Norwegian-registered vessel, The Viking 2, has been repeatedly harassed by foreign vessels off the coast of Southern Vietnam during the past four days while conducting seismic surveys of oil blocks.
Reports of the incidents were disclosed from a state-run newspaper on Wednesday, declaring that the Viking 2, which is being chartered by PetroVietnam and a French firm, was harassed on two separate occasions. The incidents occured on Sunday and on Tuesday as they were surveying the Dai Hung oil field, 170 miles from Vung Tau.
The Viking 2 has been undergoing a survey project for Japan’s Idemitus group, who is currently producing oil from a block in the Dai Hung field. The ships pursuing the Viking 2 were deterred by warning fires from ships sent to protect the seismic vessel.
Although the Viking 2 continued its operations, this incident exacerbates the tensions already present in this area that China and Vietnam both claim. In recent months there have been several territory disputes between neighboring Asian countries over land and maritime borders across the South China Sea, which is reputedly housing a considerable reserve of oil and gas.
Two of the foreign vessels in question have been identified as Fei Sheng No. 16 and BI 254, according to the Tuoi Tre newspaper.