A multiparameter oil pollution source identification system




Miller, John W.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Monitoring


The feasibility of oil pollution source identification is demonstrated on eighty crude oils from the world's major oil fields. Measurements of fifteen diagnostic parameters were made on the 600+F fraction of the crude oil samples. Of the fifteen parameters studied it was demonstrated that six were sufficient to distinguish among the crude oils. These parameters are carbon and sulfur isotopic composition, sulfur, nitrogen, vanadium and nickel contents. A hydrocarbon gas chromatographic profile was also diagnostic for identification but its usefulness was reduced for aged samples by the effect of weathering. The other parameters studied were the saturate, aromatic and asphaltic contents and the carbon isotopic composition of each of these fractions, the n-paraffin distribution (odd-even predominance curves) and the sulfur gas chromatographic profile. The influence of weathering on the parameters was studied. A statistical procedure based on multivariate normal analysis was developed to compare an unknown with a data library and to give an unbiased match of the unknown with a known based on the precision of the measurement methods.


173 pgs.


oil fields, oil tagging, petroleum, analysis, monitoring, research