The nation's natural gas supplies fell last week, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas in storage shrank by 38 billion cubic feet to 3.873 trillion cubic feet for the week ended Nov. 16.
Analysts expected a drop of 23 billion to 27 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 4.5 percent above the five-year average of 3.705 trillion cubic feet, and 0.6 percent above last year's level of 3.849 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas futures rose 4 cents to $3.99 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.