The westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Black Sea to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The economic and political association of 27 European member states, the European Union (EU) has developed a single market through which a standardized system of laws apply, and under this union, sixteen member states have adopted the euro as its common currency. In 2006, the EU had a gross inland energy consumption of 1,825 million tonnes of oil equivalent, with nuclear energy as the primary source of energy produced in the region. Currently, the EU imports around 82% of its oil and 57% of its natural gas resources.
Geotechnical engineering is a sub-set of civil engineering that is focused on the behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineers use soil and rock mechanics to find out more information about subsurface conditions, materials, and formations. In the oil and gas industry, geotechnical engineers use their expertise to analyze and examine the earth formations during the early stages of planning for construction projects. These projects could include drilling apparatuses, structural foundations, mining operations, and offshore oil platforms. Geological and geomechanical engineers are typically classified as geotechnical engineers.