A Bacillus sp. strain DHT, isolated from oil-contaminated soil, grew and produced biosurfactant when cultured in variety of substrate at salinities of up to 100 g l−1 and temperatures up to 45°C. It was capable of utilizing crude oil, fuels, various pure alkanes and PAHs as a sole carbon and energy source across a wide range of temperature and salinity. Over the range evaluated, the degradation of hydrocarbon and biosurfactant production was not influenced by salinity (0–10% wv−1) and temperature (30–45°C). The biosurfactant produced by the organism emulsified a range of hydrocarbons with hexadecane as the best substrate and toluene as the poorest. From 16S rDNA analysis, strain DHT was related to Bacillus licheniformis.