NEW YORK (AP) -- Natural gas inventories rose last week to a level that is 9 percent higher than the five-year average, the government reported Thursday.
Natural gas in storage increased by 27 billion cubic feet to 3.429 trillion cubic feet for the week that ended Sept. 7, the Energy Department said.
Analysts expected the increase to range between 25 billion cubic feet and 29 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory is 11.1 percent more than the year-ago level of 3.087 trillion cubic feet and 9 percent more than the five-year average of 3.145 trillion cubic feet, according to Energy Information Administration data.
The price of natural gas fell 7 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $2.99 per 1,000 cubic feet in morning trading.