WIT Press

Improved And Standardized Methodology For Oil Spill Fingerprinting


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WIT Press


P. S. Daling, L. –G. Faksness, A. B. Hansen & S. A. Stout


The existing Nordtest Methodology for Oil Spill Identification has over the past 10 years formed an important \“platform” for solving oil spill identification cases both in the Scandinavian countries as well as other countries in Europe, the USA and Canada. \“Revision of the Nordtest Methodology for Oil Spill Identification ’’ is a co-operative project between the National Oil Spill Identification laboratories in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Battelle Memorial Institute (Duxbury) in the USA. The goals of the project are: (1) to refine the existing Nordtest methodology into a technically more robust and defensible oil spill identification methodology with focus on determination of quantitative diagnostic indices (ratios) and (2) to adjust the revised Nordtest methodology into guidelines for the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). This paper presents the recommended methodology for defensible oil spill identification and assessment when a single oil source is involved and there are no confounding effects of pre-spill background hydrocarbons. The sampling techniques and handling of oil samples prior to their arrival at the environmental forensic laboratory is not covered in this paper. The recommended methodology approach is a result of documented analytical improvements and a more quantitative treatment of analytical data from gas chromatographic-flame ionization detector (GC/FID) and gas chromatographic- mass spectrometer methods (GC/MS-SIM) and the operational experiences over past few years among the participating forensic laboratories. The