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Originally published Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 7:36 AM

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DOE says natural gas supplies plunged last week

Natural gas in storage in the U.S. plunged last week but is still 13.8 percent above the five-year average for this time of year, a government report said Thursday.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK —

Natural gas in storage in the U.S. plunged last week but is still 13.8 percent above the five-year average for this time of year, a government report 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 dropped by 207 billion cubic feet to about 3.57 trillion cubic feet for the week ending Dec. 11.

The inventory level was still well above the five-year average of about 3.13 trillion cubic feet, and above last year's storage level of about 3.19 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.

Natural gas for January delivery jumped 39.1 cents, or 7 percent, to $5.853 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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