Energy Resources Program
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
USGS Publication: Open-File Report 2010-1294
The total original coal resource in the Northern Wyoming Powder River Basin assessment area for all 24 coal beds assessed, with no restrictions applied, was calculated to be 285 billion short tons. Available coal resources, which are part of the original coal resource that is accessible for potential mine development after subtracting all restrictions, are about 263 billion short tons (92.3 percent of the original coal resource). With a discounted cash flow at 8 percent rate of return, the coal reserves estimate for the Northern Wyoming Powder River Basin assessment area is 1.5 billion short tons of coal (1 percent of the original resource total) for the seven coal beds evaluated.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
USGS Publication: Professional Paper 1777
Improved knowledge of alluvial depositional environments as influenced by external and internal paleotectonic conditions within the Powder River Basin permits more accurate correlation, mapping, and resource estimation of the Fort Union and Wasatch coal beds. The result is a better understanding of the sedimentology of the basin infill deposits in relation to peat bog accumulation.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
USGS Publication: Open-File Report 2010–1114Between 1999 and 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigated coalbed methane (CBM) resources in the Wyoming portion of the Powder River Basin. The study also included the CBM resources in the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin of North Dakota and the Wyoming portion of the Green River Basin of Wyoming. This report presents megascopic lithologic descriptive data collected from canister samples extracted from the 37 wells cored for this project.
Friday, August 22, 2008
USGS Publication: Open-File Report 2008-1202
The Gillette coalfield, within the Powder River Basin in east-central Wyoming, is the most prolific coalfield in the United States. In 2006, production from the coalfield totaled over 431 million short tons of coal, which represented over 37 percent of the Nation’s total yearly production.
The Powder River Basin is a geologic region that straddles southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming and is known for its coal and coalbed methane deposits. This web site provides access to the diverse Energy Resources Program research activities and products within the Powder River Basin Region.
Select the colored assessment areas on the map below to view corresponding USGS Powder River Basin coal assessment publications:
The USGS has completed several assessments of the Powder River Basin. This information is summarized on the Oil and Gas Assessment Powder River Basin page.
In 2009, the USGS completed the first digital National Coal Resource Assessment (NCRA) of in-place coal resources. The current generation of U.S. coal assessments will not only be a refinement of the coal resources, but also the systematic determination of the regional coal reserve base in all the major coal provinces in the U.S. The reserve base provides not only estimates of coal resources that are... [+]
currently economic (reserves), but what may become economic with current technologies (recoverable resources), which is important from a national energy security and policy standpoint. The first U.S. coal basin to be evaluated in this new assessment phase is the Powder River Basin, WY (PRB). The PRB is the single most important coal basin in the U.S. production-wise, supplying over 42 percent of the total coal produced in the U.S. in 2012.
The National Coal Resource Assessment (NCRA) project was a multi-year effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Program to identify, characterize, and assess the coal resources that will supply a major part of the Nation’s energy needs during the next few decades. NCRA data and publications are available on the NCRA Powder River Basin page.
There are coalbed methane assessments for the Powder River Basin currently available.
Geothermal study sites and calculated potential has been compiled and is available for the entire western United States on the geothermal studies page.
Vitrinite reflectance variations in Paleocene-Eocene coals of the Powder River, Williston, Hanna, Bighorn, and Bull Mountain basins, U.S.A. [extended abstract]:
Abstract [.pdf] [5.91 MB] l Associated Data [.xlsx] [1.65 MB]
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Powder River Basin Coal
USGS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Pertaining to "Coal"
Energy Resources Program - Colorado Plateau
U.S. Bureau of Land Management - Powder River Basin Coal
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, June 03, 2015