The nation's natural gas supplies fell last week, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas in storage shrank by 87 billion cubic feet to 3.290 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Jan. 13.
Analysts expected a drop of 88 billion to 92 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 20.8 percent above the five-year average of 2.724 trillion cubic feet, and 19.6 percent higher than last year's level of 2.751 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas fell 9 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $2.38 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.