Offshore Energy

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Offshore energy is a huge and growing resource:

  • About 18 percent of U.S. oil and natural gas is produced offshore and production is growing. Globally, the offshore provides 30 percent of oil and natural gas.
  • Offshore wind is also a growing source of electricity, especially in Europe. The U.S. has significant offshore wind power potential, but no commercial wind facilities are in development [2017 update: the first offshore wind project in the United States went live in December 2016 off the coast of Rhode Island].

Ongoing technological advancements assure all these resources will continue to grow while addressing heightened environmental concerns.

Our speakers are:

Webinar Co-Sponsors:

American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Geophysical Union, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Geological Society of America

Resources to learn more:

Search the Geological Surveys Database for reports and factsheets about offshore energy.

Advances in Earth Science - Offshore Energy - Historical Perspective

Ocean Acidification Impacts on Fisheries

Friday, March 11, 2016

Background: As the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased over recent history, so has the acidity of oceans worldwide. The changing acidity of the ocean has many ecological and economic impacts, one of the most serious being its effects on marine life and fisheries. The impact of ocean acidification is intensified in colder bodies of water such as those off the coast of New England, a region with a large fisheries sector. These impacts have already been recognized on both coasts, with the Washington, Maine, and Maryland state legislatures commissioning reports on ocean acidification and marine life/fisheries. In 2015, the Massachusetts Legislature also introduced a bill to establish a taskforce to investigate the impact of increasingly acidic waters off the coast of Massachusetts on commercially harvested or grown marine species.

Our speakers include:

Webinar Co-Sponsors:

Consortium for Ocean Leadership, NOAA Ocean Acidification ProgramNortheast Coastal Acidification Network

CEU Credits

To earn CEU credits, please complete the associated on-demand GOLI course that was developed from this webinar with a grade of 70% or higher and then submit your application for CEUs. CEUs are awarded from the American Institute of Professional Geologists. To view the full list of on-demand GOLI courses, please browse the GOLI course catalog.

Resources to learn more:

Search the Geological Surveys Database for reports and factsheets about ocean acidification.

Ocean Acidification Impacts on Fisheries: The geological record of ocean acidification

Interactive map of the United States' geology and natural resources

The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Mineral Resources Program's interactive Geologic Map of U.S. States provides a large amount of information on geology, natural resources, and environmental data for every U.S. state, including:

  • Surface and bedrock geology
  • Mineral resources
  • Geochemical and geophysical data
  • Water monitoring sites
  • Partial soil and land use data

All of the maps are also available as Google Earth files that can be downloaded and used on personal computers and mobile devices.

2014 Critical Issues Forum: America's Increasing Reliance on Natural Gas: Benefits and Risks of a Methane Economy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The development of unconventional natural gas resources in the last decade has reshaped the energy mix in the U.S. Decisions that are being made now – often in sectors that may not have an obvious connection to gas production – will determine the energy mix over the coming decades. The 2014 Critical Issues Forum, entitled America’s Increasing Reliance on Natural Gas: Benefits and Risks of a Methane Economy, reflected the strong interest and concerns associated with the development of natural gas resources. The two-day event was held at the Forth Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 19-20, 2014.

The Forum examined the 5- to 30-year outlook for the development of a natural gas-dominant energy sector in North America and discussed the associated benefits and risks. Presentations highlighted our current understanding of the interrelated geological, environmental, and economic aspects of natural gas development and stimulated discussion on two overarching questions:

  • Is a natural gas-dominant economy achievable in North America?
  • Would a natural gas-dominant economy be desirable?

Forum Sponsorship support was provided by the Geological Society of America, the Society for Sedimentary Geology, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and The Geological Society

For more information about the Forum, please visit the 2014 Critical Issues Forum home page.

2014 Forum: Selected Clips

Visualization of average per person energy use for each state

The U.S. Department of Energy's visualization of per person energy use allows you to explore what the average energy usage for your state looks like in the form of burritos, dynamite, and other more relatable metrics. Because most people can't visualize what it means to use 148,600,000 BTU, this visualization is particularly useful for putting personal energy usage into perspective.

The data for this visualization come from the EIA State Energy Data System and represent 2012 energy use.


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