Despite recent advances in spectroscopic techniques, there is uncertainty regarding the nature of the carbonyl groups in the asphaltene and resin fractions of crude oil, information necessary for an understanding of the physical properties and environmental fate of these materials. Carbonyl and hydroxyl group functionalities are not observed in natural abundance 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of asphaltenes and resins and therefore require spin labeling techniques for detection. In this study, the carbonyl functionalities of the resin and asphaltene fractions from a light aliphatic crude oil that is the source of groundwater contamination at the long term USGS study site near Bemidji, Minnesota, have been examined through reaction with 15N-labeled hydroxylamine and aniline in conjunction with analysis by solid and liquid state 15N NMR. Ketone groups were revealed through 15N NMR detection of their oxime and Schiff base derivatives, and esters through their hydroxamic acid derivatives. Anilinohydroquinone adducts provided evidence for quinones. Some possible configurations of the ketone groups in the resin and asphaltene fractions can be inferred from a consideration of the likely reactions that lead to heterocyclic condensation products with aniline and to the Beckmann reaction products from the initially formed oximes. These include aromatic ketones and ketones adjacent to quaternary carbon centers, β-hydroxyketones, β-diketones, and β-ketoesters. In a solid state cross polarization/magic angle spinning (CP/MAS) 15N NMR spectrum recorded on the underivatized asphaltene as a control, carbazole and pyrrole-like nitrogens were the major naturally abundant nitrogens detected.