Millions of dollars worth of natural gas is burning up in the Gulf of Papua and there seems to be no hope of the blow-out being brought under control.
AVs Wells on fire in the sea shot from various distances and angles. (3 SHOTS)
AV Ship on passage.
AV Ball of fire on the water. (3 SHOTS)
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS COMMENTARY BY ABC A REPORTER SHAUN DORNEY, WHICH MAY BE USE IF REQUIRED.
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Background: Millions of dollars worth of natural gas is burning up in the Gulf of Papua and there seems to be no hope of the blow-out being brought under control. The blow-out in the gas field occurred in February when as gas exploration vessel was operating in the field. The burst, which wrecked drilling equipment, has since then raged out of control. The escaping gas was set alight with a hand flare shortly after the incident because of the danger being caused to shipping and aircraft in the area. Gas bubbling into the sea has been burning up ever since in a massive fireball on the surface. All attempts to cap the hole have failed - including one in early April by the renowned trouble-shooter red Adair. Fortunately, the blow-out has not as yet caused any casualties, but vast quantities of fuel and research money are going up in smoke.