Harvesting an abundance of oil and natural gas resources, the Middle East supplies nearly half of all exports to the global oil market. Middle Eastern countries Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which pumps roughly 40% of the world's oil, with Saudi Arabia leading the pack for the greatest amount of output. OPEC's crude oil production was 28.7 million barrels per day in the first half of 2009.
Petroleum engineers handle many responsibilities, but on a basic level they are responsible for locating, recovering and maintaining the world’s oil and gas supplies. Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from below the earth’s surface. Their duties can also include managing an oil or gas producing property once it is operational and maximizing the performance and profitability of a well. Petroleum engineers are involved in all stages of well production, from helping to locate a potential well site, through drilling, production, processing and transportation. Some job titles a petroleum engineer may carry include reservoir engineer, drilling engineer or production engineer.