Brian Krause, president of Boots and Coots, with Sara Akbar, development specialist for the Kuwait Oil Company and member of the firefighting team from the company's (KWWK: Kuwait Wild Well Killers) as they prepare to extinguish the first oil well fire in Iraq's Rumaila Oil field. Sara is a Muslim woman and is rather surprised by the way Brian, a friendly American, reacts to a photo by putting his arm around her. The other Kuwaiti's notice this too. After dousing the flames with high pressure water hoses, they sealed the spurting well 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. The Rumaila oil 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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