We are professional Geologists working to collect and distribute core from legacy hydrocarbon exploration in the North Sea. As we work with geological data everyday, we understand the importance (and cost) of acquiring subsurface samples. By collecting and redistributing core from the North Sea, we hope it can be used to encourage those interested in Geoscience, facilitate science outreach and help preserve a unique record of our offfshore Geoheritage.

We are a Community Interest Company (CIC), which is a type of limited company set up for social enterprises who have specific social objectives. The main difference between this and more traditional limited companies (Ltd.'s) is the legal clause known as an "Asset Lock", which defines what happens to any profits made.

Due to the asset lock, all profits made by North Sea Core CIC are reinvested into the company and used to benefit the Geoscience community, rather than divided between directors. This also means that if North Sea Core CIC were to cease trading, all of our remaining assets and profits would be transferred to another Community Interest Company or Charity, rather than being a final payment to the directors.


Henk Kombrink

Founder and Director

Henk started collecting core after learning about the existence of a significant amount of relinquished core from the oil and gas industry. Starting off in his garage in 2017, he quickly built a small collection of cores until he realised something had to be done with it and in 2018, he set up North Sea Core CIC with Kirstie. A geologist with a background in North Sea regional geological studies, Henk sees the possibility of distributing the material as a great opportunity to raise awareness of this unique geological material and thereby to inform people about the fascinating geological history of one of the most famous petroleum provinces in the world.    

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Kirstie Wright

Director and Communications

Kirstie set up North Sea Core CIC with Henk in 2018, providing the means to make core accessible. She has always been fascinated by rocks and fossils, with a steadily growing collection of geological specimens. Kirstie sees the use of subsurface core as vital for the research and education into the energy transition and sustainable geoscience. She previously worked in the energy industry before making the transition into academic research.

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We are very lucky to be supported by a range of people who helps us collecting core material, source additional geological data, and prepare and ship the resources that we distribute. You can find some of their details below. 

Emma Fraser

Emma Fraser

Geological Assistant

Emma graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2020 with a Masters in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience, and is eager to embark on a geology related career path. Since then, she has been enjoying the outdoors and broadening her geological knowledge through courses on carbon capture and geomechanics. Emma believes North Sea Core CIC is an excellent initiative and recognises examining core is invaluable in so many aspects of geoscience. She is excited to be involved in such a worthwhile project and can’t wait to be exposed to a wide variety of fascinating core.

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Emily Tame

Emily Tame

Volunteer and previous Geological Assistant

Emily graduated from the Integrated Petroleum Geoscience Masters at the University of Aberdeen in 2020. She previously worked as the North Sea Core Geological Assistant before moving on to start her career with Fugro as a trainee Geophysicist. Fascinated by rocks, she enjoyed the chance to handle such a wide variety of relinquished core, especially famous formations from her previous studies. She is a firm believer in North Sea Core CIC importance to the geology community. 

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Lawrie Cowliff
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Lawrie Cowliff


Lawrie was inspired by the North Sea Core CIC's efforts to preserve and reuse core material. Lawrie started his career in 2012 with Neftex Petroleum Consultants and continued as Neftex became part of Halliburton Landmark in 2015. Given his career so far with Neftex, who specialise in transforming and collating public domain datasets into a global subsurface model, he understands the importance of old data and the value it can add to future understanding. Lawrie helps out by trawling the public domain literature and databases to add useful and interesting metadata to the core supplied.

Duncan Anderson

Duncan Anderson


As a member of PESGB, Duncan heard of the work North Sea Core CIC were undertaking to make relinquished core available for educational and more general interest purposes and offered to help.  Originally a chemist by training, he is an amateur geologist and has almost 25 years association with subsurface geology and has worked in various areas of the oil & gas industry.  Duncan helps to prepare the North Sea Core Exploration Boxes to help educate the next generation of geologists, while being able to handle core samples fascinating.  

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Noah Jaffey
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Noah Jaffey



Noah is a geologist working for Shell in Aberdeen. As well as having a keen interest in field geology, he enjoys climbing, caving and generally being around rocks. He volunteers for North Sea Core CIC by help to prepare samples as he thinks it’s an excellent initiative and he gets to see a variety of beautiful core material, which is a total win-win.

