ETAME Jacket Installation

Client: VAALCO Energy Inc.

Location: Etame Marin Block, West Africa

LDD was appointed by VAALCO Energy Inc. as the jacket foundation installation service provider for their Etame Marin Block, West Africa Project. LDD was nominated after successfully proving its capabilities, services and close attention to safety on previous projects.

LDD worked with the main contractor, EMAS AMC, to install 4 No. 48” piles for each of the 2 jackets. LDD provided EMAS with drilling, grouting and pile handling equipment spreads operated by experienced personnel. Work took place from EMAS’ flagship vessel, The Lewek Constellation.

Pile Top Drilling Services

Drilling works were executed using the LD2500 pile top drill rig. The LD2500 was specifically designed and built for the project, encompassing a tilting deck up to 18.5 degrees for safe operation on raking piles. The modular design greatly assisted with shipping in standard ISO containers. LDD’s drilling service produced a 1350mm diameter socket below the toe of the pile into which the pile was lowered and pressure grouted in place.

Innovative Grouting Equipment

LDD’s pressure grouting service was complemented by the supply of Pressure Grouting Caps; a new technology removing the requirement for welded closure plates. Grouting caps sealed into the top of the pile allowed for an internal pressure of up to 450 psi to be maintained. This ensured annular grouting without filling the pile body.

Lifting and Handling Equipment

LDD’s Jacket installation services were supported by the provision of Internal Lift Tools (ILTs) (24” to 48” adjustable, 600T SWL) for lifting 1220mm diameter pile sections and a Jacket Levelling Tool (JLT) (600T SWL). Levelling the jacket with the JLT freed up the vessel’s main crane so it could progress other works.

Heave Compensated Lifting

Having proved itself on VAALCO’s previous campaign, LDD’s StabLift, (60T SWL) Passive Heave Compensator was used to improve lifting operability in marginal sea-states by compensating for wave induced vessel and crane movements. This was particularly important during placement of the drill onto the pile and installation of the drill-bit assembly. The StabLift helped mitigate the potential for damage to equipment and permanent works during sensitive lifting operations.


Completion of this project further proves LDD’s expertise in time critical projects in the Oil & Gas Sector. LDD’s attention to detail & ingenuity assisted with minimising client’s programme whilst maintaining an impeccable safety record.

Client Quotation

“LDD Offshore personnel worked and behaved in a professional manner at all times and performed way beyond expectation – I can’t praise you guys enough.”

Matthew Irick, Package Manager, EMAS

LDD’s Complete Jacket Installation Services Include:

• Pile top drilling service for pile relief and socket drilling
• Under-reamers for socket enlargement or socket roughening for improved pile capacity
• Passive heave compensators of various capacities for improved lifting in marginal conditions
• Piling hammers up to 3500 kilojoule
• Grouting services including pressure grouting operations
• Jacket leg grouting diaphragms
• Lifting and handling systems (ILTs, Pinned Lift Tools (PLTs), Hydraulic Shackles, Upending Clamps, JLTs)
• Highly experienced, multi-disciplined personnel
• Fully project managed services under a single contract