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# An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil

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An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2010, 23:41
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An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil deposit in southwestern Texas. As a result, a large oil and gas company purchased the field with the intention of drilling oil wells in the area soon afterwards. However, the company found that what had been reported to be a large oil deposit was actually much smaller than had been indicated. Thus, the methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit must have been inaccurate.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

The company's methods of measuring the size of the oil deposit were determined by a third party to be more accurate than those used by the prospector.

The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.
Though smaller than originally thought, the oil deposit contained enough oil to make drilling commercially feasible.
The prospector did not explore other oil fields and use the same methods to determine the magnitude of the oil present, if any.
The company had successfully drilled for oil in other large oil fields in Texas throughout the early twentieth century.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2010, 23:41
pls provide ur answer with explanation

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2010, 09:08
anilnandyala wrote:
An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil deposit in southwestern Texas. As a result, a large oil and gas company purchased the field with the intention of drilling oil wells in the area soon afterwards. However, the company found that what had been reported to be a large oil deposit was actually much smaller than had been indicated. Thus, the methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit must have been inaccurate.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

The company's methods of measuring the size of the oil deposit were determined by a third party to be more accurate than those used by the prospector.

The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.
Though smaller than originally thought, the oil deposit contained enough oil to make drilling commercially feasible.
The prospector did not explore other oil fields and use the same methods to determine the magnitude of the oil present, if any.
The company had successfully drilled for oil in other large oil fields in Texas throughout the early twentieth century.

Stimulus says that this guy reported a large oil deposit and finally concluded that his methods must have been inaccurate (after finding out that the "large deposit" wasn't so large after all). So what would they think that he used an inaccurate method, while he could have been lying.

A - kind of strengthens the argument and doesn't give you the assumption
C - is irrelevant (the fact that the amount of oil in the deposit being commercially feasible is not discussed in the argument)
D - is out of scope
E - is out of scope as well

HTH

Mari
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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2012, 05:21
Can someone please explain in detail why option D is not correct
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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2012, 05:33
The important word which needs to be noted down is inaccurate !! By using this word it must be assumed that the company had already used standard way ti measure thing.It only says that the meaurement has been inaccurate not the method used to measure .
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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2012, 07:40
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Hiya,

With regard to Option B - you could think about it this way:

1) Oil Prospector says that oil fields contain X amount of oil.
2) Oil fields do NOT contain X amount of oil.
3) Either Mr. Oil Prospector was not able to accurately assess how much oil the fields contain (implying that his methods were inaccurate) OR he was lying about his findings.

The argument made was that he was not able to accurately assess the oil levels available. This then necessarily means that it is assumed that he was not lying about his findings.

Does this help clear it up a little more?

- MrFong

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2012, 14:06
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For assumption questions, a great technique is something called the Negation Test. I'll teach it to you right now.

The concept rests on the information that the argument depends on the assumption. So how would you test dependence with something else, such as a table with legs? You'd remove a leg. If the table falls down, the table depended on that leg. If it doesn't fall down, it didn't depend on it. Same concept here. Negate (make negative) each answer choice. If that negation were true, it should make the argument's conclusion fall apart.

Let's look at this argument.

Step 1: Construct your table by listing the conclusion and premises of this argument.

Premise: The company found that what had been reported to be a large oil deposit was actually much smaller than had been indicated.
Assumption: ?
Conclusion: Thus, the methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit must have been inaccurate.

Step 2: Negate each answer choice:

The company's methods of measuring the size of the oil deposit were determined by a third party to be more accurate than those used by the prospector.
Think: What if the company's methods were NOT determined by a third party?
Result: So what? The prospector may still have been inaccurate. Eliminate.

Answer B: The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.
Think: What if the prospector DID purposefully fabricate or misrepresent?
Result: Winner. If he lied, then maybe his results were NOT inaccurate at all. This is your answer. (Often, the right answer on an assumption question will contain the word "not".)

Answer C: Though smaller than originally thought, the oil deposit contained enough oil to make drilling commercially feasible.
Think: What if it did NOT contain enough oil to be commercially feasible?
Result: So what? The prospector may still have been inaccurate. Eliminate.

Answer D: The prospector did not explore other oil fields and use the same methods to determine the magnitude of the oil present, if any.
Think: What if the prospector DID explore other oil fields and use the same method?
Result: So what? The prospector may still have been inaccurate every time. Eliminate.

Answer E: The company had successfully drilled for oil in other large oil fields in Texas throughout the early twentieth century.
Think: What if the company did NOT successfully drill in other fields?
Result: So what? The prospector may still have been inaccurate.

You can use the negation test on any assumption question on the GMAT, whether it appears as a critical reasoning question in the Verbal, in the reading comp section, or in the IR section.

Best of luck in your GMAT study.

