Spanning Canada and the United States, North America is home to a plethora of major industry players, including Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's second-largest publicly traded company after Royal Dutch Shell. The region's oil and natural gas industry is focused on developing oil sands, deepwater gulf prospects and increasingly profitable shale deposits stretching across the continent. One of the premier sweet spots for deepwater exploration, the Gulf of Mexico is the largest body of water indenting the U.S. continental coastline, and its subsea developments continue to spark both national and international interest.
Cartography and mapping entails the study and practice of making maps. Originally these processes were done by hand, but today this process is usually done with the assistance of a geographic information systems (GIS). These systems capture, store, analyze and manage spatial and geographic data, and they are also particularly useful for managing natural resources. They can be used in many aspects of exploration and production including land management, well planning, pipeline routing and environmental monitoring. Although most companies use GIS now, there is still some field work required to record land formations. Positions in cartography and mapping require a high level of computer proficiency and a strong geoscience or geographic background.