Natural gas in storage rose 57 billion cubic feet in the July 7 week to 2,945 bcf. The fifteenth consecutive weekly build since the traditional end of the heating season was smaller than the 64 bcf weekly increase in the same week last year but in line with the forecasts of most analysts. The weekly build put natural gas stocks 8.9 percent below the year ago level, when inventories were exceptionally high due to mild weather that dampened heating season consumption. Gas stocks are still 6.2 percent above the 5-year average, however, and in the upper half of the 5-year historical range. Natural gas futures rose about 2 cents to around $2.99 per MMBTu immediately following the release of the EIA report.