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Natural gas blazing from abandoned well in Siberia becomes improvised cooking fireplace

February 11, 2014, 17:44 UTC+3 KRASNOYARSK
Specialists refused from industrial operation of the gas field, citing costly creation of infrastructure for fuel extraction and transportation to consumers
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© ITAR-TASS Archive

KRASNOYARSK, February 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Residents of Minusinsk district of Russian Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk Territory started roasting barbecue and potatoes and boiling water for tea on free burning natural gas. Blue fuel is blazing from an abandoned well, which was drilled in the middle of the previous century six kilometers away from the city of Minusinsk.

“Bystrinskye natural gas wells were developed in the 60s-70s of the previous century,” the territorial ministry of industry and trade told Itar-Tass on Tuesday. “According to the Krasnoyarsk-based scientific-research institute of geology and mineral resources, extractable fuel reserves are estimated at 1.56 billion cubic meters there. They would provide for fuel needs of local residents and district industry for the next ten years. However, specialists refused from industrial operation of the gas field, citing costly creation of infrastructure for fuel extraction and transportation to consumers,” the ministry said.

In 1974, Bystrinskye wells were officially shut down, but in fact they were mothballed. In 2006 the license for their development was put up for a tender; however, this did not evoke any interest among investors. Meanwhile, the time and a harsh Siberian climate had their impact, as the wells got demothballed, a gas ‘valve’ even opened in one of them and the fuel started leaking without control. Local residents took advantage of this fact.

The territorial ministry noted that local emergency services are monitoring closely a burning gas flame in order to prevent it from growing. “Specialists should decide on the future of the gas field as long as the program of gas provision in Russia is being implemented,” the ministry added.

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