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Do higher energy prices really pay off in more supplies? Natural gas producers think 1980 statistics will show that they do. They are confident that for the first time in more than a decade the US added more new reserves of natural gas than it consumed last year, thanks to rising prices under decontrol.

Official Department of Energy statistics for 1980 gas reserves won't be available until fall. But a recent analysis by a natural gas producer of data filed with the go vernment last year concludes that reserve additions did exceed production.

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