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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The Energy Quarterly

The Energy Quarterly

This quarterly newsletter highlights the latest Energy Resources Program research, activities, publications, and information resources available from our website and other sources.  Read & Subscribe Today!

Current Newsletter


Date published: February 5, 2021

USGS Releases Estimate of Natural Gas in Alaska's Western North Slope

USGS provides its first estimate of conventional natural gas resources in rock formations west of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The rock formations in this region are believed to contain no recoverable oil deposits, so no assessment was made of those resources in this study. 

December 18, 2020

Energy Quarterly - Fall 2020

We close the year with highlights of a new assessment, a new partnership for geothermal energy and critical mineral research in western Nevada, a new patent in coalbed methane research, use of remote sensing to look for critical mineral and energy potential, and much more.  Happy Holidays and a Science New Year 2021 from the Energy and Minerals Mission Area!

Date published: December 17, 2020

Earth Science Week 2020 Highlights


USGS has been a longtime sponsor of Earth Science Week founded in 1998 by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI). It is an annual international event held during the second week of October to encourage better public understanding of and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and Earth stewardship. 


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Year Published: 2021

Relating Tmax and hydrogen index to vitrinite and solid bitumen reflectance in hydrous pyrolysis residues: Comparisons to natural thermal indices

Vitrinite reflectance (VRo; %) generally is considered the most reliable technique to determine the thermal maturity of sedimentary rocks. However, it is a time-consuming process to collect reflectance (Ro; %) measurements and is subjective to the interpretation of each trained technician, who must be able to discern between ...

Lohr, Celeste D.; Hackley, Paul C.

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Year Published: 2021

Insights on the characteristics and sources of gas from an underground coal mine using compositional data analysis

Coal mine gas originates from the gas emission zone (GEZ) of the mine, as well as the longwall face and pillars. Gas emissions are controlled directly at the sources using horizontal or vertical boreholes drilled from surface or from the entries in advance of mining, or it is captured from the fractured and caved zones (gob) using...

Karacan, C. Özgen; Martín-Fernández, Josep Antoni; Ruppert, Leslie F.; Olea, Ricardo

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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources in the lower Paleozoic of the Williston Basin Province, 2020

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 83 million barrels of oil and 351 billion cubic feet of gas in lower Paleozoic strata of the Williston Basin Province, North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; 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., Ellis, G.S., Finn, T.M., Le, P.A., Marra, K.R., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Drake, R.M., II, 2021, Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources in the lower Paleozoic of the Williston Basin Province, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3063, 2 p.,