That is a very good question, @Ontario, and there is no simple, straightforward answer to it.
To begin with, we tend to focus on US inventories as a guide to what is happening globally regarding oil supply and storage. But it is only a part of the entire picture, which even includes for example, off-shore storage on tankers.
Also, we tend to focus primarily on crude oil stocks but refined oil products such as gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels are also a big part of the overall picture.
In addition, US oil stock levels are nowadays also affected by exports as well as domestic consumption, even though the US is a big importer of oil. There are different grades of crude and the US will still import heavy grades whilst it is exporting light grades.
But overall, oil is a commodity like most others and its price is affected by changes in both supply and demand and is always driving towards a balance point between these two opposing forces.
All the various producer countries/companies are fighting for market share and profit and if there is a surplus of oil on the market then this will drive prices downwards. Equally, an increase in demand will pull prices higher.
But oil has an added factor in that it can also be stored. If prices are considered to be too low then one can store and sell later.
Also oil is almost universally priced in USD even between producers and consumers with other domestic currencies and so changes in the value of the US dollar can also affect timing and size of transactions.
But at the present time, the major concern is that the current level of oil prices are insufficient to cover the breakeven costs of many producers and only produce a net revenue that is insufficient to cover the budget deficits of many oil-dependent countries. But while oil inventories are globally still very high it is difficult to raise prices higher.
OPEC is trying to reduce this global overload by an agreed cut in production of 1.2mill b/d together with a group of non-OPEC countries (inlc Russia) with a further cut of 0.6 mill b/d and that seems to be making some progress even though it is substantially offset by the increasing levels of output in US shale oil (which is also cheaper to produce).
Saudi Arabia wants to see as high a price level as possible in the run up to its partial sale of its state-owned Aramco oil company. Even though it is only 5% that is being sold through an IPO, it is still a huge deal worth billions to Saudi Arabia with which SA will finance its intended gradual diversification away from oil revenues.
The one thing which is certain is that oil will remain a significant energy source for decades to come and its price, and the price of oil derivitives, will form a major component of the cost structure of countries, companies, societies and individuals for many years ahead. What is spent on energy cannot be spent on something else and thus its impact filters through to the consumers and their (in)ability to boost economic activity in general.
But there again, oil is a huge industry in itself, providing business, jobs and incomes in a whole range of direct and indirect industries.
Just some thoughts