Natural gas in storage in the U.S. rose roughly in line with expectations last week but is 0.1 percent below 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 rose by 105 billion cubic feet to nearly 1.81 trillion cubic feet for the week ending May 30.
Inventories were expected to climb 103 billion cubic feet, according to a poll from Reuters.
The inventory level was slightly below the five-year average, and well below last year's storage level of more than 2.13 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
In morning trading, natural gas for July delivery rose more than 5 cents to over $12.43 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Energy traders were closely watching the report, as futures in the commodity continue spiking and energy concerns remain widespread in the United States.
In recent days, CNBC has gone to the experts about natural gas, as investing in the fuel gains greater interest.