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Sting It !

This Adair hand is a fixin' to get very nasty.

There were a lot of these kinds of wells in Kuwait in 1991; the explosives to destroy them were set and denotated at the tubing head. Adair, or somebody, once said that if the Iraqis had taken the time to set their explosive charges at or below the casing head, it would have taken 3 years to cap and control 746 wells in Kuwait, not 7 months.

The stinger on the stinger was often tapered and with the weight of the Athey wagon boom could be guided into the top of the production tubing and set down on, the valve on the assembly above the stinger could be manually opened and the well bullheaded with mud. Once the well was dead the flange to flange tubing head could be replaced and the well turned back over to KOC for re-entry. Stinging was actually pretty successful, particularly in Burgan Field where the Iraqi army seemed to be in a big hurry to leave and focused just on tubing heads.

This well is easy, above. Below is a photograph by Dave Wilson of my friend, Joe Carpenter stinging into a Burgan well actually on fire, way more difficult and way more hot, which Joe could stand better than any blowout hand I ever knew, or have read about over the past 120 years. Guiding the stinger into a burning well, by giving hand signals to the well control hand mounted on the front of a dozer, who then gave hand signals to the dozer operator, was an orchestration of three men in perfect sync with each other...not a word spoken between them.

I have this photo at my office and again, at my home. It is stunning and reminds me of how terrific a photographer Dave Wilson is and how tough Joe Carpenter was and how much I regret Joe, and Martin and Danny's passing in 1995 in Syria, and miss them.


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