The West Siberian lowland, rich in oil and gas deposits, attracted many Soviet people in the 1960s with the opportunity to become pioneers. Is it romance, is it love for the Siberian nature itself, is it a penchant for courage, for extremity, is it need. What pushed young people from Rostov, Krasnodar, Leningrad, Moscow, Tyumen to go to the development of the territory, which at that time was neither land nor water? They worked in inhumane conditions, constantly on the verge of risk.
In 1964, based on geophysical data, an exploration well R-101 with a design depth of 3.2 thousand meters was laid on the bank of the Pyako-Pur River 80 kilometers from the city of Tarko-Sale.
Drilling began in January 1965. After reaching the mark of 700 meters, the duty watch began lifting the drill string in order to replace the worked bit. During these works, at about 4 o'clock in the morning, sudden strong gas manifestations began, which turned into open gushing. The staff managed to extinguish the furnace of the boiler room and shut down all engines, after which people were evacuated to a safe distance. Gas gushed 50 meters above the drilling rig, pieces of rock flew out of the well, there was a terrible roar. Half an hour later, two gas griffins formed 60 meters from the drilling rig. At 07:30, the fountain ignited, the height of the fire reached 200 meters. After 10 minutes, the fire destroyed the drilling rig, and all the equipment disappeared in the resulting crater.
According to the liquidators, the burning fountain was grandiose, a kind of solar prominence on Earth. Fire tornadoes periodically appeared along the edges of it. It was impossible to get closer than 200 meters to the fire — clothes began to smoke. A crater 600 meters wide connected with the Pyako-Pur River. The diameter and height of the fire pillar reached hundreds of meters. The daily flow rate of the fountain was at the level of 15 million cubic meters of gas. There was a terrible noise, the ground was shaking. In 50-degree frosts, spring came near the fountain — the leaves on the birches bloomed, the ice on the river melted 60 kilometers downstream, the water warmed up. Liquidators fished boiled fish out of the river.
It took six months to eliminate the drilling accident…