Natural gas stockpiles rose last week to a new record high, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states grew by 20 billion cubic feet to about 3.83 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Nov. 13.
Analysts had expected a boost of between 19 billion and 23 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 12.3 percent above the five-year average of about 3.41 trillion cubic feet, and 10 percent above last year's storage level of about 3.49 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas fell 4.5 cents to $4.21 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.