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.Visit Our Program Website
Oil and gas undiscovered resource assessments for conventional and unconventional accumulations, reserve growth evaluations, and energy economic analyses for the U.S. and world.
U.S. coal resource and reserve assessments, U.S. and world coal quality, and coalbed gas.
Research and evaluations of gas hydrates, geothermal, uranium, oil shale, and wind energy impacts on animals.
Studies of environmental aspects of energy such as water from oil and gas production, geologic carbon sequestration, and mercury and selenium in the environment.
Data and calculations to support the study of the sea-air flux of methane and carbon dioxide on the West Spitsbergen margin in June 2014
This dataset collected on the West Spitsbergen margin during U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program Field Activity 2014-013-FA, which was carried out in conjunction with the University of Tromso and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel on the R/V Helmer Hanssen.
USGS has recently undertaken a project to develop a methodology for assessing wind energy impacts on wildlife at a national scale. The USGS data set provides industrial-scale onshore wind turbine locations in the United States through July 22, 2013.
Browse all energy-related datasets.
View and download map-based energy data, search energy GIS data collections, browse the coal photomicrograph atlas and coal quality database, perform an advanced publications search, explore seismic reflection profiling data in Alaska, look at and print world geology maps, peruse the energy multimedia library, and more.
Assessment of Undiscovered Conventional Oil and Gas Resources in the Wyoming Thrust Belt Province, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah, 2017
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable resources of 26 million barrels of oil and 700 billion cubic feet of gas in the Wyoming Thrust Belt Province, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah.Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Le, Phuong A.; Klett, Timothy R.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Finn, Thomas M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.
Assessment of undiscovered continuous oil and gas resources in the Hanoi Trough, Vietnam, 2017
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources of 52 million barrels of oil and 591 billion cubic feet of gas in the Hanoi Trough of Vietnam.Schenk, Christopher J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Le, Phuong A.; Klett, Timothy R.; Finn, Thomas M.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.
Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the North-Central Montana Province, 2017
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable resources of 55 million barrels of oil and 846 billion cubic feet of gas in the North-Central Montana Province.Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Le, Phuong A.; Klett, Timothy R.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Finn, Thomas M.; Pitman, Janet K.; Marra, Kristen R.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.
Assessment of undiscovered continuous oil and gas resources in the Bohaiwan Basin Province, China, 2017
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources of 2.0 billion barrels of oil and 20.3 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Bohaiwan Basin Province, China.Schenk, Christopher J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Finn, Thomas M.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Le, Phuong A.; Klett, Timothy R.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Potter, Christopher J.
Accurate ocean bottom seismometer positioning method inspired by multilateration technique
The positioning of ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) is a key step in the processing flow of OBS data, especially in the case of self popup types of OBS instruments. The use of first arrivals from airgun shots, rather than relying on the acoustic transponders mounted in the OBS, is becoming a trend and generally leads to more accurate positioning...Benazzouz, Omar; Pinheiro, Luis M.; Matias, Luis M. A.; Afilhado, Alexandra; Herold, Daniel; Haines, Seth S.
The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada
Understanding the evolution of the Colorado River system has direct implications for (1) the processes and timing of continental-scale river system integration, (2) the formation of iconic landscapes like those in and around Grand Canyon, and (3) the availability of groundwater resources. Spatial patterns in the position and type of Colorado River...Crow, Ryan S.; Block, Debra L.; Felger, Tracey J.; House, P. Kyle; Pearthree, Philip A.; Gootee, Brian F.; Youberg, Ann M.; Howard, Keith A.; Beard, L. Sue
Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent Province, 2008
The Jan Mayen Microcontinent encompasses a rectangular, mostly submarine fragment of continental crust that lies north of Iceland in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. These continental rocks were rifted away from the eastern margin of Greenland as a consequence of a westward jump of spreading centers from the now-extinct Aegir Ridge to the...Moore, T.E.; Gautier, D.L.; Moore, Thomas E.; Pitman, Janet K.
Equilibrium and non-equilibrium controls on the abundances of clumped isotopologues of methane during thermogenic formation in laboratory experiments: Implications for the chemistry of pyrolysis and the origins of natural gases
Multiply isotopically substituted molecules (‘clumped’ isotopologues) can be used as geothermometers because their proportions at isotopic equilibrium relative to a random distribution of isotopes amongst all isotopologues are functions of temperature. This has allowed measurements of clumped-isotope abundances to be used to constrain formation...Shuai, Yanhua; Douglas, Peter M.J.; Zhang, Shuichang; Stolper, Daniel A.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Lawson, Michael; Lewan, Michael; Formolo, Michael; Mi, Jingkui; He, Kun; Hu, Guoyi; Eiler, John M.