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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05 Jul 2012, 20:11
SanDiegoJake could you tell me how to negate this sentence:

Most prospective parents who apply to adopt babies donot meet the minimum standards.

Related question:
1. Is most equivalent to some in which case the logical opposite would be none right?
2. Should we negate most and donot simultaneously or just one of them and if so which one?

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2012, 11:38
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The Assumption: The argument assumes that the misreported size of the oil field can only be due to inaccurate measurement.

The Correct Answer: One that provides another reason, beside inaccurate measurement, as to why the oil field was not correctly reported.

(A) The company's methods of measuring the size of the oil deposit were determined by a third party to be more accurate than those used by the prospector.

Sure, the prospector was inaccurate. Was it his tools or his ethics that led to the inaccurate report? (A) does not answer this question.

(B) The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.

Here is a possible reason for the misreporting: the prospector was dishonest. Therefore, for the argument to hold true, we have to discount the possibility that the prospector lied. If the prospector did actually lie, then the conclusion is invalid.

(C) Though smaller than originally thought, the oil deposit contained enough oil to make drilling commercially feasible.

Out of Scope.

(D) The prospector did not explore other oil fields and use the same methods to determine the magnitude of the oil present, if any.

We are not concerned with other fields. Even if the prospector explored other fields using the same method perhaps his assessments were inaccurate. Or maybe they were accurate. Regardless, that doesn't help us understand why the size of the field was woefully underreported. Was it inaccurate measurements or an unethical prospector.

(E) The company had successfully drilled for oil in other large oil fields in Texas throughout the early twentieth century.

Does not relate to the argument.
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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2012, 15:44
vibhav wrote:
SanDiegoJake could you tell me how to negate this sentence:

Most prospective parents who apply to adopt babies donot meet the minimum standards.

Related question:
1. Is most equivalent to some in which case the logical opposite would be none right?
2. Should we negate most and donot simultaneously or just one of them and if so which one?

Hey there vibhav,

In general, it's dangerous to think of negation as simply changing one word to its logical opposite. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't. What you want to do to negate is, instead, think, "What if it's not true that..." in this case, "What if it's not true that most prospective parents who apply to adopt babies do not meet the minimum standards? " Then, think it through. If it is not true that most parents who apply do not meet the minimum standards, then it's not 'most', it could be the case that it's less than half or even none. So the way I'd think about the negation is that "Less than half, or possibly none, of the propsective parents who apply to adopt babies do not meet the minimum standards."

1) "Most" and "some" are not at all equivalent. Most means "more than half". So the negation of "most" would be "Not more than half", which could be less than half or could be none at all. Some just means "not none". "Some" could be just a few, half, more than half, or even all. How could "some" mean "all"? Good question. It would be technically true if I said that some days of the week end in the letter "y". True, right? Some do. In fact, all do. But I only admitted to you that some do. So you can't take the word "some" to mean "only some". That's different. "Some" includes "all", but "only some" precludes "all." The negation of "some" is "not some", so "none".

2) Never both, always one and if there's a quantity word such as "all/most/some/none" then always that one, in this case, negate the "most". But as I said, trying to just pick the word to negate may get you in trouble. So I always think about the entire meaning, and then ask myself "what if that's not true?" That's the safest bet.

Good luck!

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2013, 07:16
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The conclusion of the argument is contained in the last sentence, that "the
methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit
must have been inaccurate." The evidence provided is that the prospector
reported a large oil deposit that was later determined to be much smaller in size.
We are asked to find an unstated assumption that makes the conclusion valid
based upon this evidence. In order to do this, we need to assume that there is
not another reason why the prospector might have reported a larger oil deposit
than actually existed.
(A) It is not necessary to the conclusion that a third party affirmed the company's
determination that the oil deposit turned out to be small. The conclusion accepts
that the oil deposit was indeed smaller than indicated by the prospector, and
focuses on the cause of the discrepancy as opposed to the discrepancy itself.
(B) CORRECT. The argument concludes that the prospector's methods resulted
in inaccurate measurements of the size of the oil deposit. This assumes that the
prospector did not simply misreport or misrepresent the measurements,
presumably for personal gain. This answer choice addresses the most plausible
alternative explanation to the one given, and is necessary for the conclusion to
stand based upon the evidence presented.
(C) The commercial feasibility or profitability of the oil deposit is not integral to
the argument, or its conclusion. This statement is not an assumption that would
support the conclusion.
(D) Whether or not the prospector utilized the same methods in regards to
measuring the oil deposits in other locations is not relevant to the argument, or
the conclusion.
(E) The fact that the company had a long operating history and experience in
drilling oil wells is not relevant, in that the company's measurements of the size of
the oil field are accepted as given in the argument.

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2013, 20:13
You need a twisted mind to get this question right. jus kidding.

