The picture basically says it all.
From the Deepwater Horizon Response Flickr:
GULF of MEXICO – Gas from the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead is burned by the drillship Discoverer Enterprise May 16, 2010, in a process known as flaring. Gas and oil from the wellhead are being brought to the surface via a tube that was placed inside the damaged pipe. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley.
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