Resource Evaluation Program

Resource Evaluation Icon

The Resource Evaluation Program activities support all BOEM program areas, both energy and non-energy, through critical technical and economic analysis. The primary program objective is to identify areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that are most promising for oil and gas development. Resource Evaluation functions are carried out by personnel located at Bureau Headquarters and Regional Offices.

The Resource Evaluation Program consists of eight major components:

Resource Assessment Icon

The Resource Evaluation Program identifies geologic plays on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that offer the highest potential for the occurrence of oil and natural gas development.

Reserves Inventory Icon

The Resource Evaluation Program develops independent estimates of original and remaining amounts of natural gas and oil in discovered fields by conducting field reserve studies and reviews of fields, sands, and reservoirs on the OCS.

Fair Market Value Determination Icon

The Resource Evaluation Program assesses the fair market value of tracts offered for lease in sales held in accordance with the National Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

Regulation of Pre-lease Exploration Icon

BOEM pre-lease regulations ensure that pre-lease exploration, prospecting, and scientific research operations are conducted in an environmentally safe manner.

Geological & Geophysical Data Acquisition/Analysis Icon

The Resource Evaluation Program is responsible for the acquisition and analysis of geological and geophysical data used in the development of maps identifying areas favorable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons.

Worst Case Discharge Determination Icon

Resource Evaluation Program geoscientists and engineers independently verify the validity of the volume calculations, assumptions, and analogs used by an operator in their Worst Case Discharge submittal.

Geological & Geophysical Regulatory Reviews Icon

Resource Evaluation Program geoscientists identify and evaluate the potential risk of shallow faulting, shallow gas, shallow water flows, abnormal pressure zones, lost circulation zones and other natural and manmade hazards likely to be encountered during the offshore drilling process.


Gas hydrates are ice-like crystalline substances occurring in nature where a solid water lattice accommodates gas molecules in a cage-like structure, also known as clathrate.

Major responsibilities of the Resource Evaluation Program include:

  • Obtaining and interpreting Geological and Geophysical data in order to determine whether geologic conditions for energy and non-energy minerals exist;

  • Analyzing Geological and Geophysical data in order to determine the volume and the nature of potential hydrocarbon accumulations, the volume of reserves and production characteristics of discovered OCS oil and gas fields;

  • Developing and updating computer models for evaluation of the economic value of OCS hydrocarbon resources;

  • Processing, approval and monitoring of exploration permits for the federal OCS;

  • Publishing information pertinent to the mineral potential of the OCS;

  • Working with coastal States in identifying and evaluating federal non-energy mineral resources with focus on sand for shoreline and wetlands protection, and barrier islands restoration;

  • Provide support to the Agency’s Renewable Energy Program;

  • Provide technical support to other governments on oil and gas data acquisition, evaluation and leasing issues as part of the Bureau’s International Activities Program.

For more information, contact:

Chief, Resource Evaluation Division
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
45600 Woodland Road,
Sterling, Virginia 20166
(703) 787-1514