ExxonMobil has chartered a specialist semi-submersible vessel to support the US energy giant’s huge programme of offshore decommissioning in Australia’s Bass Strait.

The company’s Australian subsidiary, Esso Australia, said it had signed an agreement with US company Helix Energy Solutions to charter the Helix Q7000 semisub from the end of the year. No details were provided on the terms or length of the contract.

ExxonMobil Australia chair Dylan Pugh said: “The Helix Q7000 is a welcome addition to our extensive fleet of vessels and rigs currently operating across the Gippsland basin.”