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Lafitte Oil Field is 6 miles south of the village of Jean Lafitte and about 15 miles SSE of New Orleans. This is my old fishing grounds and on clear days in the fall you can fish in the middle of this oil field and see the New Orleans skyline in the distance and smoke from big ships moving up and down the Mississippi River, just off to the east.

This is an area of extensive mineral ownership by Louisiana Land and Exploration Company and they own all the royalty under the field. It was discovered in 1934 by the Texas Company and was the first oil producing field discovered in Jefferson Parish. Lafitte was also the deepest oil producing field in Louisiana, producing from 9,300 feet, until 1940.

The first wells in the field were dug on pilings and wooden docks but the bottom in this area was very unstable. Multiple wells to different stacked pays in the field complex required canals be dredged and these canals are a maze of different ways to get lost in the marsh. The annual loss of land mass in the Barataria Bay complex is astounding, by the way, as the Gulf of Mexico consumes southern Louisiana.

Some of the first drilling barges used in Louisiana were designed and built by Texaco and used in Lafitte Field, then moved later to other areas of Texaco development, like Vermilion Bay to the west. The barges are designed with ballast so as to be sunk to muddy bottoms for stability.

Structure Map, Lafitte Field

Lafitte Field produces from seven Miocene sands stacked on top of each other and they all lie on a very deep seated, and unpenetrated, salt daphir, or salt dome, to create a large anticline structure. The five main sands were thought to be gas depletion drive but have subsequently proven to be water driven. The field produced 35.7MM barrels of oil and 39 BCF the first ten years of its existence. I have no earthly idea what it has subsequently produced, researching oil and gas production in Louisiana is a nightmare. It's now way over 36MM barrels, however. Hillcorp owns it now and it's got a ton of old wells in it shut in or awaiting abandonment. I don't know how all this will ever be properly abandoned and decommissioned, the marsh put back to a pristine state.

Looking east down Dupree Canal ; 1942

The Texas Co. LL & E No. 3; East Lafitte Field, Jefferson Parish, 1937. The tower above the well head is for slickline operations, etc.

The old Texas Company's camp, Lafitte Field, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Currently operated by Hilcorp.


Jean Lafitte (1780-1825), was a pirate and scoundrel who hid in protected marshes of Barataria Bay just south of New Orleans. Like all good Frenchmen he prayed on Spanish ships doing commerce with New Orleans. Being a good pirate, he double crossed the British and played a vital role defending the United States in the War of 1812 and again, in 1813-1814 at the Battle of New Orleans. So gallant were his efforts on behalf of the United States, Lafitte received medals from US Army General, Andrew Jackson, who successfully led the defense of New Orleans.

The village of Jean Lafitte. Good gumbo therebouts, I know this, me.

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