Caprock-integrity issues have been brought to the forefront with recent documented steam and bitumen leaks making their way to the ground surface, forcing the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to place a moratorium on the licensing of shallow thermal in-situ oil-sand projects. Reviewing core-acquisition, -storage, -analysis, and -preservation techniques can prevent potential project failure, capital loss, environmental liabilities, and public-safety risks. Responsible development of thermal projects requires that caprock integrity be quantified.

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