Pride International announced the dedication of the first of its four new deepwater drillships under construction by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, the Deep Ocean Ascension. The company is expected to take delivery of the rig in late February 2010, followed by the mobilization of the rig to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico where it is expected to commence operations in the third quarter of the year under a five-year contract with BP.
In a shipyard ceremony, Louis A. Raspino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pride International, Inc., commented, "The delivery of the Deep Ocean Ascension will represent the addition of a new, technologically advanced generation of rigs to the Pride fleet. The deepwater sector is expected to offer strong prospects and long-term demand visibility and this rig provides our clients with a complete package of high-specification attributes necessary to address the challenges inherent in deepwater well construction. The Deep Ocean Ascension is expected to be one of the most capable drilling rigs in the offshore drilling industry and is being delivered on time and on budget, and with no lost time incidents during the estimated 1.6 million man-hours of construction."
Pride committed in 2007 to expand its presence in the deepwater sector and its four-rig construction program is a cornerstone of the expansion strategy. The addition of each drillship will contribute to the company's expanding revenue base from floating assets, which accounted for 78 percent of total revenues in 2009 including 52 percent from the Deepwater Segment.
The next drillship to be delivered in the four-rig construction program is the Deep Ocean Clarion, with an expected August 2010 completion date, followed by the Deep Ocean Mendocino in the first quarter of 2011, and the Deep Ocean Molokai in the fourth quarter of 2011.
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