250 new jobs have been created by Heerema Fabrication Group at its yard near Hartlepool.
The news has been welcomed by Hartlepool MP and Shadow Minister for Industry Iain Wright.
The company is working on a contract for the Cygnus gas field development in the southern North Sea.
Cygnus represents an investment of £1.4billion by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK and partners Centrica Energy and Bayerngas.
It is the largest southern gas basin discovery for 25 years and at peak will produce enough gas to meet the needs of 1.5million UK homes.
Unemployment in the North East fell by 3,000 in the three months to December.
The Office for National Statistics figures show 130,000 people were unemployed in the region between October and December.
The region's unemployment rate was 10% and it had a fall of 2.3% during that time. Unemployment nationally has continued to fall and a record number of women are in work. Employment now stands at more than 30 million, a rate of 72.1%, which is 0.6% higher than a year ago.
More people are claiming benefits in the North East than anywhere else. 5.8% of people are claiming.
The employment rate in the North East is lower than anywhere else in Great Britain. It stands at 67.4%
10% of people in the North East are unemployed. This is the highest rate of unemployment in the UK.
Regional unemployment fiugures between October and December were as follows:
- North East: 130,000 (minus 3,000) 10%
- North West: 277,000 (minus 6,000) 8.1%
- Yorkshire/Humber: 240,000 (minus 8,000) 8.6%
- East Midlands: 162,000 (minus 4,000) 6.9%
- West Midlands: 226,000 (minus 31,000) 8.3%
- East of England: 180,000 (minus 1,000) 5.7%
- London: 351,000 (minus 25,000) 8.1%
- South East: 233,000 (minus 37,000) 5.1%
- South West: 177,000 (plus 3,000) 6.5%
- Wales: 105,000 (minus 12,000) 7.1%
- Scotland: 195,000 (minus 3,000) 7.1%
- Northern Ireland: 64,000 (plus 1,000) 7.4%
Nick Palmer, senior labour market statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said:
The latest unemployment rate is 7.2%, down 0.4 on the previous quarter.
This is a comparison between the July-September and October-December three-month periods.
It is higher than last month's published figure of 7.1% for September-November.
However, it is not directly comparable with the figure published this month, as the Labour Force Survey is not designed to measure monthly changes.
The main conclusion that should be drawn from these latest figures is that the rate at which unemployment has been falling is likely to have slowed down.
The Energy Minister has shown support after it was announced that jobs have been safeguarded in Hartlepool because of a major contract to extend the operation of seven UK nuclear power stations.
"This shows that nuclear presents big opportunities for highly-skilled jobs, sustainable growth, and the lasting legacy of a UK supply chain. I want to make sure that the UK is at the forefront of this growing industry."
A major contract to continue work at seven UK nuclear power stations, including Hartlepool, has safeguarded 1,000 jobs.
Doosan Babcock's deal with EDF is expected to be worth £70 million.
"Doosan Babcock has a long history of supporting EDF Energy in the UK nuclear sector and we are delighted to have been given this opportunity to further build our relationship.
"The LEA is the result of close collaboration and a great deal of planning from both our companies, and will give EDF Energy access to a range of specialist skills and technologies that will support its UK power generation strategy long into the future."