The History of SPM CALM Buoy System

Since being introduced, SPMs facilitated economies of speed and scale in the international transport of petroleum. And as the market for these SPM systems developed rapidly the decision was taken in 1969 by N.V. Industrieele Handels Combinatie Holland (IHC) to create a separate business to market and further develop the products, called Single Buoy Moorings Inc. (or SBM). Their success has become eponymous, as SPM CALM type are now common, but technically incorrectly referred to as SBM or Single Buoy Mooring.

The history of single point mooring in the oil and gas industry started in the late fifties with loading/ discharging terminals using single point mooring systems. In particular with:

  • 1959: Shell, Malaysia (48 ft water depth), CALM Type Gusto constructing the first single point mooring (SPM) facility under a license agreement with Shell, with the concept developed by Esso.
  • 1969: Esso, Bregia Libya (140 ft water depth) SALM Type (this was an old Exxon patent)

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