EIA: U.S. natural gas supplies in underground storage grow by 55 bcf to 2.961 tcf for week ended Aug. 19, less than 58-62 bcf analysts expected

NEW YORK , September 1, 2011 () – The nation's natural gas supplies rose last week by less than analysts expected, the government said Thursday.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas in underground storage in the lower 48 states grew by 55 billion cubic feet to 2.961 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Aug. 19.

Analysts expected a rise of 58 billion and 62 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The inventory level was 2 percent below the five-year average of 3.021 trillion cubic feet, and 4.4 percent below last year's level of 3.098 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Natural gas fell 3 cents to $4.021 per 1,000 cubic feet in the New York.

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