(2018)考研英语阅读理解精读100篇(高分版)4

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摘要 : Unit 16 TEXT ONE As the oil price climbed towards $100 a barrel during the past few weeks, big Western oil firms were reporting their results for the third quarter. Record oil prices, it turns out, do not translate into record profits. Oil is now close to exceeding the record set in 1979 o...

Unit 16


TEXT ONE


As the oil price climbed towards $100 a barrel during the past few weeks, big Western oil firms were reporting their results for the third quarter. Record oil prices, it turns out, do not translate into record profits. Oil is now close to exceeding the record set in 1979 of between $100 and $110, depending on how you adjust for inflation and what benchmark you use. Yet almost without exception, big oil firms' profits are falling from the peaks reached last year.

Exxon Mobil, for example, reported a 10% drop in profits in the third quarter, and BP's fell even more sharply. Profits also fell at Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Eni. They rose at Total and Royal Dutch Shell—but only thanks to exchange-rate fluctuations and one-off asset sales. Analysts at Citigroup calculate that, measured in dollars, the biggest oil firms' earnings fell by 15% on average.

To be fair, the oil price has surged most dramatically since the end of September, although it was also buoyant in the third quarter. The majors' poor showing also reflects lower profits from refining, as the difference in price between petrol and crude oil has fallen from the exceptionally high levels of recent months.

But the fact remains that oil giants are struggling to pump more oil and gas. In part, this is due to a quirk of the rules that oblige Western oil firms to share the crude they produce with state-owned oil firms in many countries. The contracts in question often stipulate that as the price goes up, the volume of oil the foreigners receive decreases. Worse, several countries are changing contracts or tax rules in ways that will further erode the Western oil firms' profits—and in some cases are throwing them out altogether.

Rising costs are also a problem. Exxon, which is known for its stringent financial discipline, saw costs rise almost twice as fast as revenue in the third quarter. The shortage of labour and equipment that is feeding this inflation is also causing delays to new projects. And there are not enough new projects in the pipeline. The International Energy Agency reckons that the expansion plans of the big Western and state-owned oil firms will leave the world 12.5m barrels per day short of requirements in 2015.

Despite this looming deficit and the glaring price signal, all the big companies except Total produced less oil and gas in the third quarter than they did in the same period last year. According to Citigroup, the average decline in overall output was 3.3%. If the relatively steady supply of natural gas is stripped out, the numbers look even worse: Oil production fell by 9% on average. No matter how high the price goes, the oil majors cannot make a profit from oil they do not produce.

1. According to the first paragraph, which one of the following is TRUE of the oil price?

[A] The oil price is rising and will continue rising to the historical record.

[B] Whether the oil price is exceeding the record depends on the measurement used.

[C] The oil price is not really close to the degree of exceeding the historical record.

[D] The profit of the oil production industry reached the historical record last year.

2. Record oil prices do not translate into record profits because of the following reasons except _____.

[A] the declining margin from oil refining

[B] the disadvantageous change in contracts

[C] the increasing cost of labor and equipment

[D] the decreasing quantity of oil production

3. Which one of the following statements is NOT true of the situation of the third quarter?

[A] The oil price was on the rise in the third quarter.

[B] Most oil companies were suffering a serious loss in the third quarter.

[C] The oil refining industry was also suffering a surplus deduction in the third quarter.

[D] Some companies also enjoyed rising profits in the third quarter.

4. “This inflation” (Line 2, Paragraph 5) refers to _____.

[A] the rise of oil price

[B] the rise of Consumer Price Index (CPI)

[C] the rise of oil production costs

[D] the rise of oil production revenue

5. The word “looming” (Line 1, Paragraph 6) most probably means _____.

[A] imminent

[B] rising

[C] haunting

[D] alarming





文章剖析


这篇文章主要讲述了石油价格上涨后石油公司面临的危机。第一段讲述石油价格不断上涨,但是石油公司的利润却出现下滑;第二段讲述一些公司具体的利润数据;第三段讲述近期石油价格的走势;第四段讲述石油巨头目前面临的状况和采取的措施;第五段讲述成本上升也引起石油公司的利润下滑;第六段讲述主要的石油公司目前都无法赢利。





词汇注释


buoyant adj. 趋于上升的

quirk n. 急转





难句突破


① To be fair, the oil price has surged most dramatically since the end of September, although it was also buoyant in the third quarter.

