The SEALs boarded the oil freighter "Morning Glory" late Sunday night in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea near Cyprus.
The team, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby, "provided helicopter support and served as a command and control and support platform for the other members of the force assigned to conduct the mission."
President Barack Obama reportedly approved the raid.
The Navy says three armed Libyans had held the North Korean-flagged vessel, which was loaded with 200,000 barrels of oil, for several days.
Officials say the ship's crude oil belongs to the Libyan government and is now on its way back to port of Al-Sidra under the control of the U.S. Navy. A team of sailors from the USS Stour will supervise the transit.
Kirby said no one was hurt in the operation.
ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.