Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Artillery Bombards Raging Oil Field Fire to Extinguish Blaze

There were no casualties and no threat of wildfires from the wellhead fire, the company that owns the wellhead said. Screenshot YouTube

The Russian military is using an anti-tank gun to help put out a fire that has been raging in a Siberian oil field for more than a week, The Siberian Times reported Monday.

The Irkutsk Oil Company, a small producer, last week asked the Russian military to bombard a wellhead at the Yarakta oil field using the MT-12 Rapira weapon. The wellhead at the remote facility caught fire during oil flow measurements on May 30, the company’s subsidiary had said.

Nighttime footage shared by the Russian military showed troops loading the 100mm gun and shooting it with what it called “surgical precision” at the burning wellhead from a distance of 180 meters. 

The well was sealed and the inferno eliminated by late Monday morning, according to The Siberian Times.

“We’re moving to the final stage of eliminating the fire,” said Azat Galimyanov, chief engineer of Tikhookeanskiy Terminal (Pacific Terminal), an Irkutsk Oil Company subsidiary.

The company said there were no casualties and no threat of wildfires from the wellhead fire.

The Soviet Union is believed to have used an explosion, described as a peaceful nuclear blast, to quell a gas-well fire that had raged for three years in 1966.

The fire broke out more than 1,500 kilometers south of Norilsk, the site of a May 29 oil spill that has been called one of the worst in Arctic history and is believed to have been caused by melting permafrost.

Read more