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.
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.