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.

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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Welcome to the new ERP Website!  We are still undergoing content improvements, but please browse around and rediscover our science in a new way.  

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Energy Resources

Assessments

Research

Regional Studies

News

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.

Date published: March 8, 2019

Making Minerals-How Growing Rocks Can Help Reduce Carbon Emissions

Following an assessment of geologic carbon storage potential in sedimentary rocks, the USGS has published a comprehensive review of potential carbon storage in igneous and metamorphic rocks through a process known as carbon mineralization.

Date published: November 28, 2018

USGS Announces Largest Continuous Oil Assessment in Texas and New Mexico

Estimates Include 46.3 Billion Barrels of Oil, 281 Trillion Cubic feet of Natural Gas, and 20 Billion Barrels of Natural Gas Liquids in Texas and New Mexico’s Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation.

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Statistics of petroleum exploration in the world outside the United States and Canada through 2015

The world’s future oil and gas supplies depend on existing reserves and the additions to those reserves that may result, in part, from ongoing exploration and new discoveries. This Circular summarizes available oil and gas exploration data for the world outside the United States and Canada (the study area) through 2015. It updates U.S. Geological...

Attanasi, Emil D.; Freeman, Philip A.
Attanasi, E.D., and Freeman, P.A., 2019, Statistics of petroleum exploration in the world outside the United States and Canada through 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1450, 237 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1450.

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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Beetaloo Basin, Australia, 2018

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 429 million barrels of continuous oil and 8 trillion cubic feet of continuous gas in the Beetaloo Basin of northern Australia.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Finn, Thomas M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Drake, Ronald M.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Woodall, C.A., Finn, T.M., Marra, K.R., Brownfield, M.E., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Drake, R.M., II, 2019, Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Beetaloo Basin, Australia, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3013, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193013.

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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of tight-oil and tight-gas resources in the Junggar and Santanghu Basins of Northwestern China, 2018

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 241 million barrels of tight oil and 10.1 trillion cubic feet of tight gas in the Junggar and Santanghu Basins of northwestern China.

Potter, Christopher J.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Finn, Thomas M.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phuong A.; Drake, Ronald M.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Pitman, Janet K.
Potter, C.J., Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Tennyson, M.E., Finn, T.M., Woodall, C.A., Leathers-Miller, H.M., Marra, K.R., Le, P.A., Drake, R.M., II, Brownfield, M.E., and Pitman, J.K., 2019, Assessment of tight-oil and tight-gas resources in the Junggar and Santanghu Basins of northwestern China, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3012, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193012.