Amy Suarez | |

Better than the grid - walk it home
Here’s a novel idea for powering your off-grid lifstyle.

In this picture a woman from China’s Shandong Province carries a five-metre long balloon full of natural gas which she siphoned from an oil plant in order to heat her home.

One member of staff said: ‘We warned them that it is like a hidden bomb at home, but they wouldn’t listen’.
According to people in the area, the gas lasts for around five days.
There are many such oil wells in Binzhou and other villages near oil/gas wells also practice wholesale self-filling of gas. “Some villages directly connect the oil pipe to the village and divide it among the households” said one local. “But once there was a power outage to the pipeline, and uninformed villages continue to use gas to burn stoves, by the time the pipeline came back on, the rush of gas ignited the fires causing an explosion,” recalled the oil worker at Shengli Oil Field in Binzhou. “As a result, people now prefer to carry it home.”

According to media reports, local villagers have been “risking their life” in pursuit of warmth by carrying the giant balloons full of natural gas from a nearby oil field back to their homes, it was reported on Gizmodo.

But one said: ‘It’s very convenient and quite safe. All villagers in this region are doing the same.’

Too poor to afford the resource on the grid, they siphon their gas from an oil facility in Binzhou, where they connect their balloons to a canister near the extraction machinery.

They then tentatively edge back with a potential bomb in their hands, being careful not to get too near any naked flames.

It is not clear whether they are stealing the gas, although it is highly unlikely they are being allowed to do it.

There have not yet been any reports of the balloons exploding, but one elderly was lifted in the air when the wind got hold of it.

At least nine people were killed last December when a gas explosion rocked a coal mine in Binzhou.

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