"You get that churning, that inconsistency, because it's in the context of a larger sideways market," said Tim Evans, a futures analyst at Citigroup. "It's almost like it's planned chaos."
Plus, Evans said, the inventory reports themselves have become more mixed, perhaps showing rising stocks of crude oil but falling gasoline inventories.
Another analyst said much of the buying or selling centered around the inventory report actually occurs before the numbers come out.
"We do operate a bit on a 'buy the rumor, sell the news'" mentality, said John Kilduff, an energy analyst at Man Financial in New York. "Sometimes it's not as bullish as some people had hoped."
It's an eye opening piece...