Turkmenistan Develops Project to Extinguish Darvaza Gas Crater

Turkmenistan Develops Project to Extinguish Darvaza Gas Crater
The Darvaza gas crater (Photo: elviajerofeliz.com)

Turkmenistan has developed a project to extinguish the gas crater Darvaza in the Garagum desert, which caught fire more than 50 years ago due to the collapse of an exploratory mine, TASS news agency reported on Monday, citing a statement by Irina Luryeva, head of the laboratory of the Natural Gas Research Institute of the Turkmengaz State Concern.

According to the report, the project to extinguish the Darvaz gas crater in the Garagum desert in Turkmenistan is at the stage of approval.

"We have drawn up a project, the main essence of which is to limit the flow of gas to this emergency well. Now it's at the stage of practical implementation," Luryeva said.

The head of the Laboratory of the Research Institute noted that the field, where the accident took place, has a complex geological structure.

Researchers at the institute have explored multiple solutions to the issue of the burning crater, and they have concluded that the only viable option is to drill a well near the field to extract gas from all layers.

The Darvaza gas crater, which has been burning for half a century, is located in the central Garagum Desert, around 266 km from Ashgabat. In 1971, Soviet geologists were drilling for oil in the desert when they hit a pocket of natural gas, which caused the earth to collapse. Geologists came to the decision to set it on fire to prevent methane emissions, thinking it would burn out in a short span of time. But the fire still continues to burn. The crater’s diameter is more than 60 meters, and its depth is 30 meters.

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