Natural gas stockpile levels rose more than expected last week, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states grew by 87 billion cubic feet to about 1.76 trillion cubic feet for the week ended April 9.
Analysts had expected a build of 76 billion to 80 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 16.3 percent above the five-year average of about 1.51 trillion cubic feet, and 3.8 percent above last year's storage level of about 1.69 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas fell 11.4 cents to $4.085 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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