The government said Thursday that natural gas stockpiles rose last week by about as much as analysts expected.
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 rose by 83 billion cubic feet to about 2 trillion cubic feet for the week ended April 30.
Analysts expected an increase of between 80 billion and 84 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 18.8 percent above the five-year average of about 1.68 trillion cubic feet, and 5.1 percent higher than last year's storage level of about 1.90 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas lost 11.4 cents at $3.877 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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