President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov ordered to stop the leak and ignition of gas in a crater that was formed in Darvaza region in the 1970s. Despite the fact that the gas crater has become a popular tourist attraction, the gas that burns in it harms the environment and affects the health of local residents.
Burning blue fuel leads to the greenhouse effect, which is one of the causes of global warming. On Friday, Berdimuhamedov instructed Deputy Prime Minister Shakhym Abdrakhmanov, who oversees the oil and gas sector in the government, to take measures to prevent a fire. Scientists will be involved in this work, and if the need arises, foreign consultants. The Turkmen leader also noted that a valuable resource for the country is being lost due to the fire. The export of natural gas brings significant profit, which is used to improve the well-being of the country's people. Once the ignition problem is solved, a way will be found to efficiently use the blue fuel from the crater. Earlier, the gas crater was officially named "Shining of Karakum". Locals and tourists often call it "Darvaza", and the name "Gateway to Hell" has stuck in foreign guidebooks. The gas crater was formed in 1971 after the collapse of an underground void during drilling. To prevent an ecological catastrophe from the emission of toxic gases, geologists decided to set them on fire. According to calculations, the fire was supposed to go out in a few weeks, but the crater with a diameter of about 70 meters continues to burn up to this day.