Energy Resources Program


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.

Our Science

Our Science

Understanding the national and global availability of resources as well as the environmental impacts of their development is essential for strategic decision making related to the nation’s energy mix.

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News & Highlights

News & Highlights

Current Press Releases, Technical Announcements, Publications, Field Reports, and Science Highlights. 

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Date published: October 16, 2020

New Patent Helps Coalbed Methane Research

Far underground, in a Wyoming well-bore drilled through rock and coal, exciting research is bubbling up. USGS researchers are studying how bacteria and other microbes may play a role in the formation of natural gas from coal, and they’re using one of USGS’ newest patents to do it. This patent is the subsurface environmental sampler, or SES.

Date published: October 14, 2020

Mixing Oil and Water

In south Texas, a wide band of rocks stretches from the Mexican border all the way to western Louisiana, forming the highly productive Eagle Ford Group. These formations, made up primarily of shale and mudstone, are some of the most prolific oil and gas-producing rocks in the United States.

Date published: October 13, 2020

A Geologist Tongue Twister


Bring out your inner geologist and take the Geologist Tongue Twister Audio or Video challenge! 

First, do an audio or video recording of you reading the Tongue Twister. Second, feature a rock or mineral from your rock collection or go outside and find yourself a rock; they are everywhere!  

Be sure to hashtag your video #earthscienceweek and #...


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Year Published: 2020

Utica shale play oil and gas brines: Geochemistry and factors influencing wastewater management

The Utica and Marcellus Shale Plays in the Appalachian Basin are the fourth and first largest natural gas producing plays in the United States, respectively. Hydrocarbon production generates large volumes of brine (“produced water”) that must be disposed of, treated, or reused. Though Marcellus brines have been studied extensively, there are few...

Blondes, Madalyn S.; Shelton, Jenna L.; Engle, Mark A; Trembly, Jason; Doolan, Colin A.; Jubb, Aaron M.; Chenault, Jessica; Rowan, Elisabeth L.; Haefner, Ralph J.; Mailot, Brian E.

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Year Published: 2020

Estimating the net costs of brine production and disposal to expand pressure-limited dynamic capacity for basin-scale CO2 storage in a saline formation

If carbon capture and storage (CCS) needs to be deployed at basin- or larger-scale, it is likely that multiple sites will be injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into the same geologic formation. This could lead to excessive pressure buildup, overlapping induced pressure fronts, and pressure interference with neighboring uses of the subsurface....

Anderson, Steven T.; Jahediesfanjani, Hossein

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Year Published: 2020

Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources of Southeast Asia, 2020

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 10.5 billion barrels of oil and 271.5 trillion cubic feet of gas within 33 geologic provinces of Southeast Asia.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Finn, Thomas M.; Le, Phuong A.; Marra, Kristen R.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Drake, Ronald M.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Woodall, C.A., Finn, T.M., Le, P.A., Marra, K.R., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Drake, R.M., II, 2020, Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources of Southeast Asia, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3046, 2 p.,