We investigated the biodegradation of hydrocarbon components by Nocardia sp. H17-1 and the catabolic genes involved in the degradation pathways of both aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. After 6 days of incubation, the aliphatic and aromatic fractions separated from Arabian light oil were degraded 99.0 ± 0.1% and 23.8 ± 0.8%, respectively. Detection of the catabolic genes involved in the hydrocarbon degradation indicated that H17-1 possessed the alkB genes for n-alkane biodegradation and cat gene for catechol 1,2-dioxygenase. However, H17-1 had neither the C23O gene for the degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons nor the catechol 2,3-dioxygenase activity. The investigation of the genes involved in the biodegradation of hydrocarbons supported the low degradation activity of H17-1 on the aromatic fractions.