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Offshore oil rig

Identifying the Source of an Environmental Oil Release


When traces of oil are found in water, sediments, or biological tissues, how can you identify the sources? Agencies and oil companies need rapid, accurate and objective data in order to determine where hydrocarbons are coming from and distinguish between an accidental release and natural sources. Battelle has been working since May of 2010 to analyze and identify hydrocarbons to support remediation and attribution efforts for a large accidental release.


Battelle uses advanced hydrocarbon fingerprinting methods, including PAH, biomarker, SHC, TPH, and PIANO analysis, in order to accurately quantity, identify and attribute hydrocarbons found in sediment, water and biological tissues.  To date, Battelle has analyzed nearly 10,000 samples of varying matrices with turnaround times ranging from 24 hours to 10 days.


Our analytical results have provided the client, their consultants and third-party validators with the data they need to be able to advance remediation efforts.