The nation's natural gas supplies dropped last week, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas in storage fell by 64 billion cubic feet to 2.369 trillion cubic feet for the week ended March 9.
Analysts expected a draw of 56 billion to 60 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 51.7 percent above the five-year average of 1.562 trillion cubic feet, and 45 percent above last year's level of 1.634 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas futures rose 2 cents to $2.30 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.