Case study - Oklahoma crude oil forensic analysis

Courtesy of Sitelab Corporation

An oil company used Sitelab’s laboratory to perform oil forensic analysis testing crude oils from different well sites to determine the percentage of oil content from two formations. The wells tap into these zones at different depths, thousands of feet below the ground. Knowing what type of oil being pumped is important.

All six oil samples had similar GRO content, but the PAH content in the Chester and Mississippi reference oils are much different. PAHs in the four wells used for comparison fall in between and are commingled from the two formations.

In this case, oil pumped from Well 4 contains heavier crude mostly from the Mississippi zone, while the oil pumped from Well 1 contains lighter crude mostly from the Chester zone. This method provides a quick way to distinguish the two.

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