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Old 06-16-2020, 08:16 PM
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Default Not your typical use for a Rapira AT gun...

Recently a wellhead fire at a Siberian oil field was so difficult to deal with that the Ministry of Defence sent a Rapira & crew to assist. The AT gun was used to knock the wellhead off the pipework (by destroying the concrete foundation in which the wellhead is embedded).
English version of The Siberian Times (includes video that's also available on YouTube): -
https://siberiantimes.com/other/othe...iga-pollution/
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:18 PM
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Saw that a few days ago elsewhere. Interesting to note that even from such a close range, they still took quite a few shots to hit the wellhead. Note exactly a precision sniper weapon, but certainly accurate enough to get the job done in it's intended role.
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Old 06-17-2020, 07:26 PM
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I'd speculate that aiming for something at such short range (180 metres) was the issue. Such close range is not something the gun was designed for. They probably aimed down the bore before loading a round.
But the other consideration would be what ammunition they were using? The intent was to remove the wellhead from its concrete foundation so perhaps they were using some sort of solid shot to crack the concrete? That would likely take a few hits.
It's certainly possible that they might use HE for the same purpose but I don't imagine that they would have used HEAT or AP because of the lack of overall damage they'd do to a lump of concrete.
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Old 06-17-2020, 10:30 PM
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The article on this I read a few days ago was saying nothing about the concrete but they were actually trying to damage the wellhead itself so that the automatic systems would kick in and stop the flow. From there the firefighters would have a chance to extinguish the flames without a constant fresh supply of fuel messing up their efforts.
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Old 06-17-2020, 11:22 PM
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Ah ha. That's more info than I had.
From the little amount of detail the Siberian Times article relayed, I had assumed they were trying to bust up the concrete foundation so the damaged wellhead would come away from the pipe, then they could move in and cap the well.
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Old 06-18-2020, 12:38 AM
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Yeah, it's a bit light on detail....
My understanding is the well was equipped with a cut out valve but it wasn't activating unless there was a sudden pressure change. Blowing off the upper part of the system provided that sudden change it required.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-fi...144630770.html
Other sources (similar to what you've seen I think) imply the gun was used to remove excess equipment that was preventing them from moving in and capping the well.
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:23 AM
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Geez, that yahoo news article... any excuse to bring the corona virus into a story. The face masks were not relevant to the story, they could have been wearing them to stop them breathing in smoke-laden air for all we know!
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:40 AM
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Yeah, the media is......
I certainly wouldn't like to have to breath the air there and you'd REALLY want to be upwind!
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