January 18, 2016 • Stewart Technology AssociatesStewart Technology Associates

January 18, 2016

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With a single point mooring (SPM), a floating buoy or other object is anchored offshore to facilitate the easy handling of volatile liquid and gas cargo like petroleum products. An offshore facility would primarily use a SPM in areas where it's unfeasible to have a more secure loading and unloading space for liquid and gases. This means they're generally found in places that are several miles away from a shore facility and are connected using undersea pipelines. 

How Single Point Mooring Offshore Systems Work:

Single Point Moorings are created by mooring the buoy body to the seabed using a complex mooring arrangement that includes heavy duty anchors, anchor chains and excess line, and chain stoppers. This arrangement is designed to allow the buoy to move freely within a given parameter. 

A part of the above-water buoy body consists of a rotating part that can be connected to operational vessels such as oil tankers (all single point mooring systems and the method of securing vessels to these systems should adhere to special offshore operation standards established by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum). Generally, a hawser-styled arrangement will attach boat to buoy. 

Once securely attached to the SPM, a product transfer system located at the center of the floating buoy body is also connected to the tanker with floating hose strings equipped with special breakaway couplings that'll prevent oil or other liquid spills. The necessary valves will be opened when all connections have been made and the liquid cargo is then able to be transferred from the central location to the tanker. 

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