An oil tanker is hauling a cargo of crude toward an Israeli Red Sea port that’s seldom used for crude deliveries after the nation’s main import terminal on the Mediterranean was disrupted by the conflict with Hamas.
The shipment underscores Israel’s ability to keep receiving petroleum despite fighting that is is just a few miles from Ashkhelon, its key importing facility in the Mediterranean.
The 900-foot Seaviolet is hauling just over 1 million barrels of oil from Azerbaijan and officially heading to Aqaba in Jordan, tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. In reality, several traders said the cargo has been bought by Israeli refiner Paz Oil and will in fact be delivered to Eilat on the country’s Red Sea coast. Eilat is just a few miles west of Aqaba.
Israel hasn’t used Eilat for crude imports for several years, data from analytics firm Kpler show. The Europe Asia Pipeline Co., or EAPC, runs a 163-mile pipeline from the port across Israel to Ashkelon, allowing crude supply to the nearby Ashdod oil refinery.
The UK P&I Club, an international insurer of merchant ships against risks including oil spills, said on Wednesday that the oil jetty at Ashkelon “is under constant rocket attacks,” citing its local correspondents in the area.
Whilst Ashkelon is officially ‘open’, it is “practically closed and vessels are required to arrange their arrival/entrance to the port with the navy,” the UK P&I Club said.