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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

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.

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.

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Grand Canyon, Arizona as seen from Desert View Point on the South Rim.
July 1, 2016

The use of uranium is an alternative energy source to petroleum products and some of the United States’ highest quality ore is located on the Colorado Plateau. However, some regions where suitable mining efforts are conducted include areas that are near important environmental resources such as National Parks that provide viewscapes and habitat for wildlife....

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.

To search more than 19,000 publications dating as far back as 1904, visit our Publications & Advanced Search tool.

Advanced Publications Search
Filter Total Items: 178
Geologic map of the Providence Mountains in parts of the Fountain Peak and adjacent 7.5' quadrangles, San Bernardino County, California
Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the Providence Mountains in parts of the Fountain Peak and adjacent 7.5' quadrangles, San Bernardino County, California

IntroductionThe Providence Mountains are in the eastern Mojave Desert about 60 km southeast of Baker, San Bernardino County, California. This range, which is noted for its prominent cliffs of Paleozoic limestone, is part of a northeast-trending belt of mountainous terrain more than 100 km long that also includes the Granite Mountains, Mid Hills,...

Stone, Paul; Miller, David M.; Stevens, Calvin H.; Rosario, Jose J.; Vazquez, Jorge A.; Wan, Elmira; Priest, Susan S.; Valin, Zenon C.
Stone, Paul, Miller, D.M., Stevens, C.H., Rosario, Jose, Vazquez, J.A., Wan, Elmira, Priest, S.S., and Valin, Z.C., 2017, Geologic map of the Providence Mountains in parts of the Fountain Peak and adjacent 7.5' quadrangles, San Bernardino County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3376, pamphlet 52 p., scale 1:24,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3376.
Excursions in fluvial (dis)continuity
Year Published: 2017

Excursions in fluvial (dis)continuity

Lurking below the twin concepts of connectivity and disconnectivity are their first, and in some ways, richer cousins: continuity and discontinuity. In this paper we explore how continuity and discontinuity represent fundamental and complementary perspectives in fluvial geomorphology, and how these perspectives inform and underlie our conceptions...

Grant, Gordon E.; O'Connor, James E.; Safran, Elizabeth
Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams
Year Published: 2017

Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams

To evaluate the risks of metal mixture effects to natural stream communities under ecologically relevant conditions, the authors conducted 30-d tests with benthic macroinvertebrates exposed to cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) in experimental streams. The simultaneous exposures were with Cd and Zn singly and with Cd+Zn mixtures at environmentally...

Mebane, Christopher A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.
Mebane, C.A., T.S. Schmidt, and L.S. Balistrieri. 2016. Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3599
Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range
Year Published: 2016

Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range

As part of a long term geologic and hydrologic study of several regional groundwater flow systems in western Utah and eastern Nevada, the U.S. Geological Survey was contracted by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to provide geophysical data. The primary object of these data was to enable construction of the geological framework of the flow...

Mankinen, Edward A.; Rowley, Peter D.; Dixon, Gary L.; McKee, Edwin H.
Mankinen, E.A., Rowley, P.D., Dixon, G.L., and McKee, E.H., 2016, Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range, in Comer, J.B., Inkenbrandt, P.C., Krahulec, K.A., and Pinnell, M.L., editors, Resources and Geology of Utah's West Desert: Utah Geologic Association Publication 45, p. 147-166.
Paleogeographic implications of Late Miocene lacustrine and nonmarine evaporite deposits in the Lake Mead region:  Immediate precursors to the Colorado River
Year Published: 2016

Paleogeographic implications of Late Miocene lacustrine and nonmarine evaporite deposits in the Lake Mead region: Immediate precursors to the Colorado River

Thick late Miocene nonmarine evaporite (mainly halite and gypsum) and related lacustrine limestone deposits compose the upper basin fill in half grabens within the Lake Mead region of the Basin and Range Province directly west of the Colorado Plateau in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. Regional relations and geochronologic data indicate...

Faulds, James E; Schreiber, Charlotte; Langenheim, Victoria; Hinz, Nicholas H; Shaw, Tom; Heizler, Matthew T.; Perkins, Michael E; El Tabakh, Mohammed; Kunk, Michael J.
The Bonneville Flood—A veritable débâcle: Chapter 6
Year Published: 2016

The Bonneville Flood—A veritable débâcle: Chapter 6

The Bonneville Flood was one of the largest floods on Earth. First discovered by G.K. Gilbert in the 1870s during his inspection of the outlet at Red Rock Pass, it was rediscovered in the 1950s by Harold Malde and coworkers, leading to mapping and assessment of spectacular flood features along Marsh Creek, Portneuf River, and Snake River for over...

