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US natural gas supplies fell last week

NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's natural gas supplies shrank last week, the government said Thursday.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage dropped by 62 billion cubic feet to 1.876 trillion cubic feet for the week ended March 15.

Analysts expected a draw of 67 billion to 71 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The inventory level was 9.5 percent above the five-year average of 1.714 trillion cubic feet, and 21.1 percent below last year's level of 2.378 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Natural gas fell 2 cents to $3.94 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.