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Laboratory Services


Strain gauging a sample for triaxial experiment

CSIRO provides a number of specialised services for the laboratory characterisation of unconventional reservoirs. The work uses a number of rigs developed to perform experiments at the appropriate pressures, temperatures and stresses encountered for unconventional formations.




Shale services

  • High pressure (up to 40 MPa) and temperature (up to 200°C) measurement of methane (or other gases of interest) adsorption isotherms in shale and deep coal reservoirs
  • Permeability anisotropy for shales and coals at reservoir pressure, temperature and stress

Cubic shale sample        3D printed membrane       cubic sample installed

See Measuring anisotropic permeability using a cubic shale sample in a triaxial cell (paper)

  • Methane diffusion in crushed or intact samples at reservoir pressure and temperatures
  • Methane porosity at reservoir pressure, temperature and stress

See Experimental study and modelling of methane adsorption and diffusion in shale (paper)


Coal services

  • Integrated characterisation of permeability, gas adsorption, shrinkage, cleat compressibility and geomechanical properties using coal core (See paper)
  • Formation damage from drilling fluids in coal seam reservoirs
  • Mixed gas adsorption isotherm measurement
  • Specialised core flooding experiments

Multi-function triaxial core flow rig

Quadrupole gas chromatograph, mass spectrometer

CO2 geological storage and enhanced coal bed methane

  • Well cement degradation in storage reservoirs (See paper)
  • CO2 core flooding tests of enhanced recovery (See paper)
  • Wettability characterisation using Pendant Drop Cell