Punctuated sediment discharge during early Pliocene birth of the Colorado River: Evidence from regional stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleontology
The Colorado River in the southwestern U.S. provides an excellent natural laboratory for studying the origins of a continent-scale river system, because deposits that formed prior to and during river initiation are well exposed in the lower river valley and nearby basinal sink. This paper presents a synthesis of regional stratigraphy,...Dorsey, Rebecca J.; O’Connell, Brennan; McDougall-Reid, Kristin; Homan, Mindy B.
Ore-forming adakitic porphyry produced by fractional crystallization of oxidized basaltic magmas in a subcrustal chamber (Jiamate, East Junggar, NW China)
Adakitic intrusions are supposed to have a close genetic and spatial relationship to porphyry Cu deposits. However, the genesis of adakitic intrusions is still under dispute. Here, we describe newly discovered intrusive complex rocks, which are composed of ore-bearing, layered magnetite-bearing gabbroic and adakitic rocks in Jiamate, East Junggar...Hong, Tao; Xu, Xing-Wang; Gao, Jun; Peters, Stephen; Zhang, Di; Jielili, Reyaniguli; Xiang, Peng; Li, Hao; Wu, Chu; You, Jun; Liu, Jie; Ke, Qiang
Position-specific 13C distributions within propane from experiments and natural gas samples
Site-specific carbon isotope measurements of organic compounds potentially recover information that is lost in a conventional, ‘bulk’ isotopic analysis. Such measurements are useful because isotopically fractionating processes may have distinct effects at different molecular sites, and thermodynamically equilibrated populations of molecules tend...Piasecki, Alison; Sessions, Alex L.; Lawson, Michael; Ferreira, A.A.; Santos Neto, E. V.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Lewan, Michael; Eilers, J.M.
Networking our science to characterize the state, vulnerabilities, and management opportunities of soil organic matter
Soil organic matter (SOM) supports the Earth's ability to sustain terrestrial ecosystems, provide food and fiber, and retains the largest pool of actively cycling carbon. Over 75% of the soil organic carbon (SOC) in the top meter of soil is directly affected by human land use. Large land areas have lost SOC as a result of land use practices, yet...Harden, Jennifer W.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Ahlström, Anders; Blankinship, Joseph C.; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Lawrence, Corey; Loisel, Julie; Malhotra, Avni; Jackson, Robert B.; Ogle, Stephen M.; Phillips, Claire; Ryals, Rebecca; Todd-Brown, Katherine; Vargas, Rodrigo; Vergara, Sintana E.; Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Keiluweit, Marco; Heckman, Katherine; Crow, Susan E.; Silver, Whendee L.; DeLonge, Marcia; Nave, Lucas E.
Permafrost forms a grid-like pattern in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope. USGS has periodically assessed oil and gas resource potential there. These assessments can be found here.
Coal is loaded into trucks at the Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado.
Cannel coal is a type of bituminous coal, which is the second-highest rank of coal (just behind anthracite). This particular sample has a high carbon content with high pollen and spore content as well. Unlike most bituminous coal, Cannel coal can be carved into ornaments. This sample came from the Eastern Interior Coalfield in Kentucky.
Coal project personnel visiting Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado in June, 2016.
The USGS Core Research Center collaborated with the USGS Energy Resources Program to drill a core from the Mancos Shale to aid in the oil and gas assessment. Image Credit: Joshua Hicks, USGS.
USGS scientist Sarah Hawkins, lead scientist for the Mancos Shale assessment, examining a core drilled by the USGS Core Research Center. This core provided valuable data for the assessment. Image credit: Joshua Hicks, USGS.
USGS scientists drill a test core into the Mancos Shale to aid in the assessment for oil and gas resources. Credit: Joshua Hicks.
from usgs files
The Southern High Plains of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. USGS conducted a uranium assessment in this region in 2015.
A sample of finchite, a newly discovered uranium mineral. Finchite is the yellow material on the surface of the rock. Finchite is found in the late Pleistocene sediments deposited during the Illinoian glacial stage. It was first observed in Martin County, Texas. Read more about our uranium research here.
A uranium-vanadate mineral in calcrete. This sample came from near the Sulfur Springs Draw in Texas. USGS conducted an assessment of uranium resources in this region in 2015.
USGS scientist Bradley Van Gosen examines rock layers for the newly discovered mineral finchite near Lamesa, Texas. Van Gosen was the first to recognize the existence of the new mineral, which was named for long-time USGS uranium geologist Warren Finch. Read more about our uranium research here.
The Department of the Interior has announced petroleum assessments from the
Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.
Estimates of Potential Uranium in the Southern High Plains Could Equal Just Under One Year of U.S. Needs.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy. Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported
In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.
No, this EarthWord isn’t how natural gas quenches its thirst-it just sounds like it...
When can ice yield fire? That’s the burning question at the heart of one of USGS’s longest-running research programs to date: the exploration of gas hydrates.
Eureka often accompanies this EarthWord.
No, this EarthWord isn’t a trait of adult petroleum basins, but it is related to how old they are...
It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy. Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported.