The nation's natural gas supplies decreased last week, the government said Thursday.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas in storage shrank by 82 billion cubic feet to 2.513 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Feb. 24.

Analysts expected a withdrawal of 90 billion to 94 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The inventory level was 45 percent above the five-year average of 1.733 trillion cubic feet, and 43 percent above last year's level of 1.757 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Natural gas fell 16 cents, or 6 percent, to $2.46 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.