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.
Well control is the process of maintaining the correct pressure in an oil well to avoid an unexpected release of oil or gas. During drilling, the formation pressure (gas, water or oil) opposes the drilling fluid pressure. If the formation pressure is greater than the drilling fluid pressure, there is the possibility of a blowout. Well control professionals are responsible for calculating pressures and making sure that a blowout does not occur.