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Pat Patton; 6.56 LA

You would not want to put your finger in this unless you wanted to lose it and have it flung several hundred yards off in the pasture somewhere. These kind of flow rates can make it sort of hard to breathe around if you are really up close. Air, oxygen, around the well head is getting sucked up with the flow. Really big blowing wells will vaccum the hard hat plum off your head.

This sort of well is why most old well control hands you ever met could not hear for shit. Rippin' up thru twisted iron the noise from a well like this is loud enough to hurt your teeth and make your jaws ache.

I am reminded of a lunch one time I had with Red and Coots, at a steakhouse off the Katy Freeway somewhere. The place was full, we had a few drinks and Red and Coots started telling stories. Because neither on them could hear they were hollering across the table at each other...cussin,' talking about big wells, laughing out loud; man that was fun. At one point I looked up and the entire restaurant was just sitting there, quiet, like an old E.F. Hutton commercial on TV, listening. I mean, the whole place; even the waiters. When we finally left the restaurant lots of people stood and applauded.

It takes some getting use to working around these things. First they can be pretty damn intimidating. Then when you get over that stage they can be so awesome you can't take your eyes off the shear magnitude of the energy involved. Its Mother Nature feeling kind of pissed off. Eventually you get over that too and learn to ignore the well itself and focus on what has to be done around it to get it capped and go back home.

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