Learning out of the box
The Oil and Gas Authority has sponsored 20 exploration boxes which are being sent to schools, universities and outreach agencies in the UK, to help educate the next generation of geoscientists and wider public about the geology of the UKCS.
The OGA donated £2000 to North Sea Core, taken out of £5 million funding awarded to the OGA from the Government for exploration in 2018.
Each exploration box contains five core rock samples with an accompanying information poster explaining the geology of the North Sea.
The North Sea Core is a voluntary initiative which utilises relinquished core materials from the UK’s oil and gas fields, and uses these as teaching and learning resources for educational and outreach purposes.
Core samples are collected by oil and gas companies whilst drilling for hydrocarbons to help their understanding of how oil and gas flows through the rocks as well as learning more about the geology of the UKCS. Once the core samples are no longer required to be retained, companies have been offering their core to North Sea Core who make a selection to provide a cross-section of core that represents the vast geological variety encountered within the North Sea.
The materials are also useful for learning about Carbon Capture and Underground Storage, which will play an integral part in the Energy Transition to a clean energy future, as the core originates from the same rock formations which will be potentially used for CCUS offshore in the North Sea.
“Thanks to generous funding by the Oil and Gas Authority, we have been able to send out exploration boxes to a significant number of the UK-based educational organisations who have requested a box via this scheme. Each box is designed as an educational resource to explain and further study the geological history of the North Sea,” said Henk Kombrink of North Sea Core.
A number of boxes have already been issued to schools in the UK, and other recipients include the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, University of Birmingham and the Manx Geological Survey.
For further information on the North Sea Core see - https://www.northseacore.co.uk/