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Mercury analysis and monitoring can bring substantial benefits to your business through improved product quality, reduced mercury emissions and effective corrosion control.

aerial view on coastline road

SGS provides specialist services to the oil and gas industry to help detect and analyze mercury accurately.

The dangers of mercury in the oil and gas industry

Mercury poses a major hazard when it forms amalgams with metals, particularly aluminum, which can lead to a condition known as Liquid Metal Embrittlement (LME), which itself has led to several catastrophic failures in large plants. Mercury can damage pipeline welds, cryogenic components, aluminum heat exchangers and hydrogenation catalysts as well as posing environmental and health hazards by its simple presence. Failure of these components can lead to plant shutdown, with severe economic implications, or, in extreme cases, uncontrolled loss of containment or complete plant failure.

Emergency remediation is always expensive and economically damaging to the plant operator. SGS offers monitoring services to those at special risk.

From a commercial point of view, products with higher mercury levels are deemed to be poorer quality, command a lower price and are even banned in certain markets.

The benefits of mercury detection and monitoring

Monitoring and reducing the presence of mercury brings many key benefits. The risk to equipment is minimized, helping to improve ‘process-up’ time and limiting risk to manageable levels. Lower mercury concentrations help maintain asset integrity and product quality, leading to lower maintenance costs. Mercury detection has health and safety benefits too, reducing occupational health risks for your staff and lessening the impact of emissions on the environment.

Our mercury-detection services:


  • Determination of mercury in hydrocarbon samples
  • Completion of onsite mercury surveys
  • Identifying areas of potential mercury contamination
  • Areas of mercury loss
  • Monitoring efficiency of mercury removal units (MRUs)
  • Process up-time optimization
  • Analysis of all types of environmental samples
  • Determination of mercury in produced water
  • RoHS analysis
  • Third-party verification and testing
  • Design of mercury monitoring programs

Lab analysis

SGS can offer lab analysis of various sample types, including natural gas, LPG, LNG, naptha, condensate and crude oil.

Desk and field reviews

A baseline study will provide knowledge of the existing mercury levels at critical points of your process, identifying potential areas of mercury-induced corrosion, occupational health issues and possible mercury releases into the environment. We can then advise you on the most appropriate course of remedial action, keeping your process running efficiently and helping to maximize the value of your products, while providing ongoing technical support for operators.

Why SGS?

Our specialized teams of analysts based in Europe and the Far East have over 20 years’ experience of mercury measurement and mercury analysis. Using state-of-the-art instrumentation, we have the experience to help with any application you may have, either on or off site.

Find out how our mercury detection experts can help you.