Ben Hedley

Ben Hedley


Ben was inspired by the efforts of the team to save and redistribute core material to aid the next generations of geoscientists. Ben is currently a Exploration Geoscientist who loves nothing less than regional geology and clastic sedimentology. It was during this that he discovered the importance of publicly available core data for use in research. Ben helps out by moving and packaging core, while getting distracted by all the wonderful sandstones in the North Sea Core collection. 

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We are fortunate to collaborate with skilled suppliers who work with us to produce the materials we distribute. You can find some of their details below. 

Pat McCabe

Pat McCabe


Pat is a joiner and carpenter with many years of experience, working in and around Aberdeenshire. He creates beautiful frames to display our slabbed core material, as well as installing a work space at North Sea Core CIC HQ to help us store and work with the large amount of core material we have.

Jamie Watson

Jamie Watson

Studio No.7

Jamie Watson is a graphic designer and director of Studio No7.  He has a solid education in design and has more than thirteen years’ experience with over six years in the oil industry.  He is accustomed to delivering innovative art and design that reflects the core values of a company, and has worked with North Sea Core CIC on a couple of projects. For more information please see his brochure or contact him at jamie.watson@studio-7.co.uk.

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We would also like to acknowledge COREX and Iron Mountain for their assistance in our operations.

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We would like to thank our first operator sponsor, ONE-Dyas, who are sponsoring our work for the next two years (2021-2022). ONE-Dyas is a privately owned Dutch exploration and production company with a North Sea focus, who have learning and sharing knowledge at the core of their business. 


We are always looking to secure more funding to help continue to supply core material for educational and research purposes. If you or your organisation are interesting in supporting North Sea Core CIC, or would like to know more about what we do, please contact us

We are grateful to DUG for the provision of their DUG Insight software (v.4.7, 2020) for seismic visualisation, interpretation and analysis as we work to include additional subsurface data to accompany our core material.

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To date our Exploration Boxes focusing on the theme of the petroleum geology of the North Sea have been generously sponsored by the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB), the Petroleum Group of the Geological Society of London and the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).

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All core material has been donated from company samples and have been released based on guidance documentation from the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA). We are grateful to the following companies for supporting North Sea Core by donating material;

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ConocoPhilips Logo
Fairfield Energy Logo
Discover Logo
Ithaca Logo
JX Nippon Logo
Spirit Energy Logo
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Published material about the North Sea Core CIC and our initiative.

PETEX Conference Presentation (2021)

​Presentation by Kirstie Wright and Henk Kombrink on the North Sea Core initative t0 promote our activities and encourage sponsorship at the PETEX Conference held by the PESGB in London.

GEO ExPro Article (2021)

Article in GEO ExPro vol. 18, no. 5, written by Kirstie Wright and Henk Kombrink on the North Sea Core initative and the need for industry support to help us continue out activities.

Core Values Conference Presentation (2021)

​Presentation by Kirstie Wright and Henk Kombrink on the North Sea Core initative at the Core Value Conference held by the Energy Group at the Geological Society of London.

Geoscientist Article (2020)

​Article in the Geoscientist Magazine vol 30, no. 10, of the Geological Society of London, writen by Kirstie Wright and Henk Kombrink on North Sea Core CIC and our activies, including how we are supporting the future of geoscience.

Energy Voice Article (2020)

​Article on Geoscientists from Lloyds Register as they look to the future following the closure of their department, including our Director Henk Kombrink and developing the North Sea Core CIC business.

Petroleum Operations Notice 9 (2019)

​The latest Oil and Gas Authority PON9 documentation on the retention, release and disposal of samples includes North Sea Core, along with other great organisations where surplus material not required by the British Geological Survey could be donated.

Geo.brief Article (2019)

The Geo.brief is published by KNGMG, The Royal Dutch Geological Mining Society and in the first of its 8 newsletters for 2019 they featured an article by our own Henk Kombrink on the core salvage initiative. Please note this article is in Dutch.

Agile* Scientific Blog (2018)

The lovely bunch at Agile* Scientific included the initiative in their annual Christmas blog post on suitable presents for the geoscientist in your life. This followed on from the OGA hackathons where winners received framed slabs of North Sea Core.

PESGB Magazine (2018)

Description of the core salvage operation and the initial social media promotion that prompted the formation of the North Sea Core initiative as it was in November 2018.

Petroleum Group e-newsletter (2018)

Call to help with the core salvage operation as it was in October 2018, prior to the official launch of the initiative. Written by Lucy Williams, Chair of the Petroleum Group, Geological Society of London.