Peat is a useful oil absorbent for controlling marine oil spills and the leakage of petroleum-derived hydrocarbons into groundwater. In the present study, the ability of peat as an oil absorbent is assessed based on a column test that provides data on the retention of kerosene in the peat under suction. For comparison, oil absorbents composed of activated carbon, diatom, and polypropylene were also used in the test. It is indicated that the peat is capable of soaking up kerosene to a greater extent than other absorbents in the oil absorption process. Once saturated with kerosene, the peat retained kerosene more than other absorbents in the oil desorption process. All the absorbents exhibited hysteresis in the retention curves for kerosene, but the extent of the hysteresis was the most remarkable for the peat. The densely packed peat soaked up kerosene in greater amounts and to a greater degree than the loosely packed one. The quantities of kerosene retained by the absorbents in the column and retained by the absorbents per unit mass were the greatest for the peat. The marked ability of the peat to absorb and encapsulate kerosene is attributed to the fibrous and porous structure and high specific surface area of this material.