- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - The amount of U.S. natural gas in storage did not change last week from the week before, as higher production offset regional consumption, a government report said Thursday.

Stockpiles remain well above historical levels.

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 stayed at 1.65 trillion cubic feet for the week ended March 27.

Analysts expected results to range from no increase to a rise of 5 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Storage levels for the eastern U.S. fell by 23 billion cubic feet, offset by a 1 billion cubic-foot increase in the western U.S. and an overall production increase of 22 billion cubic feet.

The inventory level was 32.1 percent above year-ago levels and 22.4 percent above the five-year average, according to the government data.

Natural gas rose 1.1 cents to $3.706 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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