North Africa; 1962






I have written about the great fire in Algeria in 1962 known as the Devil's Cigarette Lighter before on Oily Stuff, here, and it might be worth another look see.


Adair had almost the entire job filmed and that piece can be found on the internet quite easily simply by googling it. British Pathe is always a good source for old videos and the film above contains a lot of footage not found in Adairs production. One of the focal points of this Pathe piece is just how incredibly large the shot drum, and shot was (800+pounds) that actually blew the fire out.


I am blessed beyond words to have been able to listen to Coots, and Boots, and then Red and Coots speak of this job on several occasions and when we produced the Modern Marvels documentary for the History Channel years ago the narrative script I wrote for that documentary focused a lot on this well.


I recall Coots telling me once that the 800 pound shot was so massive it made the D-8 dozer they were hiding behind jump off the ground 6-8 inches.


There is no sound to the Pathe film; it's worth a watch, however.


The history of the oil and gas industry is full of big wells, and brave men; it was a time when Mother Earth still had some bottom hole pressure and She was always gifting great surprises to oil men all over the world.