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Chinese coastguard ships give chase to Vietnamese coastguard vessels (not pictured) after they came within 10 nautical miles of the Haiyang Shiyou 981, known in Vietnam as HD-981, oil rig in the South China Sea, July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Martin Petty(reuters_tickers)
HANOI (Reuters) - A Chinese oil rig that had been exploring near the disputed Paracel islands in the South China Sea is moving towards China's Hainan island, the Vietnam coast guard said on Wednesday, after it was earlier reported it had found signs of oil and gas.
Admiral Ngo Ngoc Thu, chief of staff of the Vietnam coast guard told Reuters by telephone the rig was about 30 nautical miles from Triton island in the Paracels and had been moving towards Hainan since late on Tuesday night.
Thu did not give any reason why the rig had moved and said Vietnam's boats were still watching the area closely.
China's official Xinhua news agency reported earlier on Wednesday that the rig had finished exploration work two months after its deployment to waters claimed by China and Vietnam.
(Reporting by Nguyen Phuong Linh; Editing by Paul Tait)