Shooters graves

I am always looking for better explosives for the Boomershoot and the other day someone suggested nitroglycerine.  I told him no, it’s just too hazardous to work with.  While following up on idea for something else I ran across this story which I have to share:

In the 1920’s and 1930’s, liquid nitroglycerine was used for “shooting” oil wells to stimulate production. The productive formation might have a large porosity, so it held a lot of oil, but might be relatively impermeable, or “tight,” so the oil would not flow into the small hole with sufficient speed. In limestone, hydrochloric acid was often used, but this was not useful in sandstones. By exploding from 2 to 200 quarts of nitroglycerine, the rock could be fractured for a considerable distance, greatly enlarging the surface through with the oil would flow, equivalent to making a much larger hole. The “shooter” drove alone in a Ford coupe, with the “soup” in the back where the rumble seat used to be, from his source of supply. Nitroglycerine could not be commercially shipped, of course. He poured the “soup” into tin “torpedoes” and lowered them one by one, each fitting into the top of the one below. On the top went a time fuze that ticked away and exploded the charge at a reasonable interval. Then everyone filtered back to the well from their places of refuge. Occasionally, all did not go well, but the “shooters” were well paid and their widows had insurance. There are few graves of “shooters.”