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Boots and Coots team members direct a backhoe clearing debris away from 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, was pumped through the "stinger" into the well, stopping the flow of oil and gas. 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.

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©Peter Menzel, www.menzelphoto.com
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Boots and Coots team members direct a backhoe clearing debris away from 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, was pumped through the "stinger" into the well, stopping the flow of oil and gas. 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.