The President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedovordered to close the gas crater known as “Hell’s Gate”, which has been burning continuously since 1971.
Berdimuhamedov regretted the large number of natural gas squandered for half a century, which he considers both a loss for the economy of the so-called Republic of Gas and a problem for the ecology of the karakum desertas reported today by the newspaper “Turkmenistan Neutral”.
For this he instructed the Deputy Prime Minister, Shajim Abdrachmanov, find a way to put out the flames with the help of Turkmen and, if necessary, foreign scientists.
Berdimujamédov, in power since 2006, had already proposed closing the issue in 2010, but the tongues of fire that attracted the few tourists entering the countrycompared to its isolation with North Korea, they still burn.
Russian scientists believed that extinguishing the well – for example, through an explosion – would require a large financial investmentbut it wouldn’t stop the gas from escaping.
The crater, which it is located in central Karakum and about 260 kilometers from the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, it is 60 meters wide and nearly 20 meters deep.
Although considered a wonder of nature, it was created by man in 1971 when the Soviet geologists drilled the area for gas.
The problem was that the sandy soil chosen for the survey collapsed. In order not to poison the local population and their livestock, geologists they chose to burn the gas coming out of the crater hoping that sooner or later it goes extinct.
Instead, more than half a century later, the gas well continues to burn day and night.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.