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Libya turns away oil tanker, citing prior Israel shipment: Bloomberg

November 15, 2023 at 2:33 pm

Proteus Philippa vessel [Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images]

Libya turned away an oil tanker that was due to load a cargo from one of its ports, after the vessel previously performed a voyage to Israel, Bloomberg reports.

According to the report, the “Proteus Philippa” arrived near Mellitah in western Libya two days ago.

The vessel was set to load 600,000 barrels, but was asked to leave because it previously moved barrels to Haifa in Israel.

Mellitah Oil & Gas Co., which operates the terminal, did not allow the tanker to enter the port and load after confirming that it had previously been to Israel’s Haifa Port and asked it to leave, a company official said, asking to be identified.

The report says it is not thought that Libya’s approach reflects a change of policy by the north African country or other Arab states.

Nevertheless, some port authorities have stepped up checks on tankers’ prior voyages, considering the war in Gaza, which has caused anger toward Israel to grow across the Arab world.

READ: Libya calls for severing ties with Israel’s backers amid Gaza onslaught

Three shipbrokers and one owner said it is common practice for tankers that go to Israeli ports to switch off transponders that tells satellite monitoring systems where they are and where they are headed.

That is because most Arab countries do not recognise Israel and can reject vessels that went there previously.

“Proteus Philippa” loaded crude from Gabon, 8-10 September, and signalled Haifa on 25 September, when it reached the Mediterranean.