Natural gas supplies rose last week by a little more than analysts expected, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas held in underground storage in the lower 48 states grew by 43 billion cubic feet to 2.714 trillion cubic feet for the week ended July 22.
Analysts expected an increase of between 38 billion and 42 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 2.3 percent below the five-year average of 2.779 trillion cubic feet, and 6.9 percent below last year's level of 2.915 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas lost 9 cents at $4.229 per 1,000 cubic feet in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.