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.

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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

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

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Energy Resources



Regional Studies


Date published: September 10, 2019

USGS Estimates 53.8 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas Hydrate Resources in the Alaska North Slope

Access to 3D seismic mapping, along with a greater understanding of gas hydrate reservoir properties, yields estimates that are more precise.

Date published: April 26, 2019

Test Well Confirms Two Gas Hydrate Reservoirs in Alaska North Slope

In the far north of Alaska, near the giant Prudhoe Bay oil field, an international research consortium has been studying the potential of an altogether different energy source.  In late December of 2018, drilling operations confirmed the existence of two high-quality reservoirs that were fully saturated with a potential alternative fuel source: gas hydrate.


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Year Published: 2019

Rare earth elements in coal and coal fly ash

The rare earth elements (REEs) are a group of 17 elements sharing similar chemical properties. They include yttrium (Y, atomic number 39), scandium (Sc, atomic number 21), and the 15 elements of the lanthanide series, atomic numbers 57 (lanthanum, La) to 71 (lutetium, Lu). Because promethium (Pm, atomic number 61) does not occur in the Earth’s...

Scott, Clint; Kolker, Allan
Scott, C., and Kolker, A., 2019, Rare earth elements in coal and coal fly ash: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019-3048, 4 p.,

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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of undiscovered gas hydrate resources in the North Slope of Alaska, 2018

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of about 54 trillion cubic feet of gas resources within gas hydrates in the North Slope of Alaska.

Collett, Timothy S.; Lewis, Kristen A.; Zyrianova, Margarita V.; Haines, Seth S.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Pitman, Janet K.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Houseknecht, David W.
Collett, T.S., Lewis, K.A., Zyrianova, M.V., Haines, S.S., Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Brownfield, M.E., Gaswirth, S.B., Marra, K.R., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Pitman, J.K., Tennyson, M.E., Woodall, C.A., and Houseknecht, D.W., 2019, Assessment of undiscovered gas hydrate resources in the North Slope of Alaska, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3037, 4 p.,

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Year Published: 2019

Petrology and geochemistry of migrated hydrocarbons associated with the Albert Formation oil shale in New Brunswick, Canada

Samples of the Carboniferous oil shale of the Albert Formation in New Brunswick, Canada, were examined using reflected white and fluorescence light microscopy, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, and ICP-MS (for elements). The presence of fractured filled solid bitumen in contact with, and within the Albert Formation oil shale, particularly in fractures at the...

F. Goodarzi; T. Gentzis; Karacan, Cevat (Ozgen); H. Sanei; P.K. Pederson