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Basic core analysis is one of the few methods available for directly measuring data used to evaluate reservoir potential. Data generated are complemented by and a basis for calibration and correlation of other evaluation methods. Since these data are frequently used as "ground truth," an understanding of the analytical techniques used for heavy oil reservoirs is important in the selection of proper analysis for obtaining valid data. It should be noted, although not addressed, that proper core recovery and handling procedures are critical to the quality of data generated in the laboratory.

Although the basic principles of analysis have not changed over time, the tools and techniques used have evolved, having adapted to the needs presented by the different types of oil and formations encountered. Any use of historical data should be done with a knowledge of this evolution. Although some discussion of limitations of past techniques will be made, this article will primarily discuss current methods used to determine basic data on both rock and contained fluids for different types of formations encountered in heavy oil reservoirs.

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