Shooting an Oil Well with Nitroglycerin, Penna.
The word petroleum means "rock oil," or oil that comes from the ground. Far down in the earth, sometimes as far as 4,000 feert, petroleum is stored in sands which lie between layers of rock through which the oil cannot escape. We need that oil because from it are made gasoline, lubricating oils, and other products. This well has been drilled, and the driller found, by examining the dirt brought to the surface by his machine, that oil was near. The he lowered a can of nitroglycerin into the well. You know that nitroglycerin is a very powerful explosive. In the top of the can was a torpedo. A weight called a go-devil was next dropped upon the can. The torpedo exploded and ignited the nitroglycerin. A terrific explosion followed. You see the result. The oil was forced up the well and shot high into the air! That derrick is 72 feet high and the streem or oil is much higher.
This well should now yield oil for some time. If the pipe becomes clogged with paraffin, it may be torpedoed again. If such and explosion does not start a flow of oil, the dirller must either drill deeper or drill in another place.
Most petroleum is dark green in color. Some of it is thick as syrup, some is like kerosene. All crude oil must be refined before it becomes gasoline. From the storage tanks near the weeksm it is carried away in tank cars or is driven by pumps through pipes to refineries. These pipe lines are laid under rivers, through mountains, under out very feetm for hundreds of miles. In the refineries, pertoleum is heated and different products are obtained, of which the most important and valuable is gasoline.
Back to 3-D Collection Home
© 1999 Cleveland State University