10 October 2010

The destruction of oil refineries in Targoviste

The following refineries were destroyed,at Targoviste, during the Romanian army's withdrawal in 1916:
1.ROUMANIAN CONSOLIDATED OILFIELDS, LIMITED . This refinery had a working capacity of 350 tons of crude oil per day. Storage capacity 35,000 tons, distributed over an area of 14 acres. It contained a battery, of 6 stills, with ephlegmators and preheaters, refining and rectifying plant,electric light installation, boiler plant, workshops and stores, stocks in reservoirs,when fired, 18,000 tons.This refinery was situated in the immediate vicinity of the railway station.
2.HAIMAN . A small, old refinery enlarged to a working capacity of 35 tons per day. Storage capacity, 3,500 tons, distributed over an area about 1 1/2, acres. Contained 3 stills, refining and small rectifying plant. Stocks in reservoirs when fired, 2,000 tons.A large dam was built outside the refinery and a trench cut to the storage tanks, which were inside the refinery. The valves of the reservoirs were then opened and the oil fired which wrecked both reservoirs and refinery, as well as firing the surrounding installations. It was here that the first work of the Roumanian Commission was seen to consist of an uphill gradient resulting in the flooding of the refinery. This was most suitable to us,as it was intended to carry the oil away in the opposite direction and so avoid wreckage of the refinery.
3.GRIGORESCU. A small refinery enlarged to a working capacity of 60 tons per day. Storage capacity, 4,000 tons, distributed over an area of about 2 ½ acres. Contained stills, refining and rectifying plant, all fairly old. Stocks in reservoirs when fired,1,300 tons.The refinery,was situated immediately on the left,bank of the River Ialomita. The authorities feared the, escape of oil down the river,and a special dam had to be built round the refinery before it was fired.Bitches were carried into the workshops and pump-houses, to convey oil for fiting purposes, after pumps and all machinery had been smashed with sledge hammers. The oil was then fired and the reservoirs exploded, firing the adjoining buildings.
4. AURORA . A very old and obsolete refinery, originally owned by a, Dutch concern but in 1916 controlled by the German Steaua Romana group. Working capacity,100 tons per day. Storage capacity,5,000 tons.It was equipped with a small lubricating plant, but all the machinery was old and the buildings in a state of ruin. The refinery contained stocks of 2,780 tons, of which 780 tons were lubricating oils. In view of avoiding the possibility of exaggerated claims for compensation it was decided not to fire, but to run off the oil, allowing it to percolate into the ground, and wrecking machinery of any value.All these fires lasted several days, the smoke hung heavily over the town and te flames, which at times rose to great heights, illuminated the neighbouring districts, thus allowing the enemy for the first time to become aware of our work.

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