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.
Production engineers monitor and evaluate the production and efficiency of an oil or gas well. They develop methods to improve extraction, oversee drilling activities and will determine the need for new or improved tools. One of their main responsibilities is to evaluate the flow between the reservoir and the wellbore. Production engineers monitor the entire production process and will design completion systems and select equipment that will increase production rates. Production engineers are usually petroleum engineers, however sometimes an engineer from a different discipline will be trained on production engineering tasks.