A SUBSEA firm has revealed a seven-year cable laying vessel deal to boost its presence in the North Sea oil and gas sector.

DeepOcean UK, in Darlington, is working with Maersk Supply Services in a charter agreement for the 138m Damen Offshore Carrier.

Bosses say the vessel, which will be built by the Damen Galati shipyard in Romania, will extend DeepOcean's work in laying cables across the oil and gas and renewables industries.

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Owned and operated by Maersk, it will be added to the firm's existing fleet of more than 60 offshore support vessels.

Tony Inglis, DeepOcean UK managing director, said: “This next generation vessel in combination will enable us to bundle our services for customers in the offshore power cable and umbilical markets.

“It will be well suited to installation and burial projects using its 7,000-tonne carousel, and is designed to meet the standards demanded by North Sea oil and gas customers.”

Carsten Plougmann Andersen, Maersk Supply Service chief executive, added: “This builds on our long-lasting relationship with DeepOcean to support their subsea operations, and we also look forward to working with Damen.”