Moreni Historical Photographs Slideshow

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History of the Oil and Gas Industry in Romania (Moreni)

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Moreni Historical Photographs:

Moreni Historical Photographs

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Moreni Operation Area: Asset 3 Field Cluster: Moreni Moreni Field : Peri-Carpathian Region South Carpathian Depression Mio-Pliocene Zone (Diapir Zone) The Moreni field has some of the oldest oil production in Romania and is still the largest Commercial Reservoir in Romania. Moreni

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Oil extraction at Moreni, Romania Middle 19th Century

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Moreni is well know for its oil. The first document about the drillings dates from 1691. The exploitation began after 1880 together with the oil distilleries. Between 1910 and 1913 there were 16 oil companies, Romanian and foreign. In 1913 it was highest oil production field in the country. Until 1916 the production kept growing, then collapsed because of the first world war. In 1930, 50% of Romanian oil production came from Moreni. At the beginning of the economical crisis, proprieties from Moreni produced 520 thousand tones of oil per year. The production doubled in 1930. Between the two world wars, the development of the town was proportional with the one of oil industry. The developments were made from private properties leased to some German, Dutch and Americans firms. Americans drilled for the first time a well with the Rotary system at Moreni. Moreni Oil History

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1861 - The first well drilled in Romania, to a depth of 150m, using wooden rods and auger type bits

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The hand-dug wells at Moreni

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Romania is the World’s oldest oil producing country with production records going back to 1854. The giant Moreni-Gura-Ocnitei field was found in 1857, holding about 750 Mb. The country, with its long history of production, ranks 32nd out of 65 oil producing countries in terms of Ultimate Recovery. A total of some 540 wildcats have been drilled, many before 1930, yielding discoveries totaling about 6.7 Gb, of which 5.8 Gb have already been produced. It is evidently a very mature oil territory with future discovery here estimated at about 300 Mb. In addition, some 55 Tcf of gas have been discovered, of which 43 Tcf have been produced, with production now running at about 475 bcf a year. Moreni-Gura-Ocnitei field was found in 1857

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Oil-bearing societies at Moreni, Romania from 1895 until 1948 Les sondes de Moreni

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The Romanian oil fields began production in 1857 and are the oldest commercial fields in the world, pre-dating those of the United States by two years. Here the only American company operating was Standard Oil of New Jersey. In 1905 organize the Romana-Americana (*Romana-Americana* Societate Anonoma pentru Industria, Comertul si Exportul Petrolului) which, by 1928, had assets of more than 18 million $. It has its own electric power plant, and owns a reservoir at Constanta, connected by pipeline with Moreni. In 1929 company produced 426,540 tons of petroleum. The Romana-Americana was holds a block of 150000 shares in the Romanian company Creditul Minier, the largest domestically organized producer, and as a result of negotiations in 1928, it acquired 49 drilling rights from the Subsolul Roman company. It was operates the Aurora Company on lease and it purchased in 1926 nine small companies and negotiated for the acquisition of the Phoenix Oil and Transport Co., Ltd. Rated solely on the basis of its own productions, it operates 30 wells, and produced in 1929 about 10% of the Romanian total (outranked by the Shell Oil and Romano-Anglo-French (Steaua-Romana) combines). The production of the Phoenix, Romana-Americana and Creditul Minier companies together totaled 27% of the Romanian output which, in 1929, amounted to 4.8 million tones. The oldest commercial oil fields in the world

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The hand-dug wells at Moreni

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Puț de Tambre & Hecna cu cal

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Puț de Tambre & Hecna cu cal

