Friday, July 17, 2009

Natural Gas Up & Down Again

By ERNEST SCHEYDER (AP) – 16 hours ago

NEW YORK — Natural gas stockpile levels jumped last week, though the increase met expectations and demand for the fuel continues to sag, 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 rose by 90 billion cubic feet to about 2.89 trillion cubic feet for the week ended July 10.

Analysts had expected a boost of between 89 billion and 93 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The inventory level was 19 percent above the five-year average of about 2.43 trillion cubic feet, and 26 percent above last year's storage level of about 2.30 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Natural gas rose 18 cents to $3.463 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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