Natural gas stocks grow less than expected

AP News
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Posted: Nov 25, 2009 12:04 PM

Natural gas stockpile levels rose less than expected last week, 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 2 billion cubic feet to a new record high of about 3.84 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Nov. 20.

Analysts had expected a boost of between 3 billion and 7 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The inventory level was 13 percent above the five-year average of about 3.39 trillion cubic feet, and 11.8 percent above last year's storage level of about 3.43 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Natural gas 30.7 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $5.073 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.