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In the United States proven oil reserves

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In the United States proven oil reserves

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In the United States proven oil reserves-the amount of oil considered extractable from known fields-are at the same level as they were ten years ago. Yet over this same period no new oil fields of any consequence have been discovered, and the annual consumption of domestically produced oil has increased.

Which one of the following, if true, best reconciles the discrepancy described above?

(A) Over the past decade the annual consumption of imported oil has increased more rapidly than that of domestic oil in the United States.
(B) Conservation measures have lowered the rate of growth of domestic oil consumption from what it was a decade ago.
(C) Oil exploration in the United States has slowed due to increased concern over the environmental impact of such exploration.
(D) The price of domestically produced oil has fallen substantially over the past decade.
(E) Due to technological advances over the last decade, much oil previously considered unextractable is now considered extractable.

How can i find the best Option?

OA E

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The discrepancy:
1) The amount of oil considered extractable from known fields is at the same level as it was ten years ago, and YET . . .
2) No new oil fields have been discovered, and the annual consumption of oil has increased.

We need to show that both of these two statements can be true. You might think that with no new oil fields and an increase in consumption, the amount of extractable oil would NOT be the same as it was ten years ago - it would be less.

Choice A: This makes an irrelevant comparison between imported and domestic oil consumption.
Choice B: This statement says that the growth rate of oil consumption has lowered, but this means that it's still growing. Again, you'd think that the amount of oil would be less than before.
Choice C: This refers to oil exploration, which is not directly relevant to the argument.
Choice D: Okay, the price has fallen. How does this impact oil consumption? The choice doesn't say, so it's not directly relevant to the discrepancy we're examining.
Choice E is correct. If you look at Statement 1 above, it says that the amount of extractable oil hasn't changed. This answer choice tells us that while it's true that there aren't more oil fields, and it's true that consumption has increased, it's also true that more of the existing oil can now be extracted due to technological improvements.

I'm available if you'd like to follow up on this question.

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EconomistGMATTutor wrote:
The discrepancy:
1) The amount of oil considered extractable from known fields is at the same level as it was ten years ago, and YET . . .
2) No new oil fields have been discovered, and the annual consumption of oil has increased.

We need to show that both of these two statements can be true. You might think that with no new oil fields and an increase in consumption, the amount of extractable oil would NOT be the same as it was ten years ago - it would be less.

Choice A: This makes an irrelevant comparison between imported and domestic oil consumption.
Choice B: This statement says that the growth rate of oil consumption has lowered, but this means that it's still growing. Again, you'd think that the amount of oil would be less than before.
Choice C: This refers to oil exploration, which is not directly relevant to the argument.
Choice D: Okay, the price has fallen. How does this impact oil consumption? The choice doesn't say, so it's not directly relevant to the discrepancy we're examining.
Choice E is correct. If you look at Statement 1 above, it says that the amount of extractable oil hasn't changed. This answer choice tells us that while it's true that there aren't more oil fields, and it's true that consumption has increased, it's also true that more of the existing oil can now be extracted due to technological improvements.

I'm available if you'd like to follow up on this question.
Thanks a lot!

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