Abu Dhabi( CNN) The British Heritage super tankeris owned by BP, under a British flag, and on charter to an Anglo-Dutch company, so it's unsurprising that the ship appeared to abandon suddenly its plans over the weekend as it sailed within sight of Iran.

So instead of loading up with 140,000 barrels of petroleum in the Iraqi port of Basra on Friday, the British Heritage instead steamed off empty to safe haven in a Saudi port, according to data from the tracking platform Marine Traffic.

On Wednesday, the tanker switched off its identify beacon for virtually 24 hours, perhaps trying to blend in amid the dozens of other boats cluttering the Persian Gulf. It then picked up an escort from HMS Montrose, a British Kind 23 Frigate, for a sprint through the Straits of Hormuz, unburdened by cargo.