10 January 2010

Gushing Fire at Moreni in 1925

”Bill Cannon, Standard Oil Co. driller, had ignited through friction the deepest oil well at Moreni, Romania.Cannon immediately ordered all the men to leave the danger zone.As he himself fled from the roaring flames, an angry romanian crowd attacked him for causing the fire, now rapidly spreading.Cannon's revolver, however, cowed them.Thirty miles away, a group of americans saw the vast columns of fire and smoke ascending to the heavens.In fast automobiles they dashed to the scene.One Dunlap, superintendent of the area, realized that nothing could be done except to localize the conflagration.The usual method of putting out a blazing oil gusher by steam pressure could not be used, because the nearest boilers were several miles away.Eventually, the authorities at Bucharest, the capital, were induced to send a battery of artillery to bombard the well, with the object of closing it up.Romanian gunners bombarded it for half a day and all they succeeded in doing was to spread the fire.At this point, several romanians and germans offered to sell for $3,500 to superintendent Dunlap a sure scheme to extinguish the fire.Their proposal was looked into, rejected.

The next scheme tried was digging a tunnel up to the wall with the idea of dynamiting it.The project was stopped by irate romanians who demanded huge payments for permission to use their property as a right of way.The burning well is about a mile deep and has a pressure of about 50 atmospheres.The damage may amount to $1,500,000.The fire was visible for 45 miles” Retrieval of Time Magazine Aug 17 , 1925.

The Bucharest correspondent of the "Daily Express" states that experts have extinguished the Moreni oil well fire after 50 days work. The damage is estimated at £250,000. Many unsuccessful attempts were made, including drawing a huge bell over the mouth of the well by chains, which the heat melted. Finally a tunnel 100ft. long was excavated to and perforated the bore, causing the extinction of the flames.Retrival of The Brisbane Courier Friday 25 September 1925.

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