主体句式:..., the oil price has surged...

结构分析:本句包含一个由although引导的让步状语从句。

句子译文:其实石油价格从9月底开始就急剧上升,尽管在整个第三季度中呈缓慢上升的态势。

② Worse, several countries are changing contracts or tax rules in ways that will further erode the Western oil firms' profits—and in some cases are throwing them out altogether.

主体句式:Worse, several countries are changing...

结构分析:这是一个并列句,worse其实是个省略结构,完整的说法应当是what is worse is that...;在前面的分句中,that引导的定语从句用来修饰ways。

句子译文:更糟糕的是,几个国家甚至修改了合同或税收规则,这将进一步减少西方石油公司的利润,更有甚者,还逐出了西方石油公司。





题目分析


1. According to the first paragraph, which one of the following is TRUE of the oil price?

[A] The oil price is rising and will continue rising to the historical record.

[B] Whether the oil price is exceeding the record depends on the measurement used.

[C] The oil price is not really close to the degree of exceeding the historical record.

[D] The profit of the oil production industry reached the historical record last year.

1. 根据第一段,下列哪个选项是关于石油价格的正确说法?

[A] 石油价格正在上升并将持续上升直至达到历史纪录。

[B] 石油价格是否能打破纪录取决于衡量的标准。

[C] 石油价格不是真的快要打破历史纪录了。

[D] 石油制造产业的利润去年达到了历史纪录。

答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆

分析:细节题。第一段提到,石油价格快要超过历史纪录了,但是否真的如此还要取决于如何看待通胀和所采用的标准,因此,选项B是正确的。选项C是错误的,因为是否会打破历史纪录有待于标准的确立。选项A的错误在于,文章中没有谈到石油价格上升的趋势是否是持续的。选项D也是明显错误的,因为第一段末尾提到,石油公司的利润反而是下降的。

2. Record oil prices do not translate into record profits because of the following reasons except _____.

[A] the declining margin from oil refining

[B] the disadvantageous change in contracts

[C] the increasing cost of labor and equipment

[D] the decreasing quantity of oil production

2. 石油价格破纪录并不能代表石油的利润也可以创纪录,这是因为下列除 _____ 外的其他因素。

[A] 炼油利润的下滑

[B] 合同中不利的修订

[C] 劳动力和设备的成本提高

[D] 石油产量的减少

答案:C 难度系数:☆☆☆☆

分析:推理题。选项A,文章第二段提到:The majors' poor showing also reflects lower profits from refining. 而且第五段主要是讲述成本上升的问题,因此可以推断,运输成本上升了。选项B,文章第四段提到有些国家修订了合同,这也使得它们的利润降低。选项C,第五段提到了劳动力和设备短缺,但没有提到劳动力和设备成本提高的问题,因此该选项错误。选项D,文章最后一段提到了这个因素。因此,答案为C。

3. Which one of the following statements is NOT true of the situation of the third quarter?

[A] The oil price was on the rise in the third quarter.

[B] Most oil companies were suffering a serious loss in the third quarter.

[C] The oil refining industry was also suffering a surplus deduction in the third quarter.

[D] Some companies also enjoyed rising profits in the third quarter.

3. 关于第三季度的情况,下列哪项陈述是错误的?

[A] 石油价格在第三季度出现了上涨。

[B] 大多数的石油公司第三季度都遭受了严重的亏损。

[C] 炼油产业在第三季度也出现了利润下降。

[D] 一些公司的利润在第三季度还是增加了。

答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆

分析:细节题。选项A,由第三段可以看出,第三季度的石油价格是缓慢上升的。选项B,根据第二段,大多数公司的利润出现了下降,而文章最后一段提到逐渐迫近的赤字,由此可以推断,这些公司没有亏损,只是利润下降。选项C,第三段提到,石油公司的利润下降也反映了炼油企业同样的处境。选项D,第二段提到,一些公司因为其他的原因利润有所上升。因此,答案为B。

4. “This inflation” (Line 2, Paragraph 5) refers to _____.

