"Big Moses"

Parkersburg Daily Sentinel
June 18, 1895

Blew The Fire Out.

The Big Moses Well Didn't Burn Very Long.

The "Big Moses" gas well is no longer on fire. After burning about two hours the immense force, with which the gas escapes, blew out the flame which had been leaping to a height of 150 to 200 feet.

The "Big Moses" was drilled in early last September in the hope of getting a good producing oil well. Instead, however, gas was struck in enormous quantities and the tools were blown entirely out of the hole and through the derrick. It is reliably estimated that the amount of gas escaping from this well - conceded to be the largest ever struck in the world - has been several million feet daily and worth in cold cash a sum approximating $3,000,000. It is not surprising, then that, ever since the well was drilled in, the owners have been making an effort to have it shut in. All the devices known to oil men for the purpose of closing in oil and gas wells were used, but all to no purpose. As fast as anything was put over the well or it was shut in in any way the enormous pressure of gas would blow the top off again.

As a last resort the owners of the well sent to Pittsburgh last winter, and had a large casting weighing several tons made, and had a well known oil and gas well driller of that city come down to place the "cap," as it was called, over the well. The cap was finally gotten on the well after much difficulty, and for a short time it appeared that the great gasser had finally been gotten under control, but they had reckoned without their host, for in a few days the immense casting was cut in two by the pebbles and sand thrown up by the gas pressure and the well was again free.

A correspondent signing himself J. C. Dickey, writes from Sandy Hill, N. Y., under date of June 11, to the postmaster at this city, stating that he has a scheme by which the escaping gas of the "Big Moses" may be controlled and utilized, and offering to explain the course to be pursued if the owners will write to him. He adds that he has had twenty years experience in the oil regions of Pennsylvania...

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