While the core material donated to us is originally from the petroleum industry, the geology that it records can be used to understand the principals of stratigraphy and sedimentology, to investigating future energy needs such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and geothermal energy.


Please check our Geology page for a full list and a location map of the range of core we have available.


Having access to physical core material is invaluable in the teaching and understanding a practical subject like geology. They can also be a great way to increase your own geological knowledge or help to explain what a geoscientist does to family and friends. 


Hand samples are available from a range of stratigraphic intervals or can be selected based on a well preference. Requests for larger collections of hand samples will also be considered and curated based on proposed specifications. 


A variety of core slabs are available from a range of stratigraphic intervals or or wells. They are usually preserved in resin, although the type and quality of resin will vary depending on the age of the sample. Core slabs display a range of stratigraphic and sedimentary features and are useful if space for geological samples is limited.


Requests for core material for use in education or research projects at any academic level are encouraged. We can accommodate requests for anything from hand samples for thin section, to boxes of core for sedimentary logging. Access to relevant metadata, such as petrophysical logs, can be supplied depending on availability.

Selection of core slabs

Selection of hand and slabbed core samples.

Cost list of core material, please Contact Us for a more comprehensive quote. Shipping costs will be estimated once all material selected.


We are always looking to present core material in accessible and informative ways! This includes curating selected hand samples of core into Exploration Boxes, which focus on specific geological themes or are representative of key geological areas. In addition to a range of core samples, information posters are provided and material is presented in boxes made from recycled core boxes.

To date, our boxes have been 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 continue to seek funding to make these resources more widely available and fulfil requests on our waiting list.



This Exploration Box summarises the regional geology of the North Sea and the petroleum systems, with an information sheet on the geological history and depositional environments. The box contains the following five core samples;

  • Rotliegend Sandstone (Reservoir)

  • Oil-stained Brent Sandstone (Reservoir)

  • Water-wet Brent Sandstones (Reservoir)

  • Kimmeridge Clay Shale (Source)

  • Mudstone (Seal)


The Brent Group of the North Sea is an acronym for the Broom, Rannoch, Etive, Ness and Tarbert Formations. This Exploration Box contains a sample from each formation, with an information sheet illustrating the depositional history of the Brent delta system.  The box contains the following five core samples;

  • Broom (Prograding Fan Deltas)

  • Rannoch (Deltaic)

  • Etive (Coastal)

  • Ness (Deltaic and Coastal Plain)

  • Tarbert (Marine Transgression)


This Exploration Box examines the geology of the Southern North Sea and contains samples of the well-known and less familiar reservoirs in the area, with an explanation sheet to put the samples in context. The box contains the following six core samples;

  • Upper Jurassic Oolite (Reservoir)

  • Triassic Sandstone (Reservoir)

  • Permian Zechstein Anhydrite (Seal)

  • Permian Zechstein Dolomite (Hauptdolomit)

  • Permian Rotliegend Sandstone (Reservoir)

  • Carboniferous fluvial sandstone (Reservoir)

Petroleum Geology Exploration Box

Our range of Exploration Boxes.


Price list for Exploration Boxes; please Contact Us for a more comprehensive quote or a more tailored selection if required. Shipping costs will be estimated once all material selected.


In looking for ways to upcycle core material, we found they can make fantastic gifts, unique pieces of art and help preserve a wonderful record of the UK offshore geoheritage! Whether you are a geoscientist, or just interested in the natural world, this is a great opportunity to acquire material that preserves a record of Earth's history located kilometers beneath the waters around the UK, particularly the North Sea. 


For those who are interested in having a unique piece of geological history for their homes, we work with a skilled joiner in Aberdeen to frame resinated core slabs. We recommend a solid oak frame which compliments the material, but we are happy to discuss alternative designs and materials. If you are interested in acquiring slabs to frame yourself, we are also able to supply them as is.


Make your event memorable with core material as gifts and prizes for conferences, courses and meetings. We can supply a variety of hand samples or framed core slabs, with presentation boxes, event logos and a paper record of well information.


Single to multi-core displays provide a unique way to exhibit North Sea geology in an office or lobby. We work with skilled designers and carpenters to create displays based on your requirements. Maps, geological histories and additional metadata can be supplied to augment the core material chosen.

Core gift

Framed core slabs, speaker gifts and cores for office displays.


Cost list of core material, please Contact Us for a more comprehensive quote. Shipping costs will be estimated once all material selected.



We are fortunate to be able to offer samples of the Rhynie Chert, an Early Devonian Lagerstätte, which is a sedimentary deposit that contains extraordinary fossils with exceptional preservation. It is from the Village of Rhynie, Northeast Scotland and has been shortlisted as a world heritage site.


These samples were collected outside of the SSSI on private land and have been donated on the understanding they are used for academic and research purposes. They are available free of charge (plus any handling and shipping). 


These Early Devonian (~410 Ma) sedimentary rocks were deposited in an intra-Montane basin on a large continent called Laurussia. Due to tectonic activity, a hydrothermal system developed along the western faulted margin of the Rhynie Basin, leading to a series of hot springs.


The silicia-rich fluids of the hydrothermal system preserved a unique record of early life colonising land, which was then overlain by volcanic deposits. The Rhynie Chert contains primative plant, animals fungi and bacteria material with preservation varing from the 3D structure of the cell walls to flattern 2D structures. 

Rhynie Chert Depositional Environment
Polished Rhynie Chert Sample

Top: Samples of Rhynie Chert availble through North Sea Core CIC. Bottom: A polished piece with many plant stems currently held at Aberdeenshire Council’s museum storage facility in Mintlaw.  Photos taken by Francis Buckley


We have a small selection of core material available for immediate purchase, which can be reserved through our order form. New products will be added to this gallery at regular intervals, so please keep on checking!