Here's the table of reported causes for the last seven days CL Nov 08 was traded. (I'm no longer posting the entire month table as I can't make it legible.) The first half is all about the financial crisis; the second mostly speculation regarding OPEC. Still, on balance, the spot/front month is trending downwards. Today all contracts expiring later than Fall 2011 went up as the nearer months fell. December 2016 was up $1.35/b as Nov 08 was down $3.36/b.
Here you see the front month price of CL Nov '08 against the Euro / Dollar exchange rate (interbank.) Though they are roughly following each other, it remains hard to tell which is leading which. As you can see, the Euro has lost about 9% of its value against the Dollar from September 23rd; sweet light crude lost about 33.5% of its front month value and 16.3% of its December 2016 value (as you will be able to see in the graphs further down).
Here is the chart of the forward month differentials for the last seven days the contract traded. As you can see, the front month differential with the furthest contract is now just under $20/b, up from a little under $10/b on Oct 14.
It is up from a differential of about $1/b from when CL Nov '08 became the front month contract (or as I somewhat confusingly term the beginning of its spot life.)