The use of microorganisms has been researched extensively for possible applications related to hydrocarbon degradation in the petroleum industry. However, attempts to improve the effect of microorganisms on the viscosity of hydrocarbons, which find potential use in the development of robust models for biodegradation, have been rarely documented. This study investigates the degradation of long chain hydrocarbons, such as hexadecane and eicosane using Pseudomonas fluorescens PMMD3 (P. fluorescens) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa CPCL (P. aeruginosa). P. aeruginosa used here is isolated from petroleum contaminated sediments and the P. fluorescens is from the coastal area, and both have hydrocarbon degrading genes. The degradation of hydrocarbons is studied using carbon profiling and reduction in viscosity pre- and post-degradation of hydrocarbons. The carbon profiling has been obtained using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), and Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) results. GC-MS results have indicated an improved biodegradation of hydrocarbons by 77-93% in one day. The yield coefficients of biomass (YX/S) for P. aeruginosa and P. fluorescens using hexadecane as a carbon source are 1.35 and 0.81 g g-1, and the corresponding values with eicosane are 0.84 and 0.88 g g-1. The viscosity of hexadecane is reduced by the order of 53 and 47%, while that of eicosane was reduced by 53 and 65%, using P. aeruginosa and P. fluorescens, respectively. This study also presents information on the activity of enzymes responsible for the hydrocarbon degradation. Pseudomonas species have shown their use in potential applications for bioremediation, oil-spill treatment, and flow assurance. We believe that this study will also provide stringent tests for possible model development for the bioremediation of long chain paraffins suitable for oilfield applications. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016.