[A] the rise of oil price

[B] the rise of Consumer Price Index (CPI)

[C] the rise of oil production costs

[D] the rise of oil production revenue

4. “这种通胀”(第五段第二行)指的是 _____。

[A] 石油价格的上涨

[B] 消费者价格指数的增加

[C] 石油制造成本的增加

[D] 石油制造利润的增加

答案:C 难度系数:☆☆

分析:推理题。第五段提到,埃克森第三季度成本上涨的速度是收入增长速度的两倍,接着谈到除了这个上涨,劳动力和设备的短缺使得新项目被延迟。由此可以推断,“这种通胀”应当是在前面提到的,那么应该就是成本的上涨。因此,答案为C。

5. The word “looming” (Line 1, Paragraph 6) most probably means _____.

[A] imminent

[B] rising

[C] haunting

[D] alarming

5. looming这个词(第六段第一行)最有可能的意思是 _____。

[A] 即将来临的

[B] 上升的

[C] 反复出现的

[D] 令人警觉的

答案:A 难度系数:☆☆☆

分析:猜词题。根据上下文:Despite this looming deficit and the glaring price signal, all the big companies except Total produced less oil and gas in the third quarter than they did in the same period last year.即“尽管隐约出现了赤字和价格信号,但除了Total以外,所有的大公司第三季度石油和汽油的生产量都比去年同期减少了。”赤字还没有出现,只是利润减少,那么可以推断出是可能即将产生的赤字,因此,答案A是正确选项。





参考译文


随着石油价格在过去几周内攀升到每桶100美元,西方的几家大型石油公司汇报了他们第三季度的收益。结果表明,石油价格创纪录并不代表石油公司的利润也创了纪录。石油价格目前即将打破1979年创下的每桶100到110美元的纪录,不过这与通胀及使用的衡量标准有关。但是无论如何,几乎所有大型石油公司的利润都在去年达到峰值后出现了下滑。

比如,埃克森美孚报告说其第三季度的利润减少了10%,而英国石油公司利润下滑得更为厉害。Chevron、ConocoPhillips和 Eni的利润也出现了下滑,Total和荷兰皇家壳牌的利润虽然有所增加,但是这只是由于汇率波动和一次性资产出售的原因。花旗银行的分析家用美元核算得出的结果是,最大的石油公司的利润平均下降了15%。

其实石油价格从9月底开始就急剧上升,尽管在整个第三季度中呈缓慢上升的态势。主要的石油公司欠佳的汇报也反映出了炼油企业的利润降低,因为近几个月内,汽油和原油之间的高额差价已经缩小了。

但事实上,石油巨头仍然在努力抽出更多的石油和天然气。这部分是由于,许多国家突然规定,西方的石油公司必须将其生产的原油分给国有石油公司。这些尚在讨论中的合同经常规定,如果石油价格上涨,那么出口到外国的石油就要减少。更糟糕的是,几个国家甚至修改了合同或税收规则,这将进一步减少西方石油公司的利润,更有甚者,还逐出了西方石油公司。

成本上升也是个问题。埃克森公司以其严格的财务纪律而闻名,在第三季度,该公司成本上涨的速度是收入增长速度的两倍。这种成本上升再加上劳动力和设备的短缺,使得新项目被延迟。同时,在输油管道建设方面也没有足够的新项目。国际能源组织承认,西方大型石油公司和国有石油公司的扩展计划将导致全世界在2015年的日石油缺口达1,250万桶。

尽管赤字隐约出现,价格信号十分明显,但除了Total以外,所有的大公司第三季度石油和天然气的生产量都比去年同期减少了。花旗银行称,总产量平均下降了3.3%。如果不考虑天然气相对稳定的供应量,那么这个数字会更为惊人:石油产量平均下降了9%。无论石油价格涨到多高,主要的石油公司都不能从它们未生产的石油中获利。





TEXT TWO


From its birth in 1981 with just two employees, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation has become one of the world's largest sovereign funds, managing more than $100 billion in assets, with 900 employees in eight offices around the world. It is larger even than Temasek Holdings, the government's better-known fund. Temasek gained attention with its $1.9 billion purchase of a controlling stake in Thailand's dominant telecommunications company from the family of the country's prime minister. That helped stir street protests that led to a coup d'etat there last year.

The stake was part of a broader expansion started in mid-2002 by the company's executive director, Ho Ching, formerly head of government-owned Singapore Technologies and wife of Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong. Aimed at reviving Temasek's financial performance in the wake of a recession, Temasek has since taken large stakes in banks as distant as India, China and the Standard Chartered Bank of Britain. Temasek says its investments are purely for financial purposes despite its ownership by the government. Nonetheless, it has run into political headwinds in the region. An Indonesian court recently ruled that it would have to sell one of the controlling stakes it holds, one directly and the other through a subsidiary, in the country's two dominant cellular telephone companies.

