The drillship will mobilize to the US Gulf of Mexico and begin a five-year contract with a Petroleo Brasileiro unit during the second quarter of 2011.

The company claims that the drillship is designed to reduce the time required to build a well in up to 12,000ft of water.

The company also said that Mendocino is outfitted with DPS-3 certified dynamic positioning, a 6,000-barrel active fluid storage and handling system, considerable storage and deck space and can house 200 personnel.

Mendocino is one of five new drillships in Pride’s deepwater drillship expansion program with Samsung Heavy Industries.

Pride runs a fleet of 26 rigs, including five deepwater drillships, 12 semisubmersible rigs, seven jackups and two managed deepwater rigs.