Buoy Overhaul Technology Indigenized

Buoys can serve as a mooring point to load and offload oil for tankers.
Buoys can serve as a mooring point to load and offload oil for tankers.

Iran's single point mooring buoys (SMB) in the Persian Gulf have been renovated by local engineers with the aim of boosting and accelerating oil exports to target destinations, the technical director of Iran's Oil Terminal Company said on Sunday.

“The much-need technology to repair the buoys has been indigenized with the help of domestic oil industry experts in Kharg Oil Terminal,” Sadeq Daravipou was quoted as saying by the National Iranian Oil Company's news portal.

Single buoy mooring is a loading buoy anchored offshore that serves as a mooring point for tankers loading or offloading gas or liquid products. They are capable of handling ships of any size, even very large crude carriers, where no alternative facility is available.

According to Daravipou, repaired SMBs can serve as a mooring point to load and offload oil for tankers with a capacity of 250,000 metric tons.

"Some types of SBMs comprise a fluid transfer system that enable connection of subsea pipelines and extraction facilities to the tanker," he noted, saying that SBMs are used to load and unload crude oil and refined products from onshore and offshore oilfields or refineries, usually through storage systems.

Underscoring Kharg Oil Terminal's role in speeding up oil exports, Daravipou added that Kharg is the most important Iranian terminal and the biggest volumes of crude is exported from this port in the strategic Persian Gulf.

More than 90% of Iran’s crude is shipped from the island which has a crude storage capacity of about 28 million barrels.

Following the lifting of international sanctions in mid-January, Iran has expanded its oil export facilities in the southern regions and increased production at a faster pace than most analysts had expected.

Officials say export of crude oil and gas condensates have exceeded 2.5 million barrels a day.

Iran's top four Asian buyers, namely China, India, South Korea and Japan, imported 1.99 million bpd of crude in October, up 147.9% on year, the International Energy Agency said this week, using government and ship-tracking data.

 New Buoys Near Asaluyeh

According to Iraj Ghavami, head of Asaluyeh Gas Condensates Export Terminal, new loading facilities have been installed off the coast of Asaluyeh in southern Bushehr Province to enhance export of gas condensates via large vessels.

"Large vessels can now anchor at three single point mooring buoys off the coast of Asaluyeh to load condensates," said Ghavami.

Asked about the buoys' capacity, he noted that they have a loading capacity of 5,200 cubic meters per hour, or close to 125,000 cubic meters a day.

Asaluyeh is one of Iran's biggest hubs for export of oil, gas and petrochemical products. It also provides fuel bunkering services, facilities for storing oil products and refueling ships.

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