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One of the oil wells set ablaze by retreating Iraqi troops in the southern Rumaila oil field. The wells were set on fire with explosives placed by retreating Iraqi troops when the US and UK invasion began. Seven or eight wells were set ablaze but at least one other was detonated but did not ignite. The Rumaila field is one of Iraq's biggest oil fields 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.

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©Peter Menzel, www.menzelphoto.com
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One of the oil wells set ablaze by retreating Iraqi troops in the southern Rumaila oil field. The wells were set on fire with explosives placed by retreating Iraqi troops when the US and UK invasion began. Seven or eight wells were set ablaze but at least one other was detonated but did not ignite. The Rumaila field is one of Iraq's biggest oil fields 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.