18 September 2015

Drilling for oil

Drilling for oil back in 1964. Somewhere in Romania...

16 September 2015

Lovrin oil eruption

Two days after Romanian oil well exploded, it was still burning out of control on Friday (04/04/1997). A metal explosion cap had melted and the intense heat was restricting a re-capping operation. The well, in an oil field near Lovin in Timis county 600 kilometres northwest of Bucharest, blew up when pressure built up during drilling causing gas to explode. In this video it can be seen the oil field with flames shooting into the sky, ambulances and fire engines on standby, fire crews, worker in heat-resistant suit and fire fighters with water cannon.

14 September 2015

Copsa Mica eruption

July 13, 1933 - The beginning of the largest fire at a gas well in the Romanian history. The developing of Copsa Mica gas exploitation led to decision of Sonametan to drill in 1933 new gas wells (wells 4 and 5). Market studies conducted by Sonametan stood at decision to supply Sibiu with gas for consumption. The exploration drilling of well no. 5 Copsa Mica had the purpose to explore the Copsa Mica gas dome and to determine by mechanical coring and electric logging the sequence of layers, their gas content and possibly water. The drilling of this well started on March 10, 1933 and Rotary drilling system was used. The first column of 508 mm was fixed at 20.7 meters depth. The second column of 360 mm was fixed at 109.8 meters. Cementation was executed in good condition. The drilling continued to the depth of 764.4 m when analyses indicated a pressure increase in Copsa Mica dome. Gas pressure at the depth of 764 meters was about 100 bars. Given the shallow depth at which these pressures are encountered, this kind of gas domes pose a great difficulty for drilling. In order to maintain the layer pressure, during drilling, it was necessary to use a drilling fluid with a specific weight. Mud was brought from  Bazna to prepare the drilling fluid but in the absence of a special mixer that wasn’t done properly . That viscous mud quickly gasify. Given the high pressures encountered as a safety measure and to protect the well in case of eruption the decision was made on the 24th June, at a depth of 741 meters, to ask The Ministry the changing of working program by cementing the column immediately. This would had avoided the formation of a crater next to the wellhead, 17 days later. Degradation of drilling fluid properties led to increase of gas pression in the well. At July 11, the pressure reached 50 bars and the gas came out violent at 750 meters north of the well. The pressure in well dropped to 25 bars. Cementation resisted, or crater would be formed in the well. A huge amount of sand and marls was projected 100 meters into the air. On a circular area with a diameter of about 200 meters, the land was covered with sand and gray marl typical Pontian, white striped calcareous andesitic, tuff, conglomerate and finally vegetal elements from the valley. The next morning, the main crater looks roughly elliptical. Next to the main crater more secondary craters were formed. From the main crater eruption took place with intermittent bursts which made the impression that earth was boiling. On the next day, July 13, 1933, at 15.45, after a spark, ignited gas was burning with a flame height of 100-150 meters. Occasionally violent eruptions took place throwing masiv amounts of marl and sandstone. The water from  the crater, or after rains formed dark clouds of smoke which sometimes enveloped the flame. The aim was to stop the eruption by pumping into the well heavy drilling fluid, but with no results. Pressure in the well decreased and stabilized at 5 bars. The main crater was gradually approaching the well. Similar operations performed in August, September and October 1933, were unsuccessful. The material placed in the well was driven by gas, pulverized and thrown up great distances around the crater. In January 1935, the crater was 205 meters from the borehole no. 5 and on  9 May, 1935, the crater moved 80 meters towards the well. On August 28, 1935, after a rainfall, the crater again moved towards the well no. 5 by 45 m reducing the distance between  these at 75 meters. In 1940 engineer Popovici had the idea of ​​pumping water into the well. The  gas pressure dropped and led to decrease the flame height from 42 meters to 4 meter. In order to extinguish the fire there were  pumped about 2000 wagons of mud through four 16” pipelines. The large amount of mud burst into the crater quenching the flames. 

Moinesti - eruption on fire

Oil well on flames at Moinesti in 1983.

Lovrin fire

Well no.2 Lovrin on fire at 17.11.1997. 
To put out the flames and choke the eruption took few weeks.

Moinesti drilling derrick

Moinesti drilling derrick ( in the 80s ).

