Constraining the genetic relationships of 25-norhopanes, hopanoic and 25-norhopanoic acids in onshore Niger Delta oils using a temperature-dependent material balance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Analysis of oil samples from the Niger Delta (Nigeria) revealed a range of structurally related hopanes, including 25-norhopanes, and hopanoic and 25-norhopanoic acids. 25-Norhopanes were detected in all medium and heavily biodegraded oils and were most abundant in the heavily degraded oils. Hopanoic acids (C30-C33) and 25-norhopanoic acids (C30-C31) were most abundant in moderately degraded oils and occurred in reduced concentration in heavily degraded oils but were absent from, or in trace concentration in, slightly degraded oils. Consideration of the structures suggests that 25-norhopanoic acids form via carboxylation of 25-norhopanes or demethylation of hopanoic acids. Mass balance for the onshore Niger Delta oils suggests that formation of 25-norhopanes operates independently of 25-norhopanoic acid formation and that 25-norhopanoic acids are likely transient intermediates for only a small proportion of the 25-norhopanes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Early online date13 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015



  • biodegradation
  • crude oil
  • hopanes
  • 25-Norhopanes
  • hopanoic acids
  • 25-norhopanoic acids
  • mass balance
  • Niger Delta

Cite this