GC-FID methods for the analysis of Petroleum hydrocarbons were developed
and optimised. Contamination of soil from the Niger Delta was investigated
about 40 days after crude oil spillage from the Shell Petroleum marginal well
head. Soil samples and controls were collected at depths of 0 - 15 cm, 15 - 30
cm and 30 - 60 cm. Samples were analysed using gas chromatography fitted
with a flame ionisation detector. Penetration and migration of C10-C26 and
C26-C34 hydrocarbons through the soil layers were assessed by cluster analysis
to determine the spatial distribution, penetration and similarity of these
compounds over the contaminated area. The results also indicated elevated
levels of total hydrocarbon contents when compared with the reference sites.
Recommendations are made to carefully monitor and remediate the environment.