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The South Timbalier Area contains two oil fields, operated by Gulf Oil Corp., which have progressed through the various stages of production operations from infancy to full-fledged producing fields. These two fields, South Timbalier Block 131 and South Timbalier Block 135, are located approximately 35 miles offshore in water depths varying from 100 ft to 205 ft. The development of production in these fields has progressed concurrently since their discovery in 1958 and 1957, respectively.
The production operations have been altered throughout the development program to better accommodate the steadily increasing production and the need to promote the earliest possible return on the large investments made in offshore development.
This paper presents a short summary of the history of the development of the South Timbalier Area but primarily discusses the production operations subsequent to well completion including equipment, transportation, communications and the use of an 18-in. OD two-phase, submarine flowline to transport field production to a unique onshore treating-complex.
The blocks comprising the Block 131 and 135 fields were acquired in 1955. Gulf Oil Corp. was the sole owner and operator for that acreage which was later to become the Block 131 Field while the Block 135 Field acreage was purchased in cooperation with a joint operator but with Gulf being designated the operator. The Block 131 Field consists of Blocks 130', 131, 132 and 133. The Block 135 Field consists of Blocks 128, 129, 134) 135, 151 and 152.
The centers of activity in these two fields are located approximately seven miles apart some 35 miles offshore and approximately 43 miles south of the Leeville Offshore Base. Gulf's Morgan City Area Production Office is 95 miles northwest of the two fields [Fig. 1].
The Block 135 Field was discovered with the completion of Well A-1 which was drilled in Block 128 on the north flank of a salt-dome structure underlying the present field. Well A-1 was completed as a gas well on Apr. 15, 1957. Nine wells were drilled from Platform A resulting in the completion of three single oil wells in addition to the gas well. After these disappointing efforts to develop reserves, Gulf's joint operator withdrew as a working-interest participator.