O'connor, James
Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data
Year Published: 2016

Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data

The upper Santa Cruz Basin is an important groundwater basin containing the regional aquifer for the city of Nogales, Arizona. This report provides data and interpretations of data aimed at better understanding the bedrock morphology and structure of the upper Santa Cruz Basin study area which encompasses the Rio Rico and Nogales 1:24,000-scale U...

Bultman, Mark W.; Page, William R.
Bultman, M.W., and Page, W.R., 2016, Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1152, 49 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161152.
Probing the volcanic-plutonic connection and the genesis of crystal-rich rhyolite in a deeply dissected supervolcano in the Nevada Great Basin: Source of the late Eocene Caetano Tuff
Year Published: 2016

Probing the volcanic-plutonic connection and the genesis of crystal-rich rhyolite in a deeply dissected supervolcano in the Nevada Great Basin: Source of the late Eocene Caetano Tuff

Late Cenozoic faulting and large-magnitude extension in the Great Basin of the western USA has created locally deep windows into the upper crust, permitting direct study of volcanic and plutonic rocks within individual calderas. The Caetano caldera in north–central Nevada, formed during the mid-Tertiary ignimbrite flare-up, offers one of the best...

Watts, Kathryn E.; John, David A.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Henry, Christopher D.; Bindeman, Ilya N.; Schmitt, Axel K.
Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter C in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter C in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Lund, Karen; Zürcher, Lukas; Hofstra, Albert H.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Box, Stephen E.; Anderson, Eric D.; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; John, David A.; Robinson,, Gilpin R.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; San Juan, Carma A.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Smith, Steven M.; Williams, Colin F.
Lund, K., Zürcher, L., Hofstra, A.H., Van Gosen, B.S., Benson, M.E., Box, S.E., Anderson, E.D., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J., John, D.M., Robinson, G.R., Jr., Rockwell, B.W., San Juan, C.A., Shaffer, B.N., Smith, S.M., and Williams, C.F., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area (ver. 1.1, October 27, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089 –C, 147 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089C.
Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter D in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter D in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Mauk, Jeffrey L.; Zientek, Michael L.; Hearn, B. Carter; Parks, Heather L.; Jenkins, M. Christopher; Anderson, Eric D.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Denning, Paul D.; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Folger, Helen W.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Granitto, Matthew; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; Kelley, Karen D.; Ober, Joyce A.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; San Juan, Carma A.; Sangine, Elizabeth S.; Schweitzer, Peter N.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Smith, Steven M.; Williams, Colin F.; Yager, Douglas B.
Mauk, J.L., Zientek, M.L., Hearn, B.C., Jr., Parks, H.L., Jenkins, M.C., Anderson, E.D., Benson, M.E., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Denning, P.D., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Folger, H.W., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Granitto, M., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J.D., Kelley, K.D., Ober, J.A., Rockwell, B.W., San Juan, C.A., Sangine, E.S., Schweitzer, P.N., Shaffer, B.N., Smith, S.M., Williams, C.F., and Yager, D.B., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–D, 104 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089D.
USGS mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the western United States
Year Published: 2016

USGS mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the western United States

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have completed an assessment of the mineral-resource potential of nearly 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The assessment of these lands, identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas, was done at the request of the Bureau of Land Management.

Frank, David G.; Frost, Thomas P.; Day, Warren C.
Frank, D.G., Frost, T.P., Day, W.C., and the USGS SaMiRA team, 2016, U.S. Geological Survey mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the Western United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3074, 4 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163074.
Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas: Chapter B in M
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas: Chapter B in M

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Vikre, Peter G.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Bleiwas, Donald I.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Cossette, Pamela M.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; du Bray, Edward A.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Glen, Jonathan M.G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Hall, Susan M.; Hofstra, Albert H.; John, David A.; Ludington, Stephen; Mihalasky, Mark J.; Rytuba, James J.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Wallis, John C.; Williams, Colin F.; Yager, Douglas B.; Zürcher, Lukas
Vikre, P.G., Benson, M.E., Bleiwas, D.I., Colgan, J.P., Cossette, P.M., DeAngelo, J., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, du Bray, E.A., Fernette, G.L., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Hall, S.M., Hofstra, A.H., John, D.A., Ludington, S., Mihalasky, M.J., Rytuba, J.J., Shaffer, B.N., Stillings, L.L., Wallis, J.C., Williams, C.F., Yager, D.B., and Zürcher, L., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas (ver. 1.1, October 28, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–B, 224 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089B.
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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 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

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

A vehicle is shown at night, with its trunk open and floodlights on
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

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

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

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

Image shows USGS scientists standing beside a drill rig in protective gear.
September 14, 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: 26
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.

Map: Area of Uranium Assessment in Texas
December 2, 2015

The uranium oxide is located in sandstone formations throughout the South Texas Coastal Plain, which borders the Gulf of Mexico. The area has long been known to contain uranium, and two mines are currently in operation, with a number of companies actively exploring for uranium.

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