Spanning Canada and the United States, North America is home to a plethora of major industry players, including Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's second-largest publicly traded company after Royal Dutch Shell. The region's oil and natural gas industry is focused on developing oil sands, deepwater gulf prospects and increasingly profitable shale deposits stretching across the continent. One of the premier sweet spots for deepwater exploration, the Gulf of Mexico is the largest body of water indenting the U.S. continental coastline, and its subsea developments continue to spark both national and international interest.
Well control is the process of maintaining the correct pressure in an oil well to avoid an unexpected release of oil or gas. During drilling, the formation pressure (gas, water or oil) opposes the drilling fluid pressure. If the formation pressure is greater than the drilling fluid pressure, there is the possibility of a blowout. Well control professionals are responsible for calculating pressures and making sure that a blowout does not occur.