Energy Resources Program
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The application of horizontal and hydraulically fractured wells for producing oil from low permeability formations has changed the face of the North American oil industry. One feature of the production profile of many such wells is a transition from transient linear oil flow...
Monday, June 26, 2017
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Thursday, July 16, 2015
USGS Publication: Open-File Report 2015-1117
The quantities of water and hydraulic fracturing proppant required for producing petroleum (oil, gas, and natural gas liquids) from continuous accumulations, and the quantities of water extracted during petroleum production, can be quantitatively assessed using a probabilistic approach.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Press Release & Publication The amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country, according to the first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage detailed in a new USGS study accepted for publication in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Outside Publication: Seismological Research Letters
Sequestration of CO2 into subsurface reservoirs can play an important role in limiting future emission of CO2 into the atmosphere (e.g., Benson and Cole, 2008). For geologic sequestration to become a viable option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, large‐volume injection of supercritical CO2 into deep sedimentary formations is required...
Thursday, May 07, 2015
USGS Publication: Open-File Report 2015-1061
Reconnaissance field mapping and outcrop sampling for geochemical and mineralogical analyses indicate that the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale in the Broadtop synclinorium and nearby areas from southeastern West Virginia to south-central Pennsylvania has an organic content sufficiently high and a thermal maturity sufficiently moderate to be considered for a shale gas play...
Hydraulic fracturing, informally referred to as “fracking,” is an oil and gas well development process that typically involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a bedrock formation via the well. This process is intended to create new fractures in the rock as well as increase the size, extent, and connectivity of existing fractures. Hydraulic fracturing is a well-stimulation technique used commonly in low-permeability rocks like tight sandstone, shale, and some coal beds to increase oil and/or gas flow to a well from petroleum-bearing rock formations. A similar technique is used to create improved permeability in underground geothermal reservoirs.
The Energy Resources Program (ERP) continually updates its oil and gas resource assessments for the United States and the world that includes the USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment (NOGA). NOGA provides information for a number of uses, including the development of domestic energy policies and the formulation of reasonably foreseeable development scenarios and resource management plans for multiple Federal land- and resource-management agencies. Here are just a few basins that include unconventional gas (shale gas, tight gas and coal bed methane) associated with hydraulic fracturing:
Shale Gas preview from the National Oil and Gas Assessment (NOGA) interactive map.
Researchers in the Energy Resources Program and colleagues are also actively engaged in examining several aspects related to characterization, use, and impact of produced waters. From the Energy Resources Program fact sheet (Fact Sheet 2010–3100):
"Development and production of oil and gas resources can also require and yield significant quantities of water. Produced water and fluids used and recovered during hydrofracturing (hydrofracing) are likely to play an expanding role in energy resource considerations because treatment and disposal costs for produced and hydrofracing waters vary markedly. Also, the potential beneficial use of produced waters is an area of expanding interest, particularly in areas with limited water resources. The USGS conducts research to provide information on the volume, quality, impacts, and possible uses of water produced during oil, gas, and coalbed methane production and development in the United States."
>> Produced Waters Website
More research on hydraulic fracturing is underway by a number of USGS offices including the Energy Resources Program, Water Resources, Natural Hazards and Environmental Health. This includes a major study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The USGS has a large role in a recent Memorandum of Agreement among the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve our scientific understanding of the environmental issues related to unconventional oil and gas.
The accurate and unbiased scientific data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey are crucial to the Federal, and State resource managers to meet the challenge of balancing America’s needs for unconventional resources and a clean and healthy environment.
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by Tanya J. Gallegos1, Brian A. Varela1, and Mark E. Reidy1
1U.S. Geological Survey, Eastern Energy Resources Science Center, Reston, VA, USA
• Download Data
[Data Series 868 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds868]
• Download Publication
[Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5131 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20145131]
• Visualize Data on Web App
View full Hydraulic Fracturing Multimedia Collection
Introduction to Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking") FAQs
Earthquakes Induced by Fluid Injection FAQs
USGS Newsroom: What Happens to the Water? Assessing Water Quality in Areas with Hydraulically Fractured Oil and Gas Wells
Environmental Health website includes USGS studies in Toxic Substances Hydrology and Contaminant Biology
Landscape Consequences of Natural Gas Extraction: Effects of hydrocarbon extraction on landscapes of the Appalachian Basin
Water quality of groundwater and stream base flow in the Marcellus Shale Gas Field of the Monongahela River Basin, West Virginia, 2011–12:
USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5233
Dissolved Methane in Groundwater, Upper Delaware River Basin, Pennsylvania and New York
Open-File Report 2013–1167 (9/4/2013):
Shallow Groundwater Quality and Geochemistry in the Fayetteville Shale Gas-Production Area, North-Central Arkansas, 2011
USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5273 (1/9/2013):
USGS Press Release - Coping with Earthquakes Induced by Fluid Injection
USGS Newsroom: A Century of Induced Earthquakes in Oklahoma?
Energy Resouces Program - Induced Seismicity Associated with CO2 Geologic Storage
Earthquake Hazards Program - Induced Earthquakes
Earthquake Hazards Program - Induced Earthquakes" Publications
Incorporating induced seismicity in the 2014 United States National Seismic Hazard Model—Results of 2014 workshop and sensitivity studies:
USGS Open-File Report 2015–1070
One-year seismic hazard forecast for the Central and Eastern United States from induced and natural earthquakes:
USGS Open-File Report 2016–1035
Natural Research Council video on Energy Technologies and Manmade Earthquakes
Multi-Agency Collaboration on Unconventional Oil and Gas Research
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources
Department of the Interior (DOI) Press Release:
Obama Administration Announces New Partnership on Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Research
Note: Includes link to recent Memorandum of Agreement among the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve our scientific understanding of the environmental issues related to unconventional oil and gas.
What Happens to the Water? Assessing Water Quality in Areas with Hydraulically Fractured Oil and Gas Wells:
Water Resources Research Article (AGU Publication, 01/30/2015)
IRIS Webinar - "Induced/Triggered Earthquakes: Examples from Texas"
Shaking from injection-induced earthquakes in the central and eastern United States: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Article
The 2001-present induced earthquake sequence in the Raton Basin of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Bulletin
Page Last Modified: Friday, October 13, 2017