The largest oil and natural gas producer in the EU, the United Kingdom retains proven crude oil reserves of around 4 billion barrels and proven natural gas reserves of some 18.8 Tcf as of 2006. Containing the bulk of domestic reserves and an extensive network of subsea pipelines and infrastructure, the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is the most active offshore region for the UK's oil and gas sector, and industry giants Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total all explore and produce there. The third largest global energy company and headquartered in the UK, BP is operator of such major offshore UK producers as the Foinaven and Forties fields.
A drilling engineer’s main responsibility is to manage the drilling of a well to produce oil or gas as safely and efficiently as possible. Drilling Engineers are involved from the initial well planning and design, through well testing, completion, and finally abandonment. Designing and maintaining the equipment used for oil and gas extraction is another one of their responsibilities, as well as performing cost estimates and keeping track of drilling rates. Drilling engineers work in both the office and the field, which could be either onshore or offshore. Generally drilling engineers complete an engineering degree in petroleum, mechanical or chemical engineering.