We are professional Geologists working to collect and distribute core from legacy oil and gas 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 Earth Science, facilitate science outreach and help preserve a unique record of subsurface exploration.
Founder & Director
Henk started the North Sea Core initiative after learning about the existence of a significant amount of relinquished core from the oil and gas industry. Ever since digging holes as a child, Henk has been fascinated by the story rocks can tell us. That’s why it’s not a surprise that he developed an interest in regional geology. At the start of his career Henk looked at the Carboniferous of the Netherlands and surrounding areas during his PhD; more recently he started working on a project to map the geology of the UK Continental Shelf from his “new” base in Aberdeen. Henk likes to share the story about North Sea geology, and the distribution of unwanted core to people involved in education or people who are just interested seemed too good an opportunity to miss.
Kirstie helped set up the North Sea Core initiative after meeting Henk while convening a conference on Geoscience Communication at the Geological Society of London in 2018. This provided a great opportunity to display some of the available core material and to promote the the work being done. She has always been fascinated by rocks and fossils, with a steadily growing collection of geological specimens. Kirstie was motivated to help save and distribute the relinquished core to stop it being lost to current and future geologists. She previously worked in the energy industry before making the transition into academic research.
We are very lucky to be supported by volunteers who donate their time to help the North Sea Core initiative with a variety of tasks, including collecting core material, sourcing additional geological data and put together the resources that we distribute. You can find some of their details below.
Lawrie was inspired by the North Sea Core'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.
As a member of PESGB, Duncan heard of the work North Sea Core 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 HQ to help us store and work with the large amount of core material we have.
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 on a couple of projects. For more information please see his brochure or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
We hope to secure more funding to continue to supply core material for educational and research purposes. If you or your organisation are interesting in supporting the North Sea Core initiative, or would like to know more about what we do, please contact us at email@example.com.
All core material has been donated from relinquished company samples by Fairfield Energy, ConocoPhillips, Spirit Energy and Ithaca Energy. All samples have been released based on guidance documentation from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).
THE NORTH SEA CORE INITIATIVE
Published material which mentions the North Sea Core initiative.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.