Mission Areas

Energy Resources Program

Programs L2 Landing Page

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

Latest Publication

Latest Publication

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

Read Press Release

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 a detail of a yellow mineral on white rock
November 14, 2017

Estimates of Potential Uranium in the Southern High Plains Could Equal Just Under One Year of U.S. Needs.

Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
October 26, 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 four men in visibility gear and hard hats at a coal mine
October 23, 2017

Although often associated with helping fuel the Nation’s growth during the Industrial Revolution, coal is very much part of our space-age present. In 2016, coal-fired power plants provided 30.4 percent of the country’s electricity, and it is an important source of employment in many states.

Filter Total Items: 5
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: 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
Date Published: 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
Date Published: 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
Date Published: 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
Date Published: March 3, 2016

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

Filter Total Items: 3
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: 1,306
Year Published: 2018

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.
Piasecki, A., Sessions, A.L., Lawson, M., Ferreira, A. A., Santos Neto, E.V., Ellis, G.S., Lewan, M.D., Eiler, J.M., 2018, Position-specific 13C distributions within propane from experiments and natural gas samples: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 220, 1 January 2018, Pages 110-124. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2017.09.042

Year Published: 2017

Geology and Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Lena-Vilyui Basin Province, 2008

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently assessed the potential for undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Lena-Vilyui Basin Province, north of the Arctic Circle, as part of the Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal program. The province is in the Russian Federation and is situated between the Verkhoyansk fold-and-thrust belt and the Siberian...

Moore, T.E.; Gautier, D.L.; Klett, Timothy; Pitman, Janet
Klett, T.R., and Pitman, J.K., 2017, Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Lena-Vilyui Basin Province, 2008, chap. V of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824V.

Year Published: 2017

Geology and Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Zyryanka Basin Province, 2008

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently assessed the potential for undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Zyryanka Basin Province as part of the 2008 USGS Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal program. The province is in the Russian Federation and is situated on the Omolon superterrane of the Kolyma block. The one assessment unit (AU) that was...

Moore, T.E.; Gautier, D.L.; Klett, Timothy; Pitman, Janet
Klett, T.R., and Pitman, J.K., 2017, Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Zyryanka Basin Province, 2008, chap. X of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 11 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824X.

Year Published: 2017

Assessment of undiscovered resources in calcrete uranium deposits, Southern High Plains region of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates a mean of 40 million pounds of in-place uranium oxide (U3O8) remaining as potential undiscovered resources in the Southern High Plains region of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. This estimate used a geology-based assessment method specific to calcrete uranium deposits.

Hall, Susan M.; Mihalasky, Mark J.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.
Hall, S.M., Mihalasky, M.J., and Van Gosen, B.S., 2017, Assessment of undiscovered resources in calcrete uranium deposits, Southern High Plains region of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3078, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20173078.

Year Published: 2017

Geology and Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the East Barents Basins Province and the Novaya Zemlya Basins and Admiralty Arch Province, 2008

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently assessed the potential for undiscovered petroleum resources of the East Barents Basins Province and the Novaya Zemlya Basins and Admiralty Arch Province as part of its Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal. These two provinces are situated northeast of Scandinavia and the northwestern Russian Federation, on...

Moore, T.E.; Gautier, D.L.; Klett, Timothy R.
Klett, T.R., 2017, Geology and Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the East Barents Basins Province and the Novaya Zemlya Basins and Admiralty Arch Province, 2008, chap. O of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824O.

Year Published: 2017

Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Timan-Pechora Basin Province, Russia, 2008

The Timan-Pechora Basin Province is a triangular area that represents the northeasternmost cratonic block of east European Russia. A 75-year history of petroleum exploration and production in the area there has led to the discovery of more than 16 billion barrels of oil (BBO) and 40 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCFG). Three geologic assessment...

Moore, T.E.; Gautier, D.L.; Schenk, Christopher J.
Schenk, C.J., 2017, Geology and assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Timan-Pechora Basin Province, Russia, 2008, chap. N of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 22 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824N.

Year Published: 2017

Introduction to the 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA) professional paper

The amount of yet-to-find oil and gas in the high northern latitudes is one of the great uncertainties of future energy supply. The possibility of extensive new petroleum developments in the Arctic Ocean is of interest to the Arctic nations, to petroleum companies, and to those concerned with the delicate and changing Arctic environment. The U.S....

Moore, T.E.; Gautier, D.L.; Gautier, Donald L.; Moore, Thomas E.
Gautier, D.L., and Moore, T.E., 2017, Introduction to the 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA) professional paper, chap. A of Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 9 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824A.

Year Published: 2017

Methodology for assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources for the 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal

The methodological procedures used in the geologic assessments of the 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA) were based largely on the methodology developed for the 2000 U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment. The main variables were probability distributions for numbers and sizes of undiscovered accumulations with an associated...

Moore, T.E.; Gautier, D.L.; Charpentier, Ronald R.
Charpentier, R.R., 2017, Methodology for assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources for the 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal, chap. B of Moore, T.L., and Gautier, D.L., eds., The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, 7 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824B.

Year Published: 2017

The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal

Professional Paper 1824 comprises 30 chapters by various U.S. Geological Survey authors, including introduction and methodology chapters, which together provide documentation of the geological basis and methodology of the 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal, results of which were first released in August 2008.  Twenty-eight chapters...

Moore, Thomas E.; Gautier, Donald L.
Moore, T.E., and Gautier, D.L., eds., 2017, The 2008 Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1824, https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1824.

Year Published: 2017

Lidar-revised geologic map of the Des Moines 7.5' quadrangle, King County, Washington

This map is an interpretation of a modern lidar digital elevation model combined with the geology depicted on the Geologic Map of the Des Moines 7.5' Quadrangle, King County, Washington (Booth and Waldron, 2004). Booth and Waldron described, interpreted, and located the geology on the 1:24,000-scale topographic map of the Des Moines 7.5'...

Tabor, Rowland W.; Booth, Derek B.
Tabor, R.W., and Booth, D.B., 2017, Lidar-revised geologic map of the Des Moines 7.5' quadrangle, King County, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3384, 17 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3384.

Year Published: 2017

High-resolution seismic characterization of the gas and gas hydrate system at Green Canyon 955, Gulf of Mexico, USA

The Pliocene and Pleistocene sediments at lease block Green Canyon 955 (GC955) in the Gulf of Mexico include sand-rich strata with high saturations of gas hydrate; these gas hydrate accumulations and the associated geology have been characterized over the past decade using conventional industry three-dimensional (3D) seismic data and dedicated...

Haines, Seth S.; Hart, Patrick E.; Collett, Timothy S.; Shedd, William; Frye, Matthew; Weimer, Paul; Boswell, Ray
Seth S. Haines, Patrick E. Hart, Timothy S. Collett, William Shedd, Matthew Frye, Paul Weimer, Ray Boswell, High-resolution seismic characterization of the gas and gas hydrate system at Green Canyon 955, Gulf of Mexico, USA, Marine and Petroleum Geology, Volume 82, April 2017, Pages 220-237

Year Published: 2017

U.S. Geological Survey input-data forms for the assessment of the Spraberry Formation of the Midland Basin, Permian Basin Province, Texas, 2017

In 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) completed an updated assessment of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in the Spraberry Formation of the Midland Basin (Permian Basin Province) in southwestern Texas (Marra and others, 2017). The Spraberry Formation was assessed using both the standard continuous (unconventional)...

Marra, Kristen R.
Marra, K.R., 2017, U.S. Geological Survey input-data forms for the assessment of the Spraberry Formation of the Midland Basin, Permian Basin Province, Texas, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1117, 46 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171117.

Filter Total Items: 51
Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
2016 (approx.)

Coal is loaded into trucks at the Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado.

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 four men in visibility gear and hard hats at a coal mine
2016 (approx.)

Coal project personnel visiting Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado in June, 2016.

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 landscape of the Southern High Plains
2015 (approx.)

The Southern High Plains of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. USGS conducted a uranium assessment in this region in 2015.

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 detail of a yellow mineral on white rock
2015 (approx.)

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.

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.

 

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: 39
Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
October 26, 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 four men in visibility gear and hard hats at a coal mine
October 23, 2017

Although often associated with helping fuel the Nation’s growth during the Industrial Revolution, coal is very much part of our space-age present. In 2016, coal-fired power plants provided 30.4 percent of the country’s electricity, and it is an important source of employment in many states.

Drill Rig at the Mt. Elbert Test Site
October 20, 2017

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.

Image shows a rock cairn on a snowy peak with the sun on the horizon
October 16, 2017

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.

Image shows two scientists in hard hats collecting a research core aboard a drill rig
October 11, 2017

Eureka often accompanies this EarthWord.

Image shows an excavator in front of a coal seam
October 6, 2017

No, this EarthWord isn’t a trait of adult petroleum basins, but it is related to how old they are...

Drill Rig and American Flag
October 5, 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 oil refinery with mountains in the background
October 4, 2017

This EarthWord is probably what you’ve been doing thanks to our fantastic puns...

Image shows a graph with continuous resources and conventional resources
October 3, 2017

This EarthWord may sound infinite, but it actually refers to a type of finite resource...

USGS core drilling rig
October 2, 2017

Earth cores provide a glimpse of what lies beneath the surface.

Filter Total Items: 3