A tanker has reportedly caught on fire in the Middle East Gulf just west of the Strait of Hormuz, several months after six tankers were attacked in the chokepoint in May and June.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it has received reports that the vessel is ablaze 21 nautical miles (39 km) northwest of United Arabs Emirates city Sharjah.

"Vessels transiting the area are advised to exercise extreme caution," UKMTO said in a bulletin on its web site.

UKMTO officials would not identify the ship but said Emirati coast guard is offering assistance.

"The situation is ongoing," the agency told TradeWinds.

Coast guard officials have reportedly named the ship as 300,500-dwt VLCC Zoya 1 (built 1996).

Security consultancy Dryad Global said early indications are that the fire occurred during maintenance and that all crew are safe.

The vessel is not carrying a cargo.

A distress call from an unidentified merchant vessel named Osprey referred to the ship on fire as Zoya 1.

Since June 2015, the ship has been owned by Ullib Shipping and managed by Aurum Ship Management, according to Equasis.

Attempts to reach the owner and the manager for confirmation were unsuccessful.

The ship was last inspected by Japanese authorities in May 2010.

The crew has reportedly been locked in a pay dispute with Aurum for nearly three years.

Earlier this month all 13 seafarers were rescued from a sinking Aurum asphalt tanker off India.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said the 1,900-dwt Reem 5 (built 1983) had suffered engine room flooding in bad weather en route to Gujarat on Thursday morning.

Japan's ClassNK withdrew the Reem 5's class in October due to an overdue survey.

The company has been operating the tanker on a route between India's west coast and the Middle East Gulf, stopping in Oman, the UAE, Iran and Pakistan, according to Equasis inspection records and satellite tracking data from VesselsValue.

Equasis lists the company with 12 tankers and one containerships, with the fleet suffering five detentions in the last year.

Strait of Hormuz troubles

In mid-May, four ships were "sabotaged" in the Gulf Oman, a chokepoint near the Strait of Hormuz. Iran's Revolutionary Guard has been accused of carrying out the attacks.

The ships were 299,000-dwt VLCC Amjad (built 2017), 105,000-dwt aframax Al Marzoqah (built 1999), 47,210-dwt product tanker Andrea Victory (built 2005) and 6,700-dwt bunkering tanker A Michel (built 1998).

A month later, Frontline-owned 110,000-dwt LR2 Front Altair (built 2016) was hit by a torpedo while carrying naphtha.

The 27,000-dwt Bernhard Schulte-operated tanker Kokuka Courageous (built 2010) was damaged in the attack.

This story has been amended to reflect the ship's exact location.