Турагентство в Туркменистане
Darvaza — «Gates of Hell»

Darvaza — «Gates of Hell»

Darvaza (turkm. Derweze from Persian “دروازه”‎ [darvaza] — “gate”) is a gas crater in Turkmenistan. Locals and travelers call it the «Door to the Underworld», or «Gates of Hell» (Turkm. jähenneme açylan gapy). It is located 90 km from the village of Erbent in the Dashoguz velayat. The diameter of the crater is approximately 60 meters, the depth is about 20 meters.


In 1971, near the village of Darvaza in Turkmenistan, Soviet geologists discovered an accumulation of underground gas. As a result of excavations and drilling of an exploratory well, geologists stumbled upon an underground cavern (emptiness), due to which the earth collapsed and a large hole filled with gas formed. The drilling rig with all the equipment and vehicles fell into the resulting hole, people were not injured in this incident. To prevent the gases harmful to people and livestock from escaping, they decided to set them on fire. Geologists assumed that the fire would go out in a few days, but they were wrong. Since 1971, natural gas escaping from the crater has been burning continuously day and night.

Darvaza craters

Not far from the burning crater there are two more similar failures of a similar origin. These craters do not burn, the gas pressure here is much weaker. At the bottom of one of the craters there is a bubbling liquid mud of a light gray color, at the bottom of the other there is a liquid of a turquoise hue.

Experts say that with the help of directional drilling from denser areas, two out of three deposits can be exploited (apparently, the reserves here are industrial — in particular, the gas lies quite close to the surface of the earth). By the way, not far from the fiery crater there are several mothballed wells with the remains of wellhead fittings, and it is not difficult to put them into operation again. But in the area with the «turquoise» lake, where water-gas contact is allowed in the reservoir, production, apparently, is no longer possible.