Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment


Release of Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment (HIE) Summary Reports

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce the release of two reports detailing the results of the Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment (HIE).  

The first report, the Summary of Results from the 2014/2015 Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment (HIE), provides an overview of all test results involved in the experiment. The second report, the 2014/2015 Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment: Description and Results for SRM 2779 Gulf of Mexico Crude Oil and Candidate SRM 2777 Weathered Gulf of Mexico Crude Oil, offers a more expansive level of detail on results for a sub-set of the tests conducted in the HIE. Both reports are authored by Christopher M. Reddy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Stephen A. Wise, Lane C. Sander, and Jacolin A. Murray of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The first summary report discusses the HIE results for three organic constituent classifications: saturated hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, and biomarkers. Twenty laboratories submitted results on traditional analytes measured by gas chromatography, ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry, toxicity, shear viscosity, and interfacial tension. Additionally, three laboratories submitted the results that represents the first-time comparison of weathered oils using Fourier Transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS).

The reports include the following recommendations:

  • Continue use of certified reference materials in routine analysis along with other means to elevate accuracy and minimalize systematic error;
  • Take advantage of the supplemental information section – now commonplace in peer-reviewed journals – and provide detailed content on analytical methods and QA/QC, allowing readers an opportunity to learn and compare results;
  • Plan for additional intercomparisons that may include other matrices such as animal tissues, water, or sediment samples; and
  • Publish results from the HIE in one or more peer-reviewed journals.

Hydrocarbon QA/QC Meeting

On January 26, 2014, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) convened a Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QAQC) for Petroleum Compounds workshop, attended by experts in various subfields of oceanography and chemistry. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the current state of knowledge with regard to hydrocarbon chemical analysis, with the goal of elucidating best principles for assessing and confirming quality hydrocarbon analysis data as well as ways to improve current methodologies.

As a result of this workshop, and in cooperation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, GoMRI launched the Hydrocarbon Intercalibration Experiment (HIE) to address the need for advancing the importance of laboratory QA/QC practices and interlaboratory comparison and calibration. 

The GoMRI Research Board encouraged all RFP-I and RFP-II PIs, co-PIs, and collaborators involved in hydrocarbon analysis to participate in the HIE in order to address this very important and pressing issue. Interested participants were supplied with weathered crude oil for analysis in the summer of 2014, with analysis data submissions due in the winter of 2014. There was an in-depth discussion of results, practices, and lessons learned at the 2015 GoMRI conference. 

Hydrocarbon QA/QC Meeting

Mobile, AL

January 26, 2014

Quality matters! Analysis of organic compounds is difficult: There are millions of individual organic compounds, and many of them are labile when exposed, e.g., to molecular oxygen and microbial activity. This applies to both target compounds and standard reference materials (SRMs). There is a particular need for Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) to insure valid data are produced.

GoMRI research involves hydrocarbon analysis of unweathered and weathered oil, sediments, and biological tissues by a number of laboratories. This workshop was a unique chance for a concerted QA/QC effort in hydrocarbon analysis. GoMRI management is willing to support such an effort, but the initiative and execution should be developed by GoMRI researchers.

This workshop sought to

  • encourage existing QA/QC programs in hydrocarbon analysis,
  • motivate those who have thought about QA/QC in hydrocarbon analysis but set it aside for (alleged) lack of previous experience, time, capacity or other reasons and
  • support those who can be convinced that QA/QC in hydrocarbon analysis is important but do not yet know how to exercise it.



Supporting Documents and PowerPoint Presentations

        MC 252 Analytical Quality Assurance Plan V3 0

        Norwegan Industry Guide to Organic Geochemical Analysis

        Galloway W. et al 1983 Mussel Watch: InterComparison of Trace Level Constituent Determinations

         PP Presentation: Farrington, Jan 26 2014

         PP Presentation: Rullötter, Jan. 26, 2014

         PP Presentation: Wade, Jan 26 2014

         PP Presentation: Reddy, Jan 26 2014