockpiles “really just highlights how good the [exploration and production] companies have gotten at getting stuff out of the ground with less and less,” Mr. Cooper said.

Home heating oil prices are expected to drop in the next couple of days.