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Firefighters from the Kuwait Oil Company (called KWWK: Kuwait Wild Well Killers) connect hoses to water tanks and pumps near the second oil well fire they were working on in Iraq's Rumaila Oil field. Later in the day they failed to extinguish this fire with water and then tried to stop the flow of gas and oil with drilling mud using what is called 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. This was also unsuccessful. 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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Firefighters from the Kuwait Oil Company (called KWWK: Kuwait Wild Well Killers) connect hoses to water tanks and pumps near the second oil well fire they were working on in Iraq's Rumaila Oil field. Later in the day they failed to extinguish this fire with water and then tried to stop the flow of gas and oil with drilling mud using what is called 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. This was also unsuccessful. 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.