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Core samples of friable heavy-oil sands are invariably damaged due to irreversible expansion caused by gas evolution. This expansion has a major impact on property determination, particularly for flow parameters and geomechanical properties. Sample quality can be significantly improved by following a number of simple guidelines and by implementing a few improvements on existing equipment. The major factor is provision of physical restraint on core to prevent expansion. It is always necessary to implement a program to determine the degree of sample disturbance, so that the effects of mitigating activity can be quantified. Also, the goal for sampling for parameter assessment should not be quantity, but quality: One meter of superb quality core is preferred to 100 m of expanded core.

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