The concns. of S, V, Cr, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Se, Br, I, Ag, and Hg were detd. in 45 crude oil samples of 17 oilfields originating from 9 different Mesozoic or Tertiary reservoir rock formations in the southern German Alpine Foreland. Furthermore, the concns. of Na, Mg, S, Cl, Ca, Fe, Co Cu, Zn, Br, Sr, and I were detd. in 15 oilfield water samples. The main anal. technique was instrumental neutron activation anal.; to a minor degree, x-ray fluorescence spectrometry, at. absorption and emission spectrometry, and titrimetric methods were applied. The amts. of S, V, Ni and Se are relatively const. in the different oilfields; therefore, they are suitable for distinguishing between different classes of oil. The crudes can be divided into 3 groups by their concns. of S, V and Ni: Triassic and Lower Jurassic crudes of the Western Molasse Basin, crudes from the Bausteinschichten (Lower Chattian) in the Western Molasse (except the one from Aitingen) and crudes from Priabonian sands, Malm, and Lower Cretaceous in the Eastern Molasse, and secondary altered crudes of the Ampfinger Schichten in the Eastern Molasse Basin. The crudes of Aitingen are exceptional with their high content of S and V, being enhanced 3 and 20 times, resp. Relations between trace-element distributions in crudes and in accompanying oilfield waters could not be found. Only the amts. of I in crudes are significantly correlated with those from the corresponding oil-field waters.