Oil and Gas Well Fires and House(s) of the Day (1/11/2021)

Happy new year!  I’m currently on a marathon work call so will use this time productively to share some outrageously priced and out-of-reach homes with you.  But first: oil well gushers!  If you haven’t seen images of the Kuwaiti oil field fires from 1991, check them out on Google Images.  Far below is a photo from Wikipedia.  But first, and also courtesy of Wikipedia, have you heard of the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter?  Damn neat.  Here’s the blurb from Wiki:

“The Devil’s Cigarette Lighter was a natural gas well fire at Gassi Touil in the Sahara Desert of Algeria.  Ignited when a pipe ruptured on November 6, 1961, the Phillips Petroleum Company-owned well produced more than 6,000 cubic feet of natural gas per second, whose flame rose between 450 feet and 800 feet.  The flame was seen from orbit by John Glenn during the flight of Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962.  The blowout and fire were estimated to have consumed enough gas to supply Paris for three months, burning 550,000,000 cubic feet per day.

After burning almost six months, the fire was extinguished by well fire expert Red Adair, who used explosives to deprive the flame of oxygen.  The exploit made Adair a celebrity.  Adair worked the fire with Asger “Boots” Hansen and Ed “Coots” Matthews, who later formed the Boots & Coots well control company.  Preparations took five months while Adair’s team cleared wreckage from near the wellhead with shielded bulldozers, dug wells, and excavated three reservoirs for water supplies.  On April 28, 1962, Adair used a modified bulldozer with a 66-foot arm to move a metal drum containing a 550-pound nitroglycerin charge to the well.  Adair, Matthews, Hansen and Charlie Tolar rode the rig, protected by a metal heat shield and water sprays, with Adair driving and the others on a shielded platform while medical teams and evacuation helicopters stood by.  After positioning the explosives, the team ran to a trench about 150 feet from the well.  The explosion extinguished the fire by displacing oxygen from the area of the ruptured well.  Water from the reservoirs was used to flood the area for two days to cool the well.  Drilling mud was pumped into the hole to control the flow of gas and the well was capped after four days of work.

Part of the 1968 John Wayne movie Hellfighters was loosely based upon the feats of Adair during the 1962 Sahara Desert fire.”


Cool, amirite?!?  On to bigger and better things:

  • Today’s first house of the day comes to us from Beverly Hills 90210.  Here is the link to the Zillow page.  Recently sold for a cool $32.5 million, I LOVE the exterior.  The interior is a little modern and strange but the exterior jingles my jollies just so.
  • Today’s second house of the day, again photos courtesy of Zillow,  is also in Beverly Hills.  Also 90210.  Per Zillow, it’s the former estate of William Randolph Hearst and is known for its scenes in “The Godfather.”  The pools and grounds are spectacular as is the library/study (look at all that wood paneling!).  And they should be… for an $119 million asking price.  Zillow only has eight photos so look to other websites for more.
  • Finally, today’s third house of the day comes to us from Chicago 60610.  Yeah, the 60610.  Recently on the market for $19.5 million, and per the photos on Zillow, the wood paneling is quite ornate.  Check out the glass dome!

That’s all, folks!  Have a great week.

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