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Oil Well Remains Alight for 3 Months in Iraq Al-Qayyarah after ISIS Flee

The Iraqi troops have retaken al-Qayyarah for three months now, but one local oil well remains alight despite the efforts of oil firefighters.

Serious efforts only began when extremist militants have been driven away completely from this Iraqi town.

Though shellings by ISIS militants are no more, firefighters have to brave temperatures of over 400 degrees Celsius and dense smokes to try to put out the fire.

One oil company chief describes the fire as having caused unpredictable losses. The loss is hard to estimate but it's definitely huge. The fire burns several thousand barrels of petroleum a day; said Bashir, the responsible for the al-Qayyarah oil company.

Local firefighters have been resorting to the tried-and-true oil-well firefighting method - copious water dousing.

They are pumping water from a nearby river through this pipe. Every day we directly pump 300 cubic meters of water from the river. We also use water tankers to transport water from the river; explains Abbas Abdullah, chief water-douser with the Al-Qayyarah oil-well firefighting squad.

Resorting to their expertise and experience, local firefighters said that an oil-well fire with such severity usually takes one month to extinguish.

But the hundred or so manpower of the local firefighting squad has been scattered to fight five or six remaining fires.

There have been a dozen of such fires in this oil field at the beginning. We are running out of diesel fuel. We use one barrel of diesel for every hour of water pumping. We are expecting diesel supplies to come in. If we have sufficient diesel fuel supplies, we would be able to put out the fire soon; said Abbas Abdullah.

Source: Al Alam


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