Energy Resources Program


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.

Our Science

Our Science

Understanding the national and global availability of resources as well as the environmental impacts of their development is essential for strategic decision making related to the nation’s energy mix.

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The Energy Quarterly

The Energy Quarterly

This quarterly newsletter highlights the latest Energy Resources Program research, activities, publications, and information resources available from our website and other sources.  Read & Subscribe Today!

Current Newsletter


Date published: February 5, 2021

USGS Releases Estimate of Natural Gas in Alaska's Western North Slope

USGS provides its first estimate of conventional natural gas resources in rock formations west of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The rock formations in this region are believed to contain no recoverable oil deposits, so no assessment was made of those resources in this study. 

December 18, 2020

Energy Quarterly - Fall 2020

We close the year with highlights of a new assessment, a new partnership for geothermal energy and critical mineral research in western Nevada, a new patent in coalbed methane research, use of remote sensing to look for critical mineral and energy potential, and much more.  Happy Holidays and a Science New Year 2021 from the Energy and Minerals Mission Area!

Date published: December 17, 2020

Earth Science Week 2020 Highlights


USGS has been a longtime sponsor of Earth Science Week founded in 1998 by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI). It is an annual international event held during the second week of October to encourage better public understanding of and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and Earth stewardship. 


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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of continuous gas resources in the Horn River Basin, Cordova Embayment, and Liard Basin, Canada, 2019

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 135.4 trillion cubic feet of continuous gas in Devonian–Mississippian shales in the Horn River Basin, Cordova Embayment, and Liard Basin of Canada.

Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Finn, Thomas M.; Le, Phuong A.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Marra, Kristen R.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Pitman, Janet K.
Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Woodall, C.A., Finn, T.M., Le, P.A., Brownfield, M.E., Marra, K.R., Gaswirth, S.B., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Pitman, J.K., 2021, Assessment of continuous gas resources in the Horn River Basin, Cordova Embayment, and Liard Basin, Canada, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3015, 4 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Assessing gas leakage potential into coal mines from shale gas well failures: Inference from field determination of strata permeability responses to longwall-induced deformations

This paper summarizes the changes in permeability at three boreholes located above an abutment pillar at a longwall coal mine in southwestern Pennsylvania. The motivation of this study was to better characterize the potential interaction between shale gas wells and the mine environment, through measurement of permeability changes in the coal mine...

Watkins, Eric; Karacan, Cevat O.; Gangrade, Vasu; Schatzel, Steven

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Year Published: 2021

Organic geochemistry and petrology of Devonian shale in eastern Ohio: Implications for petroleum systems assessment

Recent production of light sweet oil has prompted reevaluation of Devonian petroleum systems in the central Appalachian Basin. Upper Devonian Ohio Shale (lower Huron Member) and Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale organic-rich source rocks from eastern Ohio and nearby areas were examined using organic petrography and geochemical analysis of solvent...

Hackley, Paul C.; Ryder, Robert T.