PAULSBORO, N.J., AUG. 12 -- A tanker loaded with nearly 1 million barrels of Iraqi crude oil, purchased before economic sanctions were imposed on Iraq, docked at the Mobil Oil Co. refinery here today.

The oil was the first to arrive in the Delaware River port since President Bush imposed an oil embargo on Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The tanker Nausicaa docked about 4 p.m. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Jonathan Burton said its oil "was all bought before the thing started. It fit exactly within the criteria."

The Bahamian-registered tanker left Turkey on July 25, more than a week before Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait, said Ida Walker, a spokeswoman for the refinery. It was not immediately known who owned the tanker.

Hours after the attack, Bush imposed the embargo and froze Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets in the United States. Mobil contacted the U.S. Treasury for instructions and was told to accept the oil and deposit the payment due Iraq into a blocked account monitored by its Office of Foreign Assets Control, Walker said.

Mobil plans to process the crude into a lubricating oil that is commonly used in cars and ships, including U.S. military vessels, she said.

Until the embargo is lifted, Mobil will try to obtain oil from the North Sea, Mexico or other Arab nations, she said.