Learn, baby learn

-A A +A
By John Pawlak

Urtabulak and Ixtoc — two obscure names that can be found in the dusty (and unread) journals of historic blunders. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Let’s go back 47 years and see how little we’ve learned.

In 1963, a natural gas well in Urtabulak (southern Uzbekistan) burst into flames, shooting a burning pillar 400 feet into the air. The Soviets had not developed sufficient control mechanisms and so it burned for three years with 12 million cubic meters of gas burning every day (over three cubic miles of gas burned). After countless attempts and strategies to quell the fire, the Soviets finally found a solution in 1966 ... they nuked the well. As drastic as that may sound, it worked.

In 1979, an offshore oilrig (named Ixtoc) in the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and leaked oil into the gulf for nine months, spilling a total of 150 million gallons of oil. The efforts to stop the leak were identical to those used by BP over the past month (submersible robots, dispersants, burning it off, boom floats, a huge containment dome, a heavy dumping cover and finally drilling relief wells).

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:

Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday