Vietnam oil tanker ignites after collision with cargo ship

A Vietnamese oil tanker hit a cargo ship and burned for hours, destroying homes in the Vietnamese coastal town of central Quang Ngai province before it was doused. The cause of the accident was…

Vietnam oil tanker ignites after collision with cargo ship

A Vietnamese oil tanker hit a cargo ship and burned for hours, destroying homes in the Vietnamese coastal town of central Quang Ngai province before it was doused. The cause of the accident was unclear, though Vietnamese officials said the crash site was close to another oil tanker, which had called for help. Photos showed flames rising from the turret of the tanker.

Officials told the Associated Press that they believe Iran seized the tanker. Video from Hanoi showed four helicopters and about 1,000 firefighters working to extinguish the blaze.

Update, March 31, 11:20 a.m. ET: On Friday, Vietnamese officials said the tanker caught fire on a foggy March morning after colliding with another tanker.

“We were horrified by the sudden noise and immediately rushed to the area, where we found the oil tanker crashed into a shipping ship, before exploding and catching fire,” Nguyen Van Quyen, a 33-year-old coffee shop employee in Vung Tau, a town along the coast, told Reuters.

A temporary setback to a $4 billion project to develop energy resources in the South China Sea was averted by the move.

Screenshot of Vietnam’s Capital Broadcasting Corporation Network on March 30, 2016.

Vietnam’s Vietnam National Oil & Gas Group (CNOG) filed a legal request on Thursday to obtain court orders demanding that Iran comply with a court ruling issued by the Hague last week.

The ruling said Iran needed to supply crude oil to the project within 60 days and pay for its costs.

In 2016, a three-member arbitration panel led by a former judge from the International Court of Justice ordered Iran to pay compensation for a 2005 oil development contract.

The tribunal rejected Iran’s claim that the deal was invalid, and also ruled that CNOG has the right to recover money in Singapore from Iranian offshore subsidiaries of its foreign oil service and drilling companies.

Over a third of oil produced in the world’s fifth-largest consumer is imported.

CNOG is already a joint venture of 50:50 between the National Petroleum Corporation of Vietnam (CNPC) and France’s Total. CNOG supplies oil to southern China.

Last year, Total signed a memorandum of understanding with CNOG to develop a giant offshore gas field as a new energy front for Vietnam, hoping to tap a region with untapped energy sources.

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Yousaf Butt contributed to this report.

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