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.
In the oil and gas industry, geochemists are primarily concerned with the origin, migration, and accumulation of petroleum beneath the earth’s surface. They analyze sediment and rock samples to help determine where oil or gas may have pooled, thus increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of exploration, drilling and production activities. Geochemists usually have a strong geoscience background with some exposure to chemistry. Organic chemistry is especially helpful in this discipline due to the large amount of time spent analyzing organic matter.