Energy Resources Program

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The Energy Resources Program conducts research and assessments to advance the understanding of the Nation’s energy resources. We study processes critical to the formation, accumulation, occurrence and alteration of geologically based energy resources; prepare resource assessments; and evaluate the environmental and socioeconomic effects of energy resource occurrence, production and use.

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Latest Publication

Latest Publication

New Interior Department Survey for Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve
USGS News Release (12/22/2017)

Read Press Release

Lab Update

Energy Geochemistry Laboratory Updates

Latest Notice of Data Quality Issue for the Inorganic Section of the Energy Geochemistry Laboratory, and Closure of the Inorganic Section (Program Update, March 10, 2017).

Lab Update Details

News

Date published: May 16, 2018

Mapping the Nation's Wind Turbines

There are more than 57,000 wind turbines across the United States, and a new tool allows you to get up close and personal with each one!

Date published: April 19, 2018

U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of Energy Release Online Public Dataset and Viewer of U.S. Wind Turbine Locations and Characteristics

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association, released the United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) and the USWTDB Viewer to access this new public dataset.

Date published: March 8, 2018

Modern Perspective on Gas Hydrates

After lying hidden in sediments for thousands of years, delicate frozen gas structures are in the spotlight for both scientific research and the national interest. These structures, known as gas hydrate, are being investigated by scientists the world over for their possible contributions to the global energy mix, as well as their potential interaction with the environment.

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Date published: March 3, 2016

Oil and Gas

Oil and gas undiscovered resource assessments for conventional and unconventional accumulations, reserve growth evaluations, and energy economic analyses for the U.S. and world.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Coal

U.S. coal resource and reserve assessments, U.S. and world coal quality, and coalbed gas.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Other Energy

Research and evaluations of gas hydrates, geothermal, uranium, oil shale, and wind energy impacts on animals.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Health and Environment

Studies of environmental aspects of energy such as water from oil and gas production, geologic carbon sequestration, and mercury and selenium in the environment.

Date published: March 3, 2016

Geochemistry and Geophysics

Seismic data acquisition, processing, interpretation, and archiving; energy geochemistry laboratory; and geochemistry research.

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Date published: February 15, 2018

Data and calculations to support the study of the sea-air flux of methane and carbon dioxide on the West Spitsbergen margin in June 2014

This dataset collected on the West Spitsbergen margin during U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program Field Activity 2014-013-FA, which was carried out in conjunction with the University of Tromso and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel on the R/V Helmer Hanssen.

Date published: April 26, 2016

National Wind Turbine Map & Database

USGS has recently undertaken a project to develop a methodology for assessing wind energy impacts on wildlife at a national scale. The USGS data set provides industrial-scale onshore wind turbine locations in the United States through July 22, 2013.  

Date published: March 4, 2016

Energy Data

Browse all energy-related datasets.

Date published: March 4, 2016

Energy Tools

View and download map-based energy data, search energy GIS data collections, browse the coal photomicrograph atlas and coal quality database, perform an advanced publications search, explore seismic reflection profiling data in Alaska, look at and print world geology maps, peruse the energy multimedia library, and more.

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Image of Tim Collett talking about Gas Hydrates
February 28, 2018

USGS in South Korea

Tim Collett, USGS research geologist, presenting at the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources' (KIGAM)  international program for geoscience resources.

USGS scientists in front of a painted archway in South Korea
February 28, 2018

USGS in Daejon, South Korea

USGS scientists, Bill Waite, Tim Collett, and Seth Haines in front of a archway in Daejeon, South Korea

Photograph of a core storage facility in South Korea
February 28, 2018

Core Storage Facility in Daejeon, South Korea

Core storage facility at the the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Daejeon, South Korea

Gas hydrate from offshore Korea
February 28, 2018

Gas Hydrate from offshore Korea

Gas hydrate from offshore Korea courtesy of the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources.   Learn more about gas hydrates at https://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/hydrates/

