Days after the blowout and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig off the Louisiana coast, an emergency response crew set out to provide rig-cooling services.

Handled by Burner Fire Control in Lafayette, La., its water curtain system allows the rig to burn off any oil or gas captured from the damaged well without causing catastrophic damage to the rig. (When oil/gas is burned off, or flared, tremendous radiant heat is generated, which is so intense it can damage or destroy any structure or equipment exposed to it.) The water curtain has run continuously for several months with virtually no downtime, according to Burner Fire Control.

In non-emergency operations, the water curtain is deployed to drilling rigs during well-testing operations. The system saves oil companies time and money by allowing well tests to continue regardless of external factors such as changes in wind speed or direction or increases in oil/gas flow rates.