As home to supermajors, as well as a plethora of smaller, independent energy players, the US boasts one of the largest concentrations of energy personnel in the world. With its insatiable appetite for energy resources, the United States is the world's single largest consumer of oil, using as much as 20.73 million barrels per day as of 2008. Recently, interest has peaked in the vast quantity of untapped natural gas resources in the US, the reserves of which were inventoried in 2008 at 238 Tcf, with producers specifically targeting the nation's promising shale formations for this energy commodity.
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.