Just decided to have a look at global oil stocks. There doesn’t seem to be any timely data, but I did find OECD data up to the end of 2010. This is the stocks picture in the US:
And this is OECD stocks ex. US:
It looks like the media reports are right. Local issues relating to pipeline flows mean that the US is well supplied with oil, but the rest of the world is not looking so rosy. That explains why WTI is still lagging behind Brent Crude — and why Brent continues to rise.