The nation's natural gas supplies rose last week, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas in storage grew by 9 billion cubic feet to 3.852 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Nov. 18.
Analysts expected a rise of 18 billion to 22 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 6.4 percent above the five-year average of 3.619 trillion cubic feet, and 0.6 percent above last year's level of 3.829 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas futures rose 5 cents to $3.46 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.