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2014, 03:00
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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2014, 16:17
Need a clarification here,

I heard that negation will make the conclusion fall. Here negating the choices A and B, gives the same, falling conclusion.
Conclusion: prospector's mtd is inaccurate.
A: Company's methods are accurate. Negating this, Company's mtds are inaccurate. So prospector's mtd is accurate.(concl falls)
B: prospector dint misreport. Negating this, prospector misreported. Thus prospector's mtd is accurate.(concl falls)

How to deal with these kind of questions? mariyea stated the A is strengthening.

How to differentiate between strenthening and assumption choices? Both when negated, makes the conclusion falls..

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2015, 00:45
The answer is B. this option tells us that there is no possibility of the oil researcher to willingly tell a wrong survey.

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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11 Apr 2016, 20:02
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2016, 00:06
An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil deposit in southwestern Texas. As a result, a large oil and gas company purchased the field with the intention of drilling oil wells in the area soon afterwards. However, the company found that what had been reported to be a large oil deposit was actually much smaller than had been indicated. Thus, the methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit must have been inaccurate.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

The company's methods of measuring the size of the oil deposit were determined by a third party to be more accurate than those used by the prospector.

The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.
Though smaller than originally thought, the oil deposit contained enough oil to make drilling commercially feasible.
The prospector did not explore other oil fields and use the same methods to determine the magnitude of the oil present, if any.
The company had successfully drilled for oil in other large oil fields in Texas throughout the early twentieth century.[/quote]

Negate the assumption made in option B. See, if it affects the conclusion made. If yes, You got the answer.

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2016, 23:00
anilnandyala wrote:
An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil deposit in southwestern Texas. As a result, a large oil and gas company purchased the field with the intention of drilling oil wells in the area soon afterwards. However, the company found that what had been reported to be a large oil deposit was actually much smaller than had been indicated. Thus, the methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit must have been inaccurate.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

The company's methods of measuring the size of the oil deposit were determined by a third party to be more accurate than those used by the prospector.

The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.
Though smaller than originally thought, the oil deposit contained enough oil to make drilling commercially feasible.
The prospector did not explore other oil fields and use the same methods to determine the magnitude of the oil present, if any.
The company had successfully drilled for oil in other large oil fields in Texas throughout the early twentieth century.

Easy one
IMO B
Just negate. the negate option shatters the conclusion.
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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2017, 12:13
The conclusion of the argument is contained in the last sentence, that "the methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit must have been inaccurate." The evidence provided is that the prospector reported a large oil deposit that was later determined to be much smaller in size. We are asked to find an unstated assumption that makes the conclusion valid based upon this evidence. In order to do this, we need to assume that there is not another reason why the prospector might have reported a larger oil deposit than actually existed. (A) It is not necessary to the conclusion that a third party affirmed the company's determination that the oil deposit turned out to be small. The conclusion accepts that the oil deposit was indeed smaller than indicated by the prospector, and focuses on the cause of the discrepancy as opposed to the discrepancy itself.
(B) CORRECT. The argument concludes that the prospector's methods resulted in inaccurate measurements of the size of the oil deposit. This assumes that the prospector did not simply misreport or misrepresent the measurements,presumably for personal gain. This answer choice addresses the most plausible alternative explanation to the one given, and is necessary for the conclusion to stand based upon the evidence presented. (C) The commercial feasibility or profitability of the oil deposit is not integral to the argument, or its conclusion. This statement is not an assumption that would support the conclusion. (D) Whether or not the prospector utilized the same methods in regards to measuring the oil deposits in other locations is not relevant to the argument, or the conclusion. (E) The fact that the company had a long operating history and experience in drilling oil wells is not relevant, in that the company's measurements of the size of the oil field are accepted as given in the argument. The correct answer is B.

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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2017, 13:32
anilnandyala wrote:
An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil deposit in southwestern Texas. As a result, a large oil and gas company purchased the field with the intention of drilling oil wells in the area soon afterwards. However, the company found that what had been reported to be a large oil deposit was actually much smaller than had been indicated. Thus, the methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit must have been inaccurate.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

The company's methods of measuring the size of the oil deposit were determined by a third party to be more accurate than those used by the prospector.

The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.
Though smaller than originally thought, the oil deposit contained enough oil to make drilling commercially feasible.
The prospector did not explore other oil fields and use the same methods to determine the magnitude of the oil present, if any.
The company had successfully drilled for oil in other large oil fields in Texas throughout the early twentieth century.

Summary - Oil Quantity reported by prospector different from what was found by the oil firm
Conclusion - Prospector method inaccurate

This argument hinges on the assumption that the prospector was honest in his assessment of the oil deposits at the field.

A - This is not really an assumption. More of a claim so irrelevant.
B - If the author was dishonest, the conclusion fails => Looks good.
C - Irrelevant
D - Other Oil Fields are irrelevant
E - Irrelevant

Hence, the correct answer is B.
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Re: An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2017, 13:32

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