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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.

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Latest Publication

Latest Publication

Bossier and Haynesville Formations- Press Release and Publications
USGS News Release (4/13/2017)

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Lab Update

Energy Geochemistry Laboratory Updates

Latest Notice of Data Quality Issue for the Inorganic Section of the Energy Geochemistry Laboratory, and Closure of the Inorganic Section (Program Update, March 10, 2017).

Lab Update Details

News

USGS logo
July 17, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey has evaluated three methods for estimating how much oil and gas could be produced by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into petroleum reservoirs.

Image shows USGS scientists standing beside a drill rig in protective gear.
April 13, 2017

USGS also estimates 4 billion barrels of oil and 2 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in the two formations.

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USGS science for a changing world logo
March 3, 2016

Oil and gas undiscovered resource assessments for conventional and unconventional accumulations, reserve growth evaluations, and energy economic analyses for the U.S. and world.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 3, 2016

U.S. coal resource and reserve assessments, U.S. and world coal quality, and coalbed gas.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 3, 2016

Research and evaluations of gas hydrates, geothermal, uranium, oil shale, and wind energy impacts on animals.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 3, 2016

Studies of environmental aspects of energy such as water from oil and gas production, geologic carbon sequestration, and mercury and selenium in the environment.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 3, 2016

Seismic data acquisition, processing, interpretation, and archiving; energy geochemistry laboratory; and geochemistry research.

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wind turbines
April 26, 2016

National Wind Turbine Map & Database

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.  

Energy Data
March 4, 2016

Energy Data

Browse all energy-related datasets.

Tools of the trade for a US Geological Survey engraver- the burin and the hand lens, resting on a contours engraving.
March 4, 2016

Energy Tools

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.

Filter Total Items: 1,270
Year Published: 2017

A Record of Change—Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo Nation

A Record of Change—Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo Nation is a 25-minute documentary about combining observations from Navajo elders with conventional science to determine how tribal lands and culture are affected by climate change. On the Navajo Nation, there is a shortage of historical climate data, making it difficult to assess...

Hiza-Redsteer, Margaret M.; Wessells, Stephen M.
Redsteer, M.H., and Wessells, S.M., 2017, A record of change—Science and elder observations on the Navajo Nation: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 181, video, 25 minutes, https://doi.org/10.3133/gip181. [Video also available in Navajo language, 28 minutes.]

Year Published: 2017

Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Lower Indus Basin, Pakistan, 2017

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable resources of 164 million barrels of oil and 24.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Lower Indus Basin, Pakistan.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Klett, Timothy R.; Finn, Thomas M.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phuong A.; Hawkins, Sarah J.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.
Schenk, C.J., Tennyson, M.E., Klett, T.R., Finn, T.M., Mercier, T.J., Gaswirth, S.B., Marra, K.R., Le, P.A., Hawkins, S.J., and Leathers-Miller, H.M., 2017, Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Lower Indus Basin, Pakistan, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3034, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173034.

Year Published: 2017

East African weathering dynamics controlled by vegetation-climate feedbacks

Tropical weathering has important linkages to global biogeochemistry and landscape evolution in the East African rift. We disentangle the influences of climate and terrestrial vegetation on chemical weathering intensity and erosion at Lake Malawi using a long sediment record. Fossil pollen, microcharcoal, particle size, and mineralogy data affirm...

Ivory, Sarah J.; McGlue, Michael M.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Boehlke, Adam; Lézine, Anne-Marie; Vincens, Annie; Cohen, Andrew S.
Ivory, S.J., McGlue, M.M., Ellis, G.S., Boehlke, A., Lézine, A.-M., Vincens, A., and Cohen, A.S., 2017, East African weathering dynamics controlled by vegetation-climate feedbacks: Geology, v. 45, no. 9, p. 823-826. https://doi.org/10.1130/G38938.1

Year Published: 2017

Extension of the analytical window for characterizing aromatic compounds in oils using a comprehensive suite of high-resolution mass spectrometry techniques and double bond equivalence versus carbon number plot

In this study, comprehensive two-dimensional (2D) gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry (MS), and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) were used to study the aromatic fractions of crude oil and oil shale pyrolysates (shale...

