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.
Process engineers are found in almost all industrial plants, and they are responsible for the design, operation, control and optimization of chemical processes. They examine how raw materials are converted into useable productions and how to improve the process. Process engineers in the oil and gas industry are usually focused on the downstream portion including chemical plants and refineries, however their knowledge can be useful in manufacturing plants as well as in upstream and midstream operations. Due to the extensive knowledge of chemical processes that these positions require, process engineers usually hold chemical engineering degrees.