The purpose of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Oil and Gas Assessment is to develop geology-based hypotheses regarding the potential for additions to oil and gas reserves in priority areas of the United States, focusing on the distribution, quantity, and availability of oil and natural gas resources. The USGS has completed an assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas potential of the Eastern Oregon and Washington Province of Oregon and Washington (USGS Province 5005). The province is a priority Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) province for the National Assessment because of its potential for oil and gas resources.
The assessment of this province is based on geologic principles and uses the total petroleum system concept. The geologic elements of a total petroleum system include hydrocarbon source rocks (source rock maturation, hydrocarbon generation and migration), reservoir rocks (stratigraphy, sedimentology, petrophysical properties), and hydrocarbon traps (trap formation and timing). In the Eastern Oregon and Washington Province, the USGS used this geologic framework to define one total petroleum system and two assessment units within the total petroleum system, and quantitatively estimated the undiscovered gas resources within each assessment unit.