Libya has refused entry to an oil tanker scheduled to load cargo from one of its ports, this is as a result of the vessel’s prior voyage to Israel. The Proteus Philippa, which arrived near Mellitah in western Libya two days ago, was set to load 600,000 barrels but was turned away due to its earlier delivery to Haifa in Israel, as per tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.
Mellitah Oil & Gas Company, the operator of the terminal, confirmed that the oil tanker had previously been to Israel’s Haifa Port and requested the vessel to leave, according to an unidentified company official and two other individuals familiar with the matter.
The incident may not necessarily indicate a shift by Arab countries. Nevertheless, some port authorities have increased scrutiny of oil tankers’ previous voyages, influenced by the heightened tensions surrounding the conflict in Gaza, which has fueled anti-Israel sentiment in the Arab world.
This is done because most Arab countries do not recognise Israel and can reject vessels that have previously visited Israeli ports. As it is common practise for tankers visiting Israeli ports to disable transponders that provide satellite monitoring systems with location information.