Energy, Economy

Iran: Battle to Put Out Burning Oil Well

Iran: Battle to Put Out Burning Oil WellIran: Battle to Put Out Burning Oil Well

Efforts are underway to bring under control a deadly blaze that ripped through an oil well in the southern Khuzestan Province last week.

On Sunday, two workers were killed after fire erupted in Well 147 of Rag Sefid Oilfield during the operations of a drilling rig.

Saeed Ghorbani, secretary of the Crisis Management Committee of the National Iranian Drilling Co., said on Monday that three technical teams were deployed on the oil well to speed up firefighting operations, Shana reported on Tuesday.

"The situation is under control and other oilfield workers are in good health," the official said.

Mohsen Delaviz, managing director of Khazar Exploration and Production Co., who was sent to the Rag Sefid oilfield shortly after the incident at the behest of Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, also sought to ensure that necessary measures were being taken to put out the blaze.

"All resources have been mobilized to restore the normal situation," Delaviz was quoted as saying by ILNA.



He added that it could take "between 50 and 60 days" to fully extinguish the fire because of poor transport infrastructure and the region's mountainous terrain that make the supply of water and other equipment difficult.

Dousing an oil well fire is a daunting task because of the enormous fuel supply for the fire. Absent of an official estimate, similar incidents show that it could take weeks before the fire is put out. Last year, Iraq was battling for months to fully contain dozens of burning wells in two oil-rich cities in the northwest which were set ablaze by the self-styled Islamic State militants.

Oil well fires can cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil per day. Officials said on Tuesday that the well was not into production.

Combined with the ecological problems caused by the large amounts of smoke and unburned petroleum falling back to earth, oil well fires can also cause enormous economic losses.

Rag Sefid oilfield, which has been into production for over fifty years, Rag Sefid field, holds an estimated 16.5 billion barrels of crude oil in place. Foreign companies including Schlumberger, Zarubezhneft as well as Iran's MAPNA Group have conducted studies on the field.

Iran's petroleum industry was shook by another deadly incident last week. At least six people were killed and two injured in a blaze at Tehran Oil Refinery on Friday following a fuel leakage at a processing unit of the refinery.

"It was impossible to rescue the victims, as they were carrying out repair works at a higher level," said Hedayatollah Jamalipour, the governor of Shahr-e Rey, said about the refinery incident south of Tehran.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints