Exxon Mobil and BHP Group have made a final investment decision to increase output from their Gippsland Basin Kipper field, offshore southeast Australia.

The project is expected to help address the gas shortage in the Australian domestic market.

The companies will invest approximately $291m (A$400m) to extract an additional 200 petajoules (PJ) of gas, over the next five years.

The Gippsland Basin Kipper field, which is operated by the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture (JV), is expected to produce approximately 30 petajoules in 2023.

Esso Australia, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, operates the JV with a 50% stake while global miner BHP, through its unit BHP Petroleum (Bass Strait), owns the remaining stake.

Esso Australia said it is advancing funding decisions to start production from the Turrum field in Bass Strait, offshore Victoria.

ExxonMobil Australia chair Dylan Pugh said: “Our ongoing investment and commitment to supplying Australian customers means that the Gippsland basin remains the largest single source of natural gas for Australia’s east coast.

“There is still plenty of gas remaining in Bass Strait, and we are working hard to unlock its full value. More investment will be required for Victoria to maintain its reliable supply of natural gas, especially during winter.”

Last year, BHP Group agreed to merge with Woodside Petroleum, and combine its oil and gas business with the latter, to create a $30bn (A$41bn) energy company.