[Posted on January 7th, 2015 by Bill Stewart]
Single point moorings, sometimes referred as SPM, are floating docks that are used in offshore drilling as well as various other ocean-based projects. There are many benefits to them and can be useful when anchoring is not an option as well as when it is not conducive to going all the way back to shore.
There is the opportunity to save a lot of money with single point moorings. When you look at the economics of oil drilling, much of the cost of oil has to do with the cost to actually acquire it. If the rigs have to go back and forth between the shore and the middle of the ocean, a significant amount of fuel is going to be used. The benefit to SPMs is that they can be located at a half-way point.
Time is often of the essence when it comes to offshore drilling and moorings are capable of saving a lot of time. Without a mooring, a vessel would have to go all the way back to shore when it requires fuel, to drop off crude oil barrels, or to pick up supplies. The vessels are not known for speed and therefore it can slow a project down considerably. It is always best for business to finish projects on or before deadline and therefore utilizing moorings is good for business. It can be the needed halfway point to save days or even weeks of travel.
Extra Large Vessels Can Use the Moorings
It’s important to understand how a mooring works. Single point moorings are capable of handling extra-large vessels in a better capacity than certain loading docks and even certain anchor systems. This will allow the vessel to pull up to the mooring for a fuel fill up or to load/unload materials. A ship can simply be connected to the buoy using a series of lines and connectors – and the mooring will have sufficient space in most instances to make the connections easy to establish.
High Draft Ships Can Be Moored
A significant amount of hydrodynamic analysis needs to be done on ships to see how the draft, the waves, and various other environmental factors affect them. Single point moorings are capable of working with shifts that catch a high draft because the mooring can be accessed from any side, thus making it convenient for the ship to come up on the side that works best for them based upon the direction of the wind.
Large Amounts of Cargo Can Be Handled
Single point moorings can be built to handle a significant amount of weight. Stewart Technology Associates can determine the load capacities through analysis using state of the art technology. This analysis proves critical so you know whether a mooring can support the amount of cargo that you either need to pick up or drop off.