Natural gas stockpiles fell less than expected last week, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration's weekly report showed that natural gas inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states dropped by 115 billion cubic feet to about 2.41 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Jan. 29.
Analysts expected a draw of between 121 billion and 125 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 6.6 percent above the five-year average of about 2.26 trillion cubic feet, and 9 percent above last year's storage level of about 2.21 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas fell by 9.6 cents to $5.323 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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