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英语新闻
油价下跌影响美国石油开采

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With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. However, the decreasing price of gas has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.


随着油价目前下跌至每桶80美元以下,美国各地的驾车人从中受益。现在汽油零售均价也跌到每加仑(约4升)3美元以下。不过,下跌的汽油零售价对页岩油开采业来说却不是利好消息。


North Dakota’s economy is on fire, thanks to developments in technology that allow oil extraction from shale formations deep below the surface.


现在美国北达科他州的经济蒸蒸日上,这得感谢地下页岩油开采技术的发展。


The process to extract that oil, known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is thesource of the economic boom for states on top of these deposits.


这种开采页岩油的流程被称作“水力压裂”,它为富含页岩油资源的各州带来滚滚财源。


Now, that prosperity is trickling down to the rest of the country.


现在,财富正缓缓流向全美国。


“Fracking is the miracle that has brought down gasoline prices,” said Phil Flynn, a seniormarket analyst with the PRICE Futures Group. Flynn said the rise in the number of wells, and developing and expanding the system to refine and transport shale oil, are game changers for U.S. energy independence.


“水力压裂是个奇迹,压低了汽油价格。” 菲尔?弗林(Phil Flynn)说。弗林是普赖斯期货集团(Price Futures Group)的高级市场分析员。他表示油井的增多、提炼和运输页岩油的体系的发展和扩大,对美国能源独立来说是个“转折点”。


“The quality of the oil produces more gasoline than your traditional barrel of oil, and refiners in the U.S. are rising to the occasion to take advantage of this,” said Flynn.


他说: “这种油的品质可以比传统的一桶油要产出更多的汽油。美国的炼油商也开始利用这一优势。”


Austan Goolsbee, a Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, said that while production of oil and natural gas is dramatically higher in the United States, there is a downside.


芝加哥大学布斯商学院的经济学教授奥斯坦?古尔斯比(Austan Goolsbee)说,虽然美国石油和天然气产量提高了,但这也有不好的一面。


“There is one issue -- the cost of production in North America tends to be higher than in the cheapest places like Saudi Arabia,” said Goolsbee.


他说:“有这么一个问题。北美石油生产成本一般要高于沙特阿拉伯等这些成本最低的地方。”


And Saudi Arabia knows this, which is why -- according to Flynn -- OPEC, or the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Saudi Arabia is a leading member, has so far declined to curb production to maintain high market share.


而且,沙特阿拉伯心知肚明。菲尔?弗林说,因此,沙特是重要成员的“欧佩克”(OPEC),也就是“石油输出国组织” (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) 一直拒绝限产,以维持高市场份额。


“They’re trying to put the shale gas revolution on hold. They’re trying to flood themarket with oil and drive prices even lower in the hopes the frackers will stop fracking,” said Flynn.


弗林说:“他们试图阻遏‘页岩气革命’。他们想要石油充斥市场,把油价压到更低,希望水力压裂开采商罢手不干。”


“On average, I would say that, once you start getting below a sustained $75 a barrel for oil, there would be a lot of domestic producers in the U.S. who say we can’t live at that sustained price.  If the price went to $65 a barrel, and stayed there for several years, a lot of guys would go out of business,” explained Goolsbee.


古尔斯比说:“一般来说,我认为,一旦油价开始跌到每桶75美元的持续价格以下,美国国内许多生产商会决定,他们不可能在这种持续低价的情况下继续生产。如果油价到了65美元/桶并且这样持续多年,许多人会因此停产。”


Goolsbee said there are several other factors contributing to lower gas prices, including the increase in the number of fuel-efficient vehicles on the road and less demand from major consumers.


古尔斯比说,还有其他因素导致了油价的下跌,包括街头上节能汽车的增多以及主要消费群体的需求减少。


“Some of the biggest users of energy, like China, have slowed down. Their growth rate has slowed down pretty substantially, so there has been less demand,” he said.


他说:“一些主要的能源消费国,例如中国开始减速发展。他们的增长速度持续放缓,因此对能源的需求有所减少。”


Which is part of the reason Flynn thinks lower gas prices are here to stay.


普赖斯期货集团的菲尔?弗林认为,这是较低油价还会持续一段时间的部分原因。


“The combination of more fuel efficiency, more oil production, more refining capacity means lower gas prices for a long time to come,” said Flynn.


弗林说:“更高的燃料效率,更多的石油产量,更多的炼油产能。这些因素意味着较低的油价将会持续相当长的时间。”


The American Automobile Association, or AAA, pegs the current average cost of gasoline in the U.S. at $2.85 a gallon - welcome news to motorists gearing up for long drives during the Thanksgiving holiday.


美国汽车协会(AAA)说,当前美国汽油零售价大约为2.85美元一加仑,这对于感恩节假期要长途旅行的驾车人来说是个好消息。


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