Pride has dedicated and accepted delivery of the Deep Ocean Mendocino, the third new deepwater drillship to be added to the Pride International fleet, during a ceremony at the Samsung Heavy Industries Ltd. (SHI) shipyard in South Korea. The Mendocino is expected to mobilize to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and commence a five-year contract with a subsidiary of Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) during the second quarter of 2011, following the completion of integrated testing and acceptance by the client.
Louis A. Raspino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pride International, Inc., commented, "The addition of the Deep Ocean Mendocino is the latest example of our successful deepwater expansion program with SHI and increases our deepwater fleet to 11 units. Also, the Mendocino provides for an expansion of our long-standing relationship with Petrobras, representing our initial opportunity to operate for them outside of Brazil."
The Mendocino is one of five new drillships in Pride's deepwater drillship expansion program with SHI. The first two drillships, the Deep Ocean Ascension and the Deep Ocean Clarion, were delivered by SHI in 2010. Both rigs are preparing to commence five-year contracts with BP, with the Ascension expected to mobilize to the Mediterranean Sea, while the Clarion, currently in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, is preparing for final testing and commissioning. The fourth drillship, the Deep Ocean Molokai, is scheduled to complete construction in December 2011. In December 2010, Pride announced that it had reached an agreement with SHI for the construction of a fifth deepwater drillship with an expected delivery in mid-2013. The agreement includes an option for a sixth unit which could be exercised during the first quarter of 2011.
Each of the company's new deepwater drillships are equipped with the industry's latest technology for constructing deepwater wells with increased safety and efficiency. In addition to being designed with numerous parallel features intended to reduce the amount of time to construct a well in up to 12,000 feet of water, the Mendocino is equipped with dynamic positioning in compliance with DPS-3 certification, a 6,000-barrel active fluid storage and handling system, significant storage and deck space and accommodations for up to 200 personnel.
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