Energy Resources Program

Energy Resources

Filter Total Items: 89
Date published: November 16, 2018
Status: Active

Vitrinite Reflectance Service

Vitrinite reflectance is regarded at the gold standard thermal maturity parameter. The USGS plans to provide vitrinite reflectance and qualitative organic petrography of shale and other unconventional reservoir samples as a routine in-house service. This service will primarily support the National and Global Oil and Gas Assessment project and also research conducted in the Petroleum Processes...

Date published: November 15, 2018
Status: Active

Thermal Indices Innovation Project

The presence of an interconnected organic nano-porosity network has emerged as an important control on reservoir permeability and hydrocarbon storage space in shale petroleum systems. Application of SEM techniques to Ar ion-milled rock surfaces has become standard industry practice for identification of organic pore systems and mudstone reservoir characterization. There is general consensus...

Date published: November 15, 2018
Status: Active

Hydrous Pyrolysis and Kerogen Conversion

Vitrinite suppression/retardation, and the misidentification of solid bitumen as vitrinite, can lead to large variance in measurements of reflectance, cause trends with respect to depth that are difficult to explain by any known geologic phenomena, and cause problems in evaluation of thermal histories and timing of petroleum generation. Accordingly, experimental identification and...

Contacts: Paul C Hackley
Date published: November 15, 2018
Status: Active

Standardization of Petrographic Measurements

Advent of the "shale revolution" since about 2005 has caused increased demand for reliable petrographic measurements of thermal maturity in shale via vitrinite reflectance, long considered the "gold standard" approach (Hackley et al., 2015). A standardized methodology for organic reflectance measurement in shale first became available in 2011 (ASTM, 2016), based on prior work by task members....

Contacts: Paul C Hackley
Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Active

Molecular Fingerprinting of Energy Materials

The chemical composition of complex solid organic matter (OM) from sedimentary reservoirs is a key parameter in the generation of hydrocarbon fuels. Vibrational spectroscopies such as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Raman have been widely applied to understand the molecular make-up of these hydrocarbon precursors, as well as provide links to their thermal histories via correlation to...

Contacts: Aaron M Jubb
Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Active

NORM Byproducts of Energy Resources

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) is found in waste produced during the extraction of uranium, phosphate, rare earth elements (REE), coal, oil and gas resources. The focus of this effort is to understand the potential for byproduct recovery of U-235 and Th-232, the fissionable isotopes used to generate nuclear energy from wastes produced during energy resource development. The...

Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Active

Byproducts of Energy Fuels

This task provides detailed information on the use and resource potential of energy by-products, as well as controls on the potential mobility of contaminants resulting from transport, storage, and disposal of these byproducts. Specific topics investigated include 1) transport and fate of organic and inorganic contaminants during storage and disposal of waste coal and coal combustion...

Contacts: Allan Kolker
Date published: November 13, 2018
Status: Active

Microbial Methanogenesis and Strategies for Enhancements

Microbial (biogenic) natural gas is present in shale, coal and petroleum reservoirs and is estimated to account for 20% of the world’s natural gas resources. We provide hydrological, geochemical and microbial information related to the production of biogenic natural gas and new methods to monitor and enhance the production of this energy resource. Generating microbial methane at a faster rate...

Date published: November 13, 2018
Status: Active

Maps of Energy Occurrence

The primary objective of this task is to produce digital maps coal-bearing areas and related energy sources and materials of the U.S., and internationally. The approach for creating GIS representations of energy sources of the U.S. and the world is to use existing geologic GIS data where possible, supplemented by data on location, rank and age from published maps and reports. Each GIS database...

Date published: November 13, 2018
Status: Active

Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Project

Since its establishment in 1879, USGS geoscientists have investigated the geochemistry of energy resources. Research conducted in the Geochemistry of Energy Fuels project continues this tradition. Goals include 1) understanding the geologic, geochemical, microbiological, and other factors that control production, quality, and composition of coal, petroleum, and nuclear fuels, and 2)...

Date published: November 8, 2018
Status: Active

Williston Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of conventional and continuous oil and gas resources of the Devonian Three Forks Formation and Devonian and Mississippian Bakken Formation in the Williston Basin Province 5031 of North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota:

  • 2013 Conventional and Continuous Assessment (
  • ...
Date published: November 6, 2018
Status: Active

Integrated Uranium Resource and Environmental Assessment

The US Geological Survey has assembled a small group of scientists who are assessing the uranium resource potential of the United States.  Uranium is used to fuel the 98 operable nuclear reactors in the United States, providing 20% of the nation’s electricity. More than 95% of this uranium is imported, and the rest is produced from uranium mines in Wyoming, Nebraska and Texas and a uranium...

Contacts: Susan M Hall