The gas ball in Maracaibo

in Cross Culture2 years ago



According to an article in the publication "Vieja Zulla" "By the mid 30's Venezuelan kitchens operated with firewood or kerosene, the former were called fogones, but the exploitation of oil in the surrounding areas of La Concepción and La Paz provided residual gas that was burned by mechurrios, which is why the Shell company, which had inherited the concession of Venezuela Oil, as a contribution at that time to the city built a reservoir of this gas, and for that purpose made a steel sphere of about 20 meters high and circumference in the outskirts of the city", in a sparsely populated area from where thanks to the water wells in that sector the city was supplied with this liquid. "

This construction caused alarm and fear among the inhabitants because there was a rumor that it could explode. It was in 1938 when the network of this new public service began to be laid by means of pipes.

The gasplan ball, as it was first called, stood out in the environment because at that time there were no tall buildings, so it could be seen from any point of the city, which is why it became a reference.

When the fear passed, the area became more populated and the buildings grew, the new construction ceased to be scandalous and became part of the atmosphere and the tradition of Maracaibo, so much so that dialectal expressions began to use it as a comparison.

Until the late 70's this ball was in service as a reservoir and currently belongs to the general command of the Maracaibo Fire Department, and is only visible from very close or very high in the air.

It has been there for more than half a century, between Falcón and Pichincha streets on the corner of Avenida 8 (Santa Rita).