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The hand-dug wells in Moreni ,Romania are highly interesting relics of a period which is now relegated to the past, though so long as the Romanian petroleum industry exists, so long will the old hand-dug wells be associated with it. These wells are about 5 feet in diameter, and are sunk through alternate layers of clay, schisty clay, sandy clay, sandstone, and petroliferous sand to the more shallow oil horizons. They are dug by workmen who descend dressed with the minimum of clothing, usually saturated with oil, and wearing a tin hat to protect the head from falling stones, etc. The sides of the wells are lined with impermeable clay, which is protected by wicker-work. The man is lowered by a rope, air being supplied to him by means of bellows. At some places the rotary fan was employed more recently, but somehow it frequently happened that it was operated in the wrong direction, and the unfortunate digger was asphyxiated. These old wells have a depth of about 450 feet, and though their yield of oil is not considerable, it has for many years been a paying proposition to those engaged in this primitive method of petroleum production. The excavated earth, when digging these wells, was brought to the surface in buckets, lowered and raised by means of either manual labour or horse traction. When the first oil source, was reached and the extraction of the crude oil commenced, this was accomplished by means of the use of wooden buckets or leather skins, one being lowered empty while the other was raised full. By this means it was possible to raise as much as 20 tons of the oil per day quite a considerable amount, considering the primitive means adopted. Hand-dug wells in Moreni, Romania

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The beginning of the Petroleum Industry at Moreni Early-Mid 20th Century

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Oil wells at Stavropoleos, Moreni

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Oil wells at Stavropoleos, Moreni

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Wooden derricks at Moreni (1923)

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Moreni view from Bana Hill (1926)

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View over the Moreni wells (1926) in the north of town

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Pascov Valley , Moreni - 1925

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Oil wells at Pascov Valley, Moreni

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Oil industry transportation at Moreni Hills in 1925

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Oil industry transportation at Moreni Hills in 1925

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Astra-Romana - Garages, toolmen and factories at Moreni

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Astra-Romana - Garages, toolmen and factories at Moreni

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1907 The Romanian-American Company drilled in Moreni the first Rotary-system well (Speranta well). 1921 The testing of the gas-lift extraction system at the “15 AR” well, in Moreni, by ASTRA ROMANA. 1926 The first use of the preventer at 100 AR Moreni well by ASTRA ROMANA. 1927 The construction of gas pipeline between Moreni and Floresti-15 Km by Steaua Romana. 1928 The construction of gas pipeline between Moreni and Ploiesti by Astra & Steaua Romana. 1931 The first gas injection at Dacian Moreni oil fields Moreni Firsts: For the first time in petroleum industry in Romania:

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Steaua Romana, Moreni oil company. Iliana oilwell coin.

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Monde Et Voyages Larousse. N°170 Du 01.02.1938 Sondes Petrolieres A Moreni, Valachie

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Moreni is a town in Dâmbovita County, Romania. In 1691 Moreni became the first place in Romania (and the third in the world) where oil was extracted. The oil is still extracted today. The year 1857 was marked by a series of events which placed Romania as a strategic point on the energetic world map and had a spectacular impact in all the social life fields. In that year, the first refinery in the world was built and opened in Ploiesti, and Romania was the first country in the world with a petroleum production officially registered in the international statistics (275 tones, according to the publication “The Science of Petroleum”). In the same year, Bucharest was the first city in the world illuminated with kerosene, and 50 years later, in 1907, was the host of the third World Conference in the field. Therefore, Romania has a tradition of over one century and a half in the petroleum extraction and in capitalization of the products resulted after processing it. Through the changes they have involved, the 151 years of oil mean 151 years of modern history of the Romanian economy and society. Marking this moment represents an opportunity for knowing our own history and for debates about our place in the “new order” of the oil. Moreni

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Drilling activities in Moreni, Romania Anton Raky and his Company "Societatea Campina-Moreni", 1906

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From 1898 to 1907, at times with over 100 drilling rigs in action, the Internationale Bohrgesellschaft AG bores a total depth of over 1 million meters, almost 200000 meters of these in just one year. His activity is so successful that the company sometimes distributes dividends of up to 500 percent. In 1901, he founds a company “for exploitation of the Raky system”. In the same year, he steps up his drilling activities in Romania where, in 1904, he opens up the Moreni oilfield. In 1904, together with the Schaaffhausen’sche Bankverein, “Petrolium AG Campina Moreni” is founded in Bucharest. Raky does not only strike oil in Moreni, but in Campina as well, where the boreholes of the IBG are sunk to an unusual depth of 800 meters. One success follows another. In 1905, Raky combines his Romanian enterprises to form the “Regatul Roman”. Regatul Roman

