Boots and Coots team member study a gushing oil well minutes after the fire was extinguished; the ground is still smoking. The well was capped two hours later using a "stinger" a tapered pipe on the end of a long steel boom controlled by a bulldozer. Drilling mud, under high pressure, is pumped through the stinger into the well, stopping the flow of oil and gas. The Rumaila field is one of Iraq's biggest with five billion barrels in reserve. Many of the wells are 10,000 feet deep and produce huge volumes of oil and gas under tremendous pressure, which makes capping them very difficult and dangerous. Rumaila is also spelled Rumeilah.
- ©Peter Menzel, www.menzelphoto.com
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