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Overlying cap rock, often shales, plays a major role in petroleum exploration, gas storage projects and CO2 sequestration. Its ability to exhibit good sealing characteristics determines the maximum height of the hydrocarbon column before the water in the small, water-wet pores are displaced (displacement pressure). In case of gas storage, it is important to know what pressure gas can be safely injected, without compromising the integrity of the seal.
It is possible to use core plug samples for petrographic studies and lab experiments.