Oil Analysis

Leeder Analytical provides testing services for crude oil, synthetic and mineral oils, petroleum fuels, shale oil, lubricants and petroleum samples. We can determine both their chemical composition and physical properties that you may require.

At Leeder Analytical, our analysts are a team of petroleum specialists providing oil analysis, fuel analysis, gas analysis and petroleum testing.

Oil testing analysis is an important activity when you need information on oils specific properties and characteristics. Composition analysis is used in a wide range of industries including the petroleum, environmental and occupational hygiene areas.

Physical Oil Testing

There are a wide range of physical testing available. These include flash point, viscosity, oil density, boiling point, simulated distillations, surface tension, pour point, freeze point, congealing point, colour, etc.

Interpretation of results

Leeder Analytical provides independent review and interpretation of analytical results to determine accuracy and precision.

Unexpected test results often require a person experienced in laboratory analysis to explain and investigate potential causation.  Leeder Analytical provides independent review and data consulting of analytical data.

Oil Spill Dispersant Testing

Oil Spill Dispersant Effectiveness testing is essential to making informed decisions for the potential use of dispersants, testing their efficacy and checking on use-by dates, etc. This could form part of an oil spill preparedness plan.

Chemical dispersants can be tested to determine their effectiveness on particular crude oils under different environmental conditions such as air temperature, water temperature, seawater salinity, wind speed, wave height and at different degrees of oil weathering. There is not a single chemical dispersant that is effective on all crude oils.

Several tests are available for assessment including the rotating flask test and also the Mackay Nadeau Steelman (MNS) dispersant performance test is used to determine how well various chemical dispersants work on various types of oils under given conditions, water salinities and temperatures.

This method is believed to simulate ocean conditions more accurately than shaking, stirring or pumping methods.

The relative performances of different chemical dispersants are tested under the same environmental conditions of the crude oil.

Dispersant effectiveness is best tested over a wide range of environmental conditions and on weathered oils at various time periods as this also impacts on dispersant choice.

Dispersant or oil dose ratios can be tested so that dose efficiency curves can be produced.

The ‘window of opportunity’ for dispersant use can then be determined.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) recognises the Mackay Dispersant Performance test as the only efficiency test acceptable.

For more information about our Dispersant Testing read more here, Dispersant Testing

Oil Weathering Studies

At Leeder Analytical oil weathering studies are used to determine the potential impacts and behaviours of crude oils in the environment.  Weathering methods are utilised to determine both physical and chemical changes that may occur to spilt oils, under a range of conditions over time.  This information helps with oil spill planning and determining the most appropriate course of action if required. It is often too late if a spill occurs and this vital work has not been done.

Weathering methods include:

  • Evaporation- % evaporative loss over time
  • Spreading/Drifting
  • Natural Dispersion
  • Emulsification and Biodegradation

Variables considered in weathering processes include:

  • Composition of spilt oil
  • Duration of the weathering process
  • Oil type
  • Sea and air temperature
  • Wave action

Via analysis of samples taken throughout the weathering process, it is possible to determine changes in the physical and chemical characteristic of the oil.

For more information about our Weathering Studies read more here, Hydrocarbon Weathering

Hydrocarbon Fingerprinting

Hydrocarbon fingerprinting can provide the identification of petroleum types such as leaded and unleaded petrol, kerosene, diesel, aviation fuel, marine diesel fuel, bunker fuel, crude oils, condensates, lubricating oils and mixtures of these etc.

Hydrocarbon Fingerprinting provides information on:

  • Product type, whether a single product or a mixture is present
  • Identification of specific chemical biomarkers and additives
  • Product age estimation, based on degradation of a range of compounds
  • Weathering which can be through biodegradation, volatilisation and/or water washing

This information can be valuable in the determination of environmental risk, determining responsibility for site contamination, identifying possible sources of contamination and can be used to help determine the best approach to remediate.

Why perform Hydrocarbon Fingerprinting?

Leeder Analytical provides legally defensible data with accurate results to assist with investigations, identification of source contamination such as, petrogenic/biogenic, single or multiple sources of contamination and the determination of the timeframe in which contamination may have occurred.

For more information about our Hydrocarbon Fingerprinting read more here, Hydrocarbon Fingerprinting.

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Who we work with?

Our NATA accredited laboratory conducts oil testing for environmental engineers, scientists, consultants and regulators (EPA) as well as developers and government bodies.

These professionals choose to work with Leeder Analytical because we offer reliable and accurate testing, as well as extract key insights from the scientific findings.

Some of the organisations we’ve worked with for oil testing and analysis includes:

They choose Leeder Analytical because they’re able to trust in the speed, effectiveness and efficiency of our processes, and importantly the accuracy of our results and interpretations.

Caletx Logo
Conoco Phillips Logo
ExxonMobil Logo
Australian Government Maritime Safety Logo

Testing Methodology

At Leeder Analytical, we utilise a range of analytical techniques including Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and isotope dilution Gas Chromatograph / Mass Spectroscopy / Mass Spectroscopy (GC/MS/MS) to isolate and produce the most reliable oil testing results possible.

Our testing methodology has been developed, accredited and validated to detect irregularities at ultra-low, trace levels using our purpose-built laboratory and state of the art instruments.

Other methodologies include:

  • Institute of Petroleum
  • US EPA methods
  • ASTM Methods
  • Environmental Forensics


For a free quote or a discussion on how Leeder Analytical can assist you with analytical testing services please contact us today via the form below

To talk to our team regarding testing services, please call 03 9481 4167