One particular region that has continued to drill deeper to hit the hydrocarbon jackpot is located in the world's southern hemisphere and features unconventional conditions for recovering hydrocarbons. Specifically, Brazil's energy giant Petrobras is taking the reins for unlocking vast amounts of oil and gas below layers of salt, rock and sand, and several of the most memorable finds are located in extreme water depths in the country's subsalt basins. Operator of the Orinoco heavy oil belt, Venezuela's state-controlled PDVSA also reigns as a primary player in South America's energy sector. As a region, South America boasts some of the largest oil-and-gas discoveries ever made and is estimated to contain billions in recoverable hydrocarbon reserves.
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.