Assessing shale permeability is a key issue to ensure its efficiency as a reservoir cap rock or its relevancy as a geological barrier in radioactive waste disposals. Clay materials have such a low permeability that conventional experiments cannot be performed. Most of the authors dealing with the characterisation of shale use a transitional method called pulse decay. The experiment presented here is based on a steady state method. It appears to be faster and more reliable than any other permeability techniques. Permeabilities from 0.2 to 200 nD (2 10-22 to 2 10-19 m2) can be estimated in less than one day.


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