The nation's natural gas supplies rose more than analysts expected last week, 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 increased by 50 billion cubic feet to about 2.833 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Aug. 12.
Analysts expected a rise of 45 billion and 49 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Last week's inventory level was 2.5 percent below the five-year average of 2.906 trillion cubic feet, and 5.8 percent below last year's storage level of 3.008 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas fell by 6 cents to $3.873 per 1,000 cubic feet in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.