Region: Derweze, Ahal Province
Coordinates: 40°15′9.4″N 58°26′21.8″ECoordinates: 40°15′9.4″N 58°26′21.8″
The field is situated near the Derweze village. It is in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 kilometres (160 mi) north of Ashgabat. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world. The name “Door to Hell” was given to the field by the locals, referring to the fire, boiling mud, and orange flames in the large crater, which has a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft).The hot spots range over an area with a width of 60 metres (200 ft) and to a depth of about 20 metres (66 ft).
The site was identified by Soviet engineers in 1971.It was originally thought to be a substantial oil field site.The engineers set up a drilling rig and camp nearby, and started drilling operations to assess the quantity of oil available at the site. When they instead found gas, the ground beneath the drilling rig and camp collapsed into a wide crater and disappeared.
Expecting dangerous releases of poisonous gases from the cavern into the nearby towns, the engineers saw it as best to burn the gas off.The gas was estimated to burn out within a few weeks, but it has instead continued to burn for more than four decades after it was set on fire.Reportedly, local spiders are attracted to the heat and often throw themselves into the pit.
The crater was featured in a Die Trying episode titled “Crater of Fire”. Explorer George Kourounis became the first person to ever set foot at the bottom, gathering samples of extremophile microorganisms. The episode was broadcast on the National Geographic Channel on July 16, 2014.
Effects on future development of gas:
The deposit as seen at night, 2010
In April 2009, the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed, or measures be taken to limit its influence on the development of other natural gas fields in the area. Turkmenistan plans to increase its production of natural gas, intending to increase its export of gas to many countries for example Pakistan, China, India, Iran, Russia, and Western Europe from its present level to 75 million cubic metres (2.6×109 cu ft) in the next 20 years
Collected And Prepared By Nayab Khan