''Myron M. Kinley Accomplishes Impossible in Rumania''

OKLAHOMA OIL EXPERT HALTS Myron M. Kinley  Accomplishes 'Impossible' in Rumania After 14 Had Died
By WILLIAM VOIGT, JR. (Associated Press Writer)
TULSA, Okla., April 3. American ingenuity and persistence have triumphed over the most stubborn oil field fire in history, and so Myron M. Kinley is home from the world's longest fire run from Tulsa 7,000 miles to Moreni, Rumania. Before Kinley, famous for his flame fighting exploits in this country, set out to harness the veritable volcano, the blazing well had taken 14 lives and cost $750,000 in hard American money over a period of two years. After he began actual operations, six months were required to tame the unruly well, which spouted gas at the rate of 250,000,000 cubic feet daily from a sand 5,000 feet deep. The well blew wild and caught fire May 28, 1929. Resources of the Rumanian government and of the American oil company holding the drilling concession proved insufficent to control it. In addition to those killed, more than 100 persons were injured in explosions and mishaps at the well. Steel equipment was melted by the intense heat. The drilling engine was never found, although twisted bits of the steel derrick were dragged from the flames. By spring of 1931 the fire had burned out a crater 250 feet wide and 65 feet deep. From a hundred crevices in the crater walls burned smaller torches, fed from gas escaping through earth fissured by the heat. Kinley, still on crutches from a leg fracure suffered while extinguishing the Gladewater, Texas, fire that took nine lives, went to Vienna to attend a convention last summer.
Thence he proceeded to Rumania to seek permission to snuff the huge torch. "The fire had become political fuel, and figured in elections," Kinley said. With two assistants the Rumanian government permitted him to employ an American and a Rumanian Kinley dragged explosives to the edge of the crater and lowered them in fireproof wrappings near the fire. Streams of water were played on the men constantly as they approached the flames.  "We used hundreds of pounds of explosives blasting dirt into the hole," Kinley explained. Water was played on the crater continually, and the mud and cement used in the operation boiled and bubbled like lava. The resemblance to a volcano was heightened by the fire, which burst through frequently, sometimes in an explosion that hurled the boiling mixture high into the air. The fire finally was choked off by filling the crater with the hardening cement mixture, which was gradually cooled by tons of water. Actual work began last Aug. 3, 1931, and the task was completed Feb. 7, when the well was tapped far underground and the gas turned into pipelines for commercial usage.