10 September 2015

Pecica eruption

On May 10, 1982 a blaze at well 451 in Turnu (Pecica), produced a crater of 35 meters and the height of the ignited gas reached 70 meters. The eruptive event began Monday, May 3 and after 7 days of bad and timid technical and political actions the inevitable occurred. In the night shift worked 32 people: engineers, oil workers, foremen and soldiers. The accumulation of gas in the perimeter of the well, along with favorable weather conditions, led to a strong blast with a devastating blow. 26 people (13 civilians and 13 soldiers) died in torments, and some were burned alive. Fire-fighting operations began under the leadership of Colonel Valer Avram. To extinguish the fire, they brought turbojets with foam from Pitesti. In the meantime specialists with equipments from a chemical plant in Arad, permanent measured gas levels in the area. The wellhead flame was monitored all the time. The gas was ignited, according to a survivor,  engineer Ioan Ciupuligă at 8 am from a headlamp, located in a stable nearby. 

Cum se stinge o sonda

 “Era cat p’aci să avem şi la Urlaţi un spectacol de lungă durată, cum a fost acea fantastică torţă dela Moreni, care a ars mai mulţi ani in şir şi nu se ştie bine dacă dacă mai arde sau nu. La Urlaţi s’a aprins o sondă a soc. Astra Romană. Focul a provenit dela scanteile produse de motoare şi a fost cu atat mai violent, cu cat gazele eşiau acolo cu o mare presiune (80 atmosfere). Flăcările uriaşe au distrus schelăria, motoarele şi pompele. Indată personalul ingineresc şi lucrătorii societăţii s’ au concentrat in jurul sondei şi trenurile incepură să aducă specialişti din Bucureşti şi din centrele petrolifere. Operaţiile de stingere au fost foarte interesante. Mai intai spectatorul a putut vedea un şir de tancuri enorme, apropiindu-se ca la răsboi, pe tălpici rulanţi, ce calcă totul in calea lor. Aceste tancuri n’au servit pentru bombardarea sau luarea cu asalt a sondei incendiate. Inginerii s’au folosit numai de puterea lor, transformandu-le in tractoare, cu ajutorul cărora au reuşit să dislocheze fierăria şi ruinele, pentru a debloca locul. După ce terenul a fost astfel curăţit şi tancurile s’au retras, apăru pe teren un fel de scafandru, imbrăcat intr’un costum de asbest, cu mască, aşa cum purtau in timpul răsboiulni soldaţii, contra gazelor asfixiante. După cum se ştie asbestul este rău conducător de căldură şi un costum confecţionat din acest material, permite celui ce-l poartă să se apropie de mari surse de căldură, fără perspectiva de a fi prăjit de viu. Inginerul Miron in alt costum ciudat, ca de pompier, se apropie deasemeni de craterul sondei. Un şef de echipă imbrăcat şi el in asbest, fusese asigurat cu suma de un milion două sute de mii de lei, in caz de accidcnt şi 200.000 lei dacă va stinge sonda. Acest om curagios a trebuit să apropie foarte mult de această gură de iad, pentru a tăia cu un aparat special de sudat o mufă, - o piesă metalică, - după suprimarea căreia s’au prăbuşit pe gura sondei o construcţie de prăjini metalice şi cablu. Aceste masive materiale au astupat sonda şi astfel incendiul a putut fi stins. Spectacolul nu s’a terminat insă aci, fiindcă acest succes a produs un adevărat delir de bucurie şi am văzut pe ingineri fraternizand cu lucrătorii, imbrăţişandu-se şi felicitandu-se. După aceasta in Urlaţi, care e de obicei un orăşel mort, fără pic de viaţă şi cu un negoţ aproape inexistent, s'a produs o animaţie neaşteptată. Inginerii, spectatorii şi lucrătorii veniţi din altele părţi in număr foarte mare, au invadat micile restaurante. In acest timp din birourile autorităţilor şi ale societăţii, zeci de telefoane anunţau succesul.....

Realitatea Ilustrata, Anul V, Nr.254, 10 Decembr.1931

Bustenari-Campina-Moreni

 Bustenari
 Campina
Moreni

07 September 2015

Baicoi oil refinery

Baicoi oil refinery

03 September 2015

PECO Romania Official Guide

Pictures from Romania PECO (Petrol Distribution National Enterprise from communist period) Guide. The guide contains a short description of Romanian Oil Industry, maps of whole national road network and of major city, exact adress of all petrol station from 1960's Romania and many pictures.

02 September 2015

Gura Ocnitei - Puits de petrole

Gura Ocnitei - Puits de petrole en 1935.

Bucsani oilfield

Bucsani oilfield in 1935.

L' Etoile Roumaine

Ploiesti raffinerie L' Etoile Roumaine en 1935.

A piece of history

Romanians oil wells in the early 20th century.

Romanian oil gusher in 1938

Romanian oil gusher in 1938
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