Solidified Natural Gas (SNG); 1938



There is a rig under all that ice.


This is the Wyoming Petroleum Corporation, Budd No. 1 blowing out in the Big Piney Field in 1938 in Sublette County, Wyoming. A string of casing was set at 1,693 feet and the boys then shut the rig down for a few days to WOC and to warm their frozen toes. A day later the damn well started blowing gas and did not stop for 2 months. That is 500 tons of solid ice draped over a standard derrick. WPC was able to get the well under control by mid February. They had to wait until the spring thaw to resume drilling.


Big Piney Gas Field ended up being 15 miles long and 3 miles wide, one of the biggest in all of the Green River Basin. The town of Big Piney, Wyoming was incorporated in 1916 and in the winter of 1930-1931 it became known as the "Icebox of the Nation" for its record cold temperatures. When Alaska signed on, that dubious distinction of the coldest place in the country went up there where it will hopefully stay.


I suppose the existence of SNG might solve some transportation problems as a fella might be able to chainsaw the gas into big blocks and load them on a truck; I am just not sure how you could thaw the stuff out and have it be useful.