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View over Astra Romana Workshops (Atelierele Centrale) -1920s

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View over Astra Romana Workshops (Atelierele Centrale) -1920s

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View over Astra Romana Workshops (Atelierele Centrale) -1920s

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View over Astra Romana Workshops (Atelierele Centrale) -1920s

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View over Astra Romana Workshops (Atelierele Centrale) -1920s

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Astra Romana Central Workshops-1921

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Oil-derrick field-Tuicani Plateau, Moreni, Romania (1923)

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Birdeye view of the oilfield Creditul Minier, Moreni

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Birdeye view of the oilfield Creditul Minier, Moreni

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Moreni Old fields

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Sud3 Oil deposit at Moreni, Romania in 1927

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Oil workers in Moreni, Romania 1923

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Oil workers in Moreni in 1923

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A lake of oil, Moreni in 1923

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Moreni Oilmen

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Inside of a derrick oil well in Moreni-1910

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Oil workers at well nr. 6 Astra Romana, Schela Moreni

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Moreni Oilmen

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Moreni Oilmen

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Field Cluster Moreni-Ochiuri oil wells in 1926

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Wooden Derricks at Moreni oil field in 1927

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Wooden Derricks at Moreni oil field in 1927

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Oil wells at Moreni in 1926

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During the two wars, the Romanian capital is encouraged and regaining ground, up 26.3% in 1936 in terms of production growth in the country who had the 4th largest in the world (8.7 million tons). The origin of foreign capital has changed too, the Austrian and German capital making up the Anglo-Dutch capital (40.2% on the same date). This interest was clearly located in the Prahova Subcarpates, other petroleum stores, known for a long time, are often neglected. Before 1944, only 2 departments (Prahova and Dâmboviţa) accumulated 98.6% of oil production. The interest of major foreign oil has been shown at the time by buying companies so that indigenous production to 1940 was controlled by the Royal Dutch-Shell Oil (through its subsidiary Steaua Română) and Standard Oil (for its two subsidiaries' Astra Română and Societatea Romano-Americana). The participation of foreign capital may explain the increase in production during the economic crisis of 1929-1932 and the important weight in the global oil exports (12% of the total in 1935, the 3rd in the world) . This demonstrates the vital importance of this industry for Romania at the time, oil being its main asset. One can even say that the myth of Romania between the two wars, a sort of paradise lost, still invoked today is at the origin after an illusion of prosperity created by the economic success which the oil was the recipient emerging bourgeoisie of the country. Moreni - In-between the Two Wars

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Oil wells at Moreni in 1926

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Romanian Petroleum Statistics 1936

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Oil fields at Moreni, Romania in 1933

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Cricov Valley-Creditul Miner oilfield

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Oil field at Pascov Valley, Moreni.

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Moreni Astra-Romana offices

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Tuicani plateau wells

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Oil Wells in the Cezeanu Valley, Moreni

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Schela Mare - Garages

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Moreni Disasters

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Oil well number 3 Concordia ignited at Moreni, Romania in 1910

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Evening Post, Volume LXXXIII, Issue 119, 20 May 1912, Page 7

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New York Times July,31,1914.

