Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Why do oil rigs sometimes catch fire?

Much of the worlds oil is found buried beneath the seabed. Oil rights are huge floating devices that are anchored to the seabed while wells are drilled into the oil bearing rocks. These self-contained rigs contain all of the drilling machinery and a helicopter pad for receiving supplies.
When the oil is extracted from the rock it contains a large amount of gas which has to be burnt off at the surface. The gas gushing from an oil well can come out at great force and should this get ignited the resulting fire burns far too fiercely to be put out with water or normal fire extinguishers. Instead, firefighters use a special crane to position an explosive device in the flames. It may seem strange to fight a fire with an explosion, but when the explosion occurs, it takes the surrounding oxygen, temporarily depriving the fire and putting it out.

The carbon and hydrogen in oil can be made to join up in different ways to make more than half a million things. One of these things is petrol which is the most common fuel used to power our cars.

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