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Apache Energy Corporation

Apache Victoria Field Development: Wellhead Platform Jacket and Topsides Installation

ICON Engineering was commissioned by Apache Energy to install the Victoria wellhead platform jacket and topsides on "MinnowPod" conductors, near Varanus Island, offshore Western Australia. 

Apache drilled the exploration wells using ICON-designed “MinnowPod” conductors which are able to free stand in extreme environmental conditions.

These conductors are designed to support a minimal topsides and act as single well platform, allowing very low cost development of marginal reserves.

In this location, additional exploration targets were drilled resulting in 3 successful wells. The wells were immediately completed and left for future development.

The final development proposal for the fields accessed from this location required up to 3 additional wells. It was therefore decided to install a tripod jacket between the existing conductors, utilising the new wells as the piles for the jacket. The topsides was then installed onto the jacket.

The jacket was fabricated in Perth and road transported to Dampier in the northwest for loadout.

The jacket was transported offshore vertically and lifted using the jackup rig Ensco 56. It was then lowered between the 3 existing completed well conductors and hung off. Three new drilled and grouted conductors were then installed as the piles for the jacket.

Victoria Jacket Lift with existing completed wells in foreground.jpg

Victoria Wellhead Platform Jacket Lift with existing completed wells in foreground


The topsides was also transported by road to Dampier and installed using the Ensco 56 after additional wells were drilled. A feature of the installation was the use of diverter sheaves under the drill floor to allow the topsides to be picked up beyond the jacket. This effectively gave the rig an additional 4 metres of reach with the cantilever.

Wellhead Platform Data

  • Waterdepth           6 m Lat
  • Jacket Lift Weight  80 t
  • Topsides Weight    85 t
  • Well Slots             6 (incl.3 existing wells)
  • Legs                     3 vertical
  • Piles                     3 x 762 mm diam. vertical 
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