This passage discusses some social and economic issues regarding liquid natural gas as an energy source.
Although oil and gasoline remain important energy sources, it is natural gas that currently supplies around 25 percent of America’s energy needs. A recent study shows that natural gas use was roughly 22 trillion
Line 5 cubic feet (TCF) annually. Natural gas demand is increasing at phenomenal rates because of its ability to create cleaner fuel for electrical power. Experts predict that annual demand is likely to increase to almost 32 TCF in less than a decade. At a consumption rate
10 of 32 TCF per year, the United States would only have about a five-year supply of natural gas. Known natural gas reserves in North America are quickly becoming exhausted. In fact, in the past thirty years, known supplies have dwindled from almost 300 TCF to around
15 150 TCF. It is no wonder that natural gas has become a controversial and critical topic of discussion among politicians, business leaders, and consumers. It is apparent that the United States will need to drastically increase
20 imports of natural gas to relieve shortages. One way that economists believe this can be done is by importing liquid natural gas. Experts predict that liquid natural gas imports will increase by almost 500 percent in a few short years. Currently, the country imports very little
25 liquid natural gas. The process of transporting liquid natural gas is complicated and expensive. This is the most obvious reason why America has been reluctant to choose liquid natural gas over other energy sources. Converting natural gas into liquid natural gas involves
30 cooling natural gas as it is collected to −260◦F. This transforms the gas into a liquid, which is then injected into a specially designed vessel for transport. When the liquid natural gas reaches its destination, the liquid is reheated into its original gaseous state and allowed
35 to flow into a pipeline. Even though new technology has considerably decreased transportation costs for liquid natural gas, it is still often uneconomical. This is especially true for nations with other energy sources. One of the largest misconceptions about liquid
40 natural gas is that it is an abundant source of natural gas. While liquid natural gas imports continue to increase, the public demand for natural gas increases at an even higher rate. Even though the United States has several facilities that can process liquid natural gas,
45 these facilities are consistently unable to obtain enough liquid natural gas to operate at their fullest capacity. Even when liquid natural gas is obtainable, there is a fear that low natural gas prices in the United States will make liquid natural gas uneconomical. Most business
50 leaders and politicians are reluctant to create new facilities to process liquid natural gas because these facilities are expensive and risky. This limits the capacity to process liquid natural gas even if it becomes more readily available.
55 The United States also faces competition from Asia in securing liquid natural gas. Competition for liquid natural gas will most likely become even more ferocious as other populous countries like Japan and China become more desperate for fuel sources. Some
60 of the more daring politicians and business leaders believe that building new liquid natural gas facilities will help companies and consumers take advantage of future increased liquid natural gas imports. Currently, Canada is the largest liquid natural gas supplier for
65 the United States. However, liquid natural gas imports from Canada will decrease considerably in the next decade as Canadian consumption increases and supplies of natural gas dwindle. Therefore, consumers and business leaders should not rely on liquid natural gas
70 to solve America’s energy needs and consumers should continue to expect high prices as demand grows and supplies decline.
According to the passage, current known North American supplies of natural gas are:
The best answer is B. As stated in the passage, “in the past 30 years, known supplies have dwindled from almost 300 TCF to around 150 TCF,” or known supplies have decreased by about 50 percent. Answer choice A is incorrect because the passage states that at predicted rates of consumption, the United States’ natural gas supply would be exhausted in approximately five years. Answer choice C is incorrect because natural gas provides for roughly 25 percent of America’s energy needs, which has nothing to do with the decrease in supply. Answer choice D is incorrect because the passage states that it is extremely difficult to obtain natural gas from other countries, not from within the US
The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?
The best answer is G. At the end of the passage, the author states that “consumers and business leaders should not rely on liquid natural gas to solve America’s energy needs.” This can also be inferred from the point that natural gas is currently only supplying approximately 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs, and even at this level there is much concern over whether supplies will run out. Answer choice H may appear to be correct, but the passage merely states that countries such as Japan and China will also be searching for fuel sources, including liquid natural gas, outside of their own countries in the future.
One of the main ideas of the passage is that:
The best answer is D. This question can be difficult if you do not read the answer choices carefully. The third paragraph is devoted to a discussion on the limited availability of liquid natural gas, and the expense of processing the gas, which makes answer choice D the best selection. Answer choice A may appear to be correct; however, the passage focuses on the supply and use of liquid natural gas around the world. The passage does not discuss the supply and use of any other energy sources. Answer choice B was mentioned briefly in the passage, but is not a main idea. Answer choice C is beyond the scope of the passage.
It can be inferred from the second paragraph (lines 16–38) that America’s reluctance to choose liquid natural gas over other energy sources will:
The best answer is F. As stated in the second paragraph, it is predicted that “liquid natural gas imports will increase by almost 500 percent in a few short years.” Although America may be reluctant to import liquid natural gas, it is necessary for the nation to do so in order to relieve and/or avoid shortages. Answer choice H may appear to be correct; however, the author states that even though transportation costs have been substantially decreased due to new technology, importing liquid natural gas “is still often uneconomical.” Answer choices G and J are beyond the scope of the passage.
According to the passage, which of the following countries supplies the most liquid natural gas to the United States?
The best answer is C. According to the passage, “Currently, Canada is the largest liquid natural gas supplier for the United States.” Japan and China, two countries in Asia, are providing competition in attaining liquid natural gas.
According to the third paragraph (lines 39–54), misconceptions exist about liquid natural gas regarding:
I. its abundance.
II. the expense of converting it.
III. public demand for it.
The best answer is F. The first sentence of the third passage states “One of the largest misconceptions about liquid natural gas is that it is an abundant source of natural gas.” While the passage goes on to discuss the expense of creating new processing facilities and prices making liquid natural gas uneconomical, the only misconception mentioned is the fact that liquid natural gas is an abundant source of natural gas. The other answer choices are not supported by the passage.
As it is used in line 6, the word phenomenal most nearly means:
The best answer is C. The context surrounding the word phenomenal discusses the surprisingly large growth expected in natural gas demand and the huge impact that such growth will have on depletion of the resource. This context clearly indicates that the demand is increasing at “phenomenal,” or extraordinary, rates. The other answer choices are not supported by the context of the passage.
The passage states that all of the following are reasons for America’s reluctance to choose liquid natural gas EXCEPT:
The best answer is G. Answer choice G is the only reason that America is choosing liquid natural gas; consumers are demanding it so America must provide it. Answer choices F and H express current problems with choosing liquid natural gas; transportation and processing are both very costly relative to other fuel sources. Answer choice J is a potential problem. Liquid natural gas is inherently expensive due to its transportation and processing costs. If natural gas prices are low, the market for liquid natural gas will plummet, making liquid natural gas an uneconomical choice for consumers.
The passage states that which of the following is true about natural gas?
The best answer is D. As stated in the paragraph, “natural gas demand is increasing at phenomenal rates” and its consumption is expected to grow from 22 trillion cubic feet per year to 32 trillion cubic feet per year in less than a decade. Answer choice C may appear to be correct; however, the passage simply states that Canada is the largest liquid natural gas supplier for the United States alone. The passage does not compare Canada’s liquid natural gas exports to those of any other country; therefore, we do not know whether or not Canada is the world’s largest exporter. Likewise, the other answer choices are not supported by the passage.
As it is used in line 32, the word vessel most nearly means:
The best answer is J. In the paragraph, the vessel in question is described as something that the liquid natural gas is injected into for transportation. It does not make sense that a liquid would be injected into a “process,” “source,” or “facility” for transportation. Answer choice J, “container,” is the most logical choice.