Awhaz; 1951




I covered this great blowout in a previous post titled, Naft Said, here in Oily Stuff which included the film, "Rig 20," produced by British Petroleum.


This is some Pathe film of the same fire in Iran in 1951, is shorter, has a few different scenes in it and the quality of the film is much better.


At 28 seconds the well is shot for the first time to remove debris from the casing head. It reignites immediately but enough of the damaged BOP's are blown off to allow the well to evacuate over 4,000 feet of 4 1/2 in OD drill pipe that looks like a big long piece of spaghetti. Two people would have a hard time picking up on joint of 4 1/2 OD drill pipe. This well spits it out like a noddle.


Anticipating this might happen, Kinley had everyone back several hundred yards. Once the debris is away from the well the flow is straight up and the second shot put the fire out. That was all the easy part, always; the hard part comes when trying to cap the flow. There is a term in blowout engineering called "critical flow." It is where the densities of the fluids and/or gasses being released, and the limitations of the diameter of the pipe and its expansion properties, the actual flow cannot exceed x, regardless of pressure. This well is likely at, or near critical flow. The Algerian fire in 1963 was at critical flow, some suggest upwards of 500MMCFPD. This well in Iran was a very big well also


Adair is still with Kinley in 1951; I am not sure where he was. Off on another job, I suspect.