Over the last few years, Singapore has embarked on an aggressive effort to court private banks and their clients as a way of diversifying the economy as manufacturing jobs were shifting to China and Vietnam, turning the country into an Asian asset base. There are already at least 40 private banks with offices in Singapore, managing assets worth at least $150 billion. With many wealthy Europeans shifting assets to Singapore from Switzerland to take advantage of rapid Asian growth and avoid new withholding taxes in Europe, the European authorities have stepped up criticism of Singapore's banking system, saying that Singapore needed to tighten controls against money laundering.

Singaporean financial authorities say they do not condone money laundering and recently stepped up fines against banks found to be involved in illicit financial activity. The Government Investment Corporation, known as G.I.C., is controlled by the state, and Singapore's founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, is its chairman. His son, the current prime minister, is deputy chairman. Tony Tan, its executive director, is a former deputy prime minister.

Both Temasek and G.I.C. have aggressively recruited top international financial talent, and G.I.C. in particular has a reputation among bankers and analysts as a shrewd and powerful investor. More than 40 percent of its employees are not Singaporean. Its investment panel includes Charles Ellis, chairman of the Yale University Investment Committee, and Robert Litterman, a managing director of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Despite managing public funds, G.I.C. does not publicize its holdings or returns. Last year on its 25th anniversary, Lee Kuan Yew offered the company's first financial disclosure, reporting that G.I.C. had averaged a 9.5 percent annual return in United States dollar terms over its lifetime.

1. The passage mainly discusses about _____.

[A] Singapore's financial strategy in recent years

[B] conditions about the two large government funds in Singapore

[C] the transformation or evolution of Singapore's banking system

[D] the close relation between Singapore's financial system and the government

2. From the first paragraph, it can be inferred that _____.

[A] Singaporeans are against the purchase of controlling stake in Thailand's telecommunica-tions company

[B] Singaporeans think that Temasek's purchase is indeed a political deal

[C] Singaporeans think that Temasek's purchase will make them have a loss

[D] Thais are reluctant to let Temasek to control their telecommunications company

3. Which one of the following statements is TRUE of Temasek Holdings?

[A] Temasek Holdings seems to be quite reluctant to interfere within the political issue of the countries it invests into.

[B] Temasek Holdings will sell one of the controlling stakes in Indonesian mobile telephone companies directly and through a subsidiary.

[C] Temasek Holdings conducts such expansion in order to change its depression.

[D] Temasek Holdings has not only subtle relations with Singapore's political elite, but also those of neighboring countries.

4. Many Europeans shift assets to Singapore due to the following reasons except that _____.

[A] they want to invest into Asia so as to gain more profits

[B] they want to conduct money laundering by tactically avoiding taxes

[C] they want to carry out illegal financial activity in Asia

[D] they think the investment environment in Europe is not attracting

5. The word “condone” (Line 1, Paragraph 4) most probably means _____.

[A] encourage

[B] allow

[C] remit

[D] permit





文章剖析


这篇文章介绍了新加坡政府投资集团的一些情况。第一段讲述该集团目前的大致情况;第二段讲述基金公司Temasek的一些情况;第三段讲述新加坡致力于转变为金融国家的努力;第四段讲述新加坡采取的一些相关的严厉措施;第五段讲述基金公司Temasek和其他投资集团的措施。





词汇注释


headwind n. 逆风





难句突破


① An Indonesian court recently ruled that it would have to sell one of the controlling stakes it holds, one directly and the other through a subsidiary, in the country's two dominant cellular telephone companies.

主体句式:An Indonesian court recently ruled that...

结构分析:这是一个复合句,其宾语从句比较复杂。在宾语从句中,it holds是定语从句,用来修饰前面的stakes; one directly and the other...作it holds的状语。

句子译文:印尼一法庭最近命令Temasek卖出其所持有的印尼两大垄断移动电话公司中一家的控股权——Temasek对这两家一为直接控股,一为通过其子公司控股。

② Over the last few years, Singapore has embarked on an aggressive effort to court private banks and their clients as a way of diversifying the economy as manufacturing jobs were shifting to China and Vietnam, turning the country into an Asian asset base.

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