Although still at levels above the five-year national average, natural gas inventories shrunk in the week ending in Dec. 9 from previous weeks, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

As of Dec. 9, gas inventories totaled 3,729 billion cubic feet. That represents a net decline of 102 bcf from the previous week.

Despite the decline, gas inventories remained higher than where they were at this time last year, and higher than the five-year national average. Stocks are 154 bcf higher than last year and 347 bcf above the five year average, said EIA's report.

This reporting week marks the fourth consecutive reporting period that natural gas inventories declined since the week ending Nov. 18, according to data compiled by the EIA.