Why is Myanmar's black gold luring plucky oil drillers
From rags to riches
Striking their luck
The fields near Minhla, north of Yangon, are Myanmar's equivalent of the American Wild West, where informal oil entrepreneurs scramble from site to site in the hope of striking lucky.
Hard to make their ends meet
A forest of temporary "derricks", three legged pyramids made from metal or bamboo stretching 30 feet or more into the air, covers the hillsides.
A pulley at the top of each well supports a drill that can plunge more than a kilometre into the ground.
Each is manned by a team working round-the-clock, often caked in black, viscous grime as they wait for a potentially lucrative spurt of oil.
Mixing & oiling
The weekend's blaze extinguished, some trudge knee-deep through a river of oozing filth, overspill from the wells mixing with water left behind by fire trucks, scraping up any oil they can salvage.
Don't want to lose money
"The fires aren't dangerous. They happen all the time," one man says without giving his name. "We're just worried about losing money."