Situation: A prediction about the price of crude oil is made on the basis of the previous year`s price.
Reasoning: We need to find additional information that weakens the conclusion that petroleum prices will continue to rise.
B - Incorrect: The method of computation for crude oil prices does not demonstrably weaken the prediction that crude oil prices will continue to rise.
B - Correct: This option presents additional information that explains the previous year’s price of crude oil as a dip in a normally stable price. This information does not support the prediction that prices will rise in the next year. In fact, it weakens it somewhat.
C - Incorrect: Subsidies in this option contribute to the upward trend of the crude oil prices, which strengthens the argument.
D - Incorrect: The $50 a barrel price of crude oil is the starting point of the upward trend. The fact that this price represents the 10 year low does not weaken the argument.
E - Incorrect: It`s unclear how this information about government intervention affects the argument.