Thegovernment had earlier accused China of sabotage in Vietnam-controlled waters in theSouth China Sea on 30 November.

But PetroVietnam boss Do Van Hau has said the cables from its 2,300–gt BinhMinh 02 (built 1983) were severed by accident, according to Bloomberg.

State-run PetroVietnam made repairs on 1 December.

In May 2011, Vietnam accused China of deliberately cuttingcables from the same ship in the same area as part of an ongoing row about disputedterritory.