Cho, Yunju; Birdwell, Justin E.; Hur, Manhoi; Lee, Joonhee; Kim, Byungjoo; Kim, Sunghwan
Cho, Y., Birdwell, J.E., Hur, M., Lee, J., Kim, B., Kim, S., 2017, Extension of the analytical window for characterizing aromatic compounds in oils using a comprehensive suite of high-resolution mass spectrometry techniques and double bond equivalence versus carbon number plot: Energy Fuels, 2017, 31 (8), pp 7874-7883. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b00962

Year Published: 2017

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Neuquén Basin Province, Argentina, 2016

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey assessed undiscovered, technically recoverable mean continuous resources of 14.4 billion barrels of oil and 38 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Neuquén Basin Province, Argentina.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Klett, Timothy R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Janet K. Pitman; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Finn, Thomas M.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Le, Phuong A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Marra, Kristen R.
Schenk, C.J., Klett, T.R., Tennyson, M.E., Mercier, T.J., Pitman, J.K., Gaswirth, S.B., Finn, T.M., Brownfield, M.E., Le, P.A., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Marra, K.R., 2017, Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Neuquén Basin Province, Argentina, 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3025, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173025.

Year Published: 2017

Characterization and origin of brines from the Bakken-Three Forks petroleum system in the Williston Basin, USA

Brine (also referred to as ‘produced water’) samples were collected from 28 wells producing oil from the Late Devonian-Early Mississippian Bakken and Three Forks Formations in the Williston Basin of eastern Montana and western North Dakota. The samples were analyzed for major ions, trace metals, stable isotopes, and strontium isotopes. The brines...

Peterman, Zell; Thamke, Joanna N.; Futa, Kiyoto; Oliver, Thomas A.
Peterman, Z., Thamke, J., Futa, K., Oliver, T., 2017, Characterization and origin of brines from the Bakken-Three Forks petroleum system in the Williston Basin, USA: The Mountain Geologist, July 2017, Volume 54, Number 3.

Year Published: 2017

Observed correlation between the depth to base and top of gas hydrate occurrence from review of global drilling data

A global inventory of data from gas hydrate drilling expeditions is used to develop relationships between the base of structure I gas hydrate stability, top of gas hydrate occurrence, sulfate-methane transition depth, pressure (water depth), and geothermal gradients. The motivation of this study is to provide first-order estimates of the top of...

Riedel, Michael; Collett, Timothy S.
Riedel, M., and T. S. Collett, 2017, Observed correlation between the depth to base and top of gas hydrate occurrence from review of global drilling data: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2017GC006805.

Year Published: 2017

Assessment of undiscovered continuous gas resources in the Amu Darya Basin Province of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, 2017

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources of 35.1 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Amu Darya Basin Province of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Hawkins, Sarah J.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Woodall, Cheryl A.
Schenk, C.J., Tennyson, M.E., Mercier, T.J., Hawkins, S.J., Gaswirth, S.B., Marra, K.R., Klett, T.R., Le, P.A., Brownfield, M.E., and Woodall, C.A., 2017, Assessment of undiscovered continuous gas resources in the Amu Darya Basin Province of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3058, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173058.

Year Published: 2017

Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine

Undiscovered potash resources in the Pripyat Basin, Belarus, and Dnieper-Donets Basin, Ukraine, were assessed as part of a global mineral resource assessment led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Pripyat Basin (in Belarus) and the Dnieper-Donets Basin (in Ukraine and southern Belarus) host stratabound and halokinetic Upper Devonian (...

Cocker, Mark D.; Orris, Greta J.; Dunlap, Pamela; Lipin, Bruce R.; Ludington, Steve; Ryan, Robert J.; Słowakiewicz, Mirosław; Spanski, Gregory T.; Wynn, Jeff; Yang, Chao
Cocker, M.D., Orris, G.J., and Dunlap, Pamela, with contributions from Lipin, B.R., Ludington, Steve, Ryan, R.J., Słowakiewicz, Mirosław, Spanski, G.T., Wynn, Jeff, and Yang, Chao, 2017, Geology and undiscovered resource assessment of the potash-bearing Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins, Belarus and Ukraine: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5090–BB, 116 p., and spatial data, https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20105090BB.

Year Published: 2017

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the San Jorge Basin Province, Argentina, 2017

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable resources of 78 million barrels of oil and 8.9 trillion cubic feet of gas in the San Jorge Basin Province, Argentina.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Hawkins, Sarah J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Marra, Kristen R.; Finn, Thomas M.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Woodall, Cheryl A.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Hawkins, S.J., Tennyson, M.E., Marra, K.R., Finn, T.M., Le, P.A., Brownfield, M.E., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Woodall, C.A., 2017, Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the San Jorge Basin Province, Argentina, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3043, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173043.