Image of Tim Collett
February 28, 2018

USGS research geologist, Tim Collett

Tim Collett, research geologist in gas hydrates, is chief for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Resources Program gas hydrate research efforts offering a presentation on unconventional oil and gas resources at KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Daejeon, South Korea

Image of Seth Haines
February 28, 2018

Gas Hydrate and Sediment Pressure Chamber

 Seth Haines, USGS research geophysicist, on a Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources laboratory tour, which included stops at their gas hydrate and sediment pressure chamber - it's a whopping 320 gallons, dwarfing even Seth, a 6-footer.  The chamber is the silvery ring and the black cylinder beneath it.  It's so big and heavy that it gets wheeled out of that cold room on a set...

Image shows squares of permafrost
December 31, 2017

Permafrost in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

Permafrost forms a grid-like pattern in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope. USGS has periodically assessed oil and gas resource potential there. These assessments can be found here.

Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
December 31, 2016

Loading Coal in the Trapper Mine

Coal is loaded into trucks at the Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado.

Image shows a large black stone with a silver sign in front
July 20, 2016

Cannel Coal

Cannel coal is a type of bituminous coal, which is the second-highest rank of coal (just behind anthracite). This particular sample has a high carbon content with high pollen and spore content as well. Unlike most bituminous coal, Cannel coal can be carved into ornaments. This sample came from the Eastern Interior Coalfield in Kentucky.

Image shows four men in visibility gear and hard hats at a coal mine
June 30, 2016

The USGS Coal Assessment Project

Coal project personnel visiting Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado in June, 2016.

Image shows a woman in a green coat working with a drill core
June 3, 2016

Sarah Hawkins Receives the Core

USGS scientist Sarah Hawkins, lead scientist for the Mancos Shale assessment, examining a core drilled by the USGS Core Research Center. This core provided valuable data for the assessment. Image credit: Joshua Hicks, USGS.

 

For our full listing of current Press Releases, Technical Announcements, USGS & Outside Publications, Field Reports, and Science Highlights 

Energy News and Current Publications
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Date published: May 16, 2018

Mapping the Nation's Wind Turbines

There are more than 57,000 wind turbines across the United States, and a new tool allows you to get up close and personal with each one!

Date published: April 19, 2018

U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of Energy Release Online Public Dataset and Viewer of U.S. Wind Turbine Locations and Characteristics

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association, released the United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) and the USWTDB Viewer to access this new public dataset.

Date published: March 8, 2018

Modern Perspective on Gas Hydrates

After lying hidden in sediments for thousands of years, delicate frozen gas structures are in the spotlight for both scientific research and the national interest. These structures, known as gas hydrate, are being investigated by scientists the world over for their possible contributions to the global energy mix, as well as their potential interaction with the environment.

Date published: February 23, 2018

USGS in South Korea

 For several years, KIGAM, the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, has hosted an international program for geoscience resources (IS-Geo).  The IS-Geo program draws together federal and private-sector professionals from the international community to discuss a range of specific geoscience and mineral topics.

Date published: December 22, 2017

Re-Assessing Alaska's Energy Frontier

Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.

Date published: October 26, 2017

Geologic Groundwork-How USGS Coal Assessments Assist EIA's Coal Forecasts

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported

Date published: October 23, 2017

Assessments Evolved: USGS Coal Research in the 21st Century

Although often associated with helping fuel the Nation’s growth during the Industrial Revolution, coal is very much part of our space-age present. In 2016, coal-fired power plants provided 30.4 percent of the country’s electricity, and it is an important source of employment in many states.

Date published: October 20, 2017

Exploring Gas Hydrates as a Future Energy Source

In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.

Date published: October 18, 2017

EarthWord–Gas Hydrate

No, this EarthWord isn’t how natural gas quenches its thirst-it just sounds like it...

Date published: October 16, 2017

When Ice Yields Fire

When can ice yield fire? That’s the burning question at the heart of one of USGS’s longest-running research programs to date: the exploration of gas hydrates.

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