"Speculators are selling off the front month more than the back months". That happens every month leading into the roll period and is how ETFs like this are gamed. Nonetheless, the current front month contango of 1.7% is much much lower than it was earlier this year and will probably narrow as we get past the roll next week.
There's definitely some inconsistency in data going on. The API and EIA are usually in sync when looking at the data across several weeks. But since the beginning of June, the trailing 13 week and 52 week discrepancies between API and EIA inventories have gone from basically nothing (in sync) to the API reporting 8M less barrels over 13 weeks and a whopping 15M over 52 weeks. Assuming the API and EIA evenutually get back into sync again over time, there's going to be a trading opportunity to go long oil after the API reports and before the EIA reports. It's impossible to time when this is going to happen though. I thought it might be today, but was totally wrong.