Year Published: 2017

Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Cuyo Basin Province, Argentina, 2017

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable resources of 236 million barrels of oil and 112 billion cubic feet of associated gas in the Cuyo Basin Province, Argentina.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Le, Phuong A.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Finn, Thomas M.; Hawkins, Sarah J.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Woodall, Cheryl A.
Schenk, C.J., Brownfield, M.E., Tennyson, M.E., Le, P.A., Mercier, T.J., Finn, T.M., Hawkins, S.J., Gaswirth, S.B., Marra, K.R., Klett, T.R., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Woodall, C.A., 2017, Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Cuyo Basin Province, Argentina, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3042, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173042.

Year Published: 2017

Oil Shale

Oil shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks formed in many different depositional environments (terrestrial, lacustrine, marine) containing large quantities of thermally immature organic matter in the forms of kerogen and bitumen. If defined from an economic standpoint, a rock containing a sufficient concentration of oil-prone kerogen to...

Birdwell, Justin E.
Birdwell, J.E., 2017, Oil Shale, White, William M., ed., : Springer Encyclopedia of Geochemistry,P. 1-3, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-39193-9_181-1.

Filter Total Items: 45
Image shows a large black stone with a silver sign in front
July 20, 2016

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.

Image shows a drill rig against blue mountains
June 3, 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.

Image shows a woman in a green coat working with a drill core
June 3, 2016

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.

Image shows sunrise through a drill rig
June 3, 2016

USGS scientists drill a test core into the Mancos Shale to aid in the assessment for oil and gas resources. Credit: Joshua Hicks.

Image shows a sample of the mineral finchite with a chair wheel for scale
2015 (approx.)

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

Image shows a man examine rock layers
2015 (approx.)

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

Image shows two scientists in hard hats collecting a research core aboard a drill rig
2015 (approx.)

Scientists aboard the D/S Chikyu prepare to collect a research core drilled from marine sediments in the Indian Ocean. This research is part of the 2015 Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02 (NGHP-02), which is a follow-up to the 2006 NGHP-01. 

NGHP-02 identified several large deposits of potentially producible gas hydrates in the Indian Ocean. This project was led by the Government of India, with scientists from Japan and the United States, including the U.S. Geological Survey. Read more here.

Image shows a scanning electron microscope image of finchite
2015 (approx.)

A scanning electron microscope image of the newly discovered mineral finchite. The Denver Microbeam Lab provided this scan of finchite in order to help describe and identify the mineral as a new one. Finchite is a uranium mineral first observed in Martin County, Texas. Read more about our uranium research here

Image shows a sample of finchite with a quarter for scale
2015 (approx.)

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

Image shows a dry creek bed with two men standing on the banks
2015 (approx.)

Between Lamesa and Big Spring, Texas, runs the Sulfur Spring Draw, a dry creek. It's the site of an economic calcrete-type uranium deposit, the Sulfur Springs Draw Deposit, where a new mineral was discovered in 2015. The mineral, first observed by USGS scientist Bradley Van Gosen, is a uranium-mineral named finchite after long-time USGS uranium geologist Warren Finch. Read more about our uranium research here

Image shows USGS scientists standing beside a drill rig in protective gear.
September 16, 2015

USGS scientists drilling a research core near Waco, Texas. This core was drilled by USGS during field work for an oil and gas assessment for the Eagle Ford of the Gulf Coast Basins. Cores like these provide information on the various rock layers, such as their make-up, their age, etc.

The USGS assesses undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources for the onshore United States and state territorial waters. Learn more about our Gulf Coast energy research: https://energy.usgs.gov/RegionalStudies/GulfCoast.aspx

 

For our full listing of current Press Releases, Technical Announcements, USGS & Outside Publications, Field Reports, and Science Highlights 

Energy News and Current Publications
Filter Total Items: 27
USGS logo
July 17, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey has evaluated three methods for estimating how much oil and gas could be produced by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into petroleum reservoirs.

Drill Rig and American Flag
February 27, 2017

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.

Image shows an outline of the Midland Basin and assessment units on a Texas County Map
November 15, 2016

This is the largest estimate of continuous oil that USGS has ever assessed in the United States.

Image shows sunrise through a drill rig
June 8, 2016

This is the second-largest assessment of potential shale & tight gas resources that the USGS has ever conducted.

Image shows a map with an aerial image of the study site beneath it
May 9, 2016

These are the first published studies to demonstrate water-quality impacts to a surface stream due to activities at an unconventional oil and gas wastewater deep well injection disposal site.

A map showing the Barnett Shale assessment area in east Texas
December 17, 2015

The Barnett Shale contains estimated mean volumes of 53 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas, 172 million barrels of shale oil and 176 million barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an updated assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate is for undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 17, 2015

Key nonfuel mineral commodities that support the U.S. economy and national security are increasingly being sourced from outside the U.S., according to a new U.S. Geological Survey publication.

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