As we accelerate through the Energy Transition towards achieving our Net Zero targets, subsurface professionals will play key roles in the developing fields of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Geothermal Energy, and through the more efficient identification, discovery and exploitation of Hydrocarbon resources. Geoscientists will continue to have problems and challenges to solve . However, are we now underplaying something fundamental that has been a catalyst to formative geoscience thinking over the last four centuries – outcrop geology? Do we have the balance right?
There are also huge benefits from being in the field. Though not a surprise to the geoscience community, significant experimental psychological research has clearly shown that spending time in nature can be linked to cognitive benefits, improvements in mood, mental health, emotional well-being, and team interaction.
Scotland’s East Coast has been at the centre of cutting-edge geoscience since the 18th Century. Think of Hutton and Playfair at Siccar Point, Hugh Miller advancing our understanding of stratigraphy in Cromarty, James Young’s West Calder oil shale works and the Midland Valley Coal industry.
With a coastline length of over 2,000 km and a diverse range of Mesozoic, Palaeozoic and Proterozoic cliff and wave-cut-platform outcrops, Scotland’s East Coast is a perfect location for providing a wide and extensive range of subsurface analogues and through its #ScotlandsGeoLab initiative, Balgownie Geoscience, working with TRACS International, has identified and prioritised over 150 outcrops that can be visited to study and address a wide range of geoscience issues, problems and challenges. Whether it be to study the geomechanics of offshore carbon storage targets, or to understand geothermal reservoir targets or visualise reservoir architecture of oil and gas reservoirs #ScotlandsGeoLab has it all.
You know the value and benefits of fieldwork. You have a world class resource on your doorstep. Work with us and your subsurface colleagues to go out there and use it. The organisations that will be most successful through the Energy Transition will be those that give their teams access to all of the tools required.