Pride International, Inc. announced that the Company has placed an order for the construction of a fourth advanced-capability, ultra-deepwater drillship. The latest drillship, like the Company's three previously announced projects, will be constructed at the Samsung Heavy Industries, Ltd. (SHI) shipyard in Geoje, South Korea on a fixed-price basis and is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2011, following construction, commissioning and system-integrated testing.
Louis A. Raspino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pride International, Inc., stated, "We remain intensely focused on expanding our presence in the ultra-deepwater drilling sector, while increasing our already significant competencies in deepwater operations, engineering and construction and project management.
"This attractive shipyard delivery provides a unique opportunity to address a growing base of customers with ultra-deepwater rig needs in the early part of the next decade, while we continue to execute our strategic objective of expanding our premium asset base.
"Because access to the world's premium shipyards is highly constrained, with no known opportunities to provide customers with new ultra-deepwater capacity before the end of 2011 and with several units already ordered with expected deliveries in 2012, we have decided to move forward and commit to our fourth ultra-deepwater construction project with SHI. We believe demand for ultra-deepwater rig capacity extends well into the next decade, providing excellent prospects for contracting this latest unit."
The new drillship, to be named at a later date, is based on an SHI proprietary hull design measuring 750 feet long, 140 feet wide and offering a pay load in excess of 20,000 metric tons. The unit is designed for drilling in water depths of up to 12,000 feet, with a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 feet, and will have off-line tubular stand building capabilities, as well as feature dynamic positioning in compliance with DPS-3 certification.
The rig, which will be initially equipped for drilling in water depths of up to 10,000 feet, will also have expanded drilling fluids capacity, a 1,000 ton capacity hoisting system and living quarters for up to 200 personnel. The expected construction cost of the rig, including commissioning and system integrated-testing and excluding capitalized interest, is approximately $745 million. The Company expects to fund the construction of the unit with available cash, cash flow from operations and borrowings.
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