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.
Research and Development (R&D) involves the innovation and development of new products and services or the enhancement of existing ones. Usually staffed by engineers or scientists, the R&D department will explore specific interests of an organization working towards future product developments. The Research department is not expected to make an immediate return on investment, but contributes to the future growth of the business.