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.
Geotechnical engineering is a sub-set of civil engineering that is focused on the behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineers use soil and rock mechanics to find out more information about subsurface conditions, materials, and formations. In the oil and gas industry, geotechnical engineers use their expertise to analyze and examine the earth formations during the early stages of planning for construction projects. These projects could include drilling apparatuses, structural foundations, mining operations, and offshore oil platforms. Geological and geomechanical engineers are typically classified as geotechnical engineers.