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Moreni Fire A loss estimated at $5,000,000 has been caused by fires which are spreading from one oil well to another in the petroleum district of Moreni. The fires started with explosion of a large well, and spread thru the whole valley and along the hillsides, which were soon a mass of flames. Over 25 wells were alight, all burning furiously Lewiston Evening Journal - Nov 4, 1913

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Moreni Oil wells burn during WWII

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Tragic oil fire Petroleum well No. 8 at Bana Moreni, belonging to the Romanian Consolidated Oilfields, Limited, caught fire, and the outbreak extended to the neighboring wells belonging to the same company. They were all burnt down. Seven persons connected with the management of the company, including Mr Harold Manderson, an engineer, and brother of the well-known petroleum expert of that name, were severely burned and are in a dying condition. A large number of others were severely injured. The loss to the company is heavy. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXX, Issue 12065, 3 May 1913, Page 10

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”Bill Cannon, Standard Oil Co. driller, had ignited through friction the deepest oil well at Moreni, Romania. Cannon immediately ordered all the men to leave the danger zone. As he himself fled from the roaring flames, an angry Romanian crowd attacked him for causing the fire, now rapidly spreading. Cannon's revolver, however, cowed them. Thirty miles away, a group of Americans saw the vast columns of fire and smoke ascending to the heavens. In fast automobiles they dashed to the scene. One Dunlap, superintendent of the area, realized that nothing could be done except to localize the conflagration. The usual method of putting out a blazing oil gusher by steam pressure could not be used, because the nearest boilers were several miles away. Eventually, the authorities at Bucharest, the capital, were induced to send a battery of artillery to bombard the well, with the object of closing it up. Romanian gunners bombarded it for half a day and all they succeeded in doing was to spread the fire. At this point, several Romanians and Germans offered to sell for $3,500 to superintendent Dunlap a sure scheme to extinguish the fire. Their proposal was looked into, rejected. The next scheme tried was digging a tunnel up to the wall with the idea of dynamiting it. The project was stopped by irate Romanians who demanded huge payments for permission to use their property as a right of way. The burning well is about a mile deep and has a pressure of about 50 atmospheres. The damage may amount to $1,500,000.The fire was visible for 45 miles” Gushing Fire at Moreni in 1925 Retrieval of Time Magazine Aug 17 , 1925

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The Great Oil Disaster of 1929, Moreni

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The largest oil fire in European history Oil eruptions at well nr. 160 RA, Moreni, Romania,1929 .

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May 29, 1930 - One Killed In Romanian Oil Blast. July 23, 1929 - ROMANIAN OIL FIRE WORSE. After Nearly Two Months Fighters Are Driven Further Away. A Moreni dispatch today said the fire over oil wells of the Romano-American Company, a subsidiary of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, is growing in intensity so that firemen are forced daily to work from increasing distances. July 31,1929 - GAS WELL EXPLODES, KILLS 2; Three Others Are Badly Burned in Blast in Rumania. Two men were killed and three terribly injured by an explosion of natural gas at the Romanian-American Petroleum company's well at Moreni which has been burning nearly three weeks. August 4, 1929 - ROMANIAN WELL BURNS ON; Tunnel, dug to undermine fire, ineffective, experts baffled. August 6,1925 - STANDARD OIL WELL BURNS IN RUMANIA; Mob Attempts to Kill an American Driller, Trying to Stop Fire. FLAMES DEFY ARTILLERY Outbreak at Other Wells Causes Panic in Moreni-Loss May Be $1,500,000. The heroic efforts of American engineers in fighting the largest oil fire in European history, against odds imposed by nature and human meanness. August 19,1930 - Romanian oil well flames anew. September 3, 1929 - Romania Fines Oil Company For Negligence in Wells Fire. September 22,1929 - OIL WELL TRANSFORMED INTO A FLAMING TORCH; Surrounding Rumanian Property Threatened by Blaze Which Has Burned Over 100 Days. For more than a hundred days "the torch of Moreni," a burning geyser of, oil, has, illuminated the countryside, even to the capital, sixty miles away from "Well 160, Moreni-Standard." All efforts to extinguish the flames have been in vain so far. "The Torch of Moreni"

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Moreni, Romania,1929 .

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The New York Times

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Moreni, Romania,1929 .

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Oil eruptions at well nr. 160 Romana-Americana (subsidiary of Standard Oil Co.)

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28th May 1929 . In Moreni area, a big disaster occurred. On a Plateau of Moreni, called Tuicani was 160RA well ,property of the Romanian-American Society. When drillings were at about 1460 metres the gas force reached its maximum. At this time the chisel reached the oil bearing bed and the force of gas blow the derrick in the air at about 400 metres. Because of sparks the well burst into flames. The flames grew and grew reaching 100 metres in high. By using the pumps, a great water dam was made. The heat from the flames was so great that the teams couldn't get closer then 300 metres. By chance, there were no victim. According to the specialist the damages was over 100 million lei. In the next day the column of fire was 60-70 metres in high and a whole region it was lightened. It was very well seen from Ploiesti (50 km away) or even Chitila (85 km away). Many birds around the area didn't migrate that year and trees remaining greens The well burn for two and a half years and in this time the lost amount of oil was huge and many trying to put the fire down has ended with no effect and human life lost. Never had a fire burned so long and so hard as Romania's Moreni No. 160RA . A ferocious blaze that flamed for over two years and lit the skies for as far as seventy miles, the Moreni No. 160RA had already claimed the lives of fourteen men by the time Romanian oil executives agreed to the innovative approach proposed by maverick firefighter, Myron Kinley. In 1931, when Myron went to Romania to put out a fire which had raged for two years, his fame became international. Every new fire was a new problem. In Romania, the caved-in well had made a crater 250 ft. wide and 65 ft. deep filled with small ground fires and a tangled web of melted pipeline. It took Kinley six months to lick the fire. American engineer Myron Kinley receive after the fire ended, a 50 thousand dollars, a fortune for that time. In September 1931 the Great Fire ended by itself but still went on slowly until 4 th of November. Moreni Disaster

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Oil eruptions at well nr. 160 Romana-Americana (subsidiary of Standard Oil Co.)

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Oil fireman who quenched the fire

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Oil fireman who quenched the fire

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Moreni, Romania,1929 .

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Moreni, Romania,1929 .

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Moreni, Romania,1929 .

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Moreni, Romania,1929 .

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10 million tones of oil were lost

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Actual photos at 160RA site today. The evidence of the fire is visible, a great crater and a carbonize ground black and red

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Burned rocks and ground after exposure at high temperature for 850 days.

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Burned rocks and ground after exposure at high temperature for 850 days.

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Burned rocks and ground after exposure at high temperature for 850 days.

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Burned rocks and ground after exposure at high temperature for 850 days.

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Burned rocks and ground after exposure at high temperature for 850 days.

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A crater still remains after 70 years; oil extraction still continue today

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The Oil industry in Moreni 1945-Present

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One of the last wooden derricks seen at Moreni oil field

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One of the last wooden derricks seen at Moreni oil field.

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Oil flowing in wooden tanks

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Oil flowing in wooden tanks

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Oil collection

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Oil collection

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Casing hole transport columns

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Casing hole transport columns

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Petroleum workers drilling for oil in Moreni in 1955.

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Petroleum workers drilling for oil in Moreni

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Petroleum workers drilling for oil in Moreni

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Drilling for oil in Moreni

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Petroleum workers drilling for oil in Moreni

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Oil field full with unit pumps

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Pascov Valley and Tuicani Plateau-Moreni ,1950.

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A oil well is been repaired-Moreni, 1945.

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A oil well is been repaired-Moreni, 1945.

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View over Astra Romana Workshops (Atelierele Centrale) -1920s

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View over Astra Romana Workshops (Atelierele Centrale) -1920s

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View over Astra Romana Workshops (Atelierele Centrale) -1920s

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Romanian Oil Old Shareholder Certificates Compagnie des Petroles de Moreni

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Compagnie des petroles de Moreni-action de 100 francs au porteur.

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Moreni-Tuicani-action de cent francs au porteur

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Moreni Yesterday and Today

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View over oil deposit 2AR-Moreni - Picture taken in 1930

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View over oil deposit 2AR-Moreni - Picture taken in 2008

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Sources: http://furcuta.blogspot.com/search/label/moreni (Published by Marius Furcuta)

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