Following the expected delivery of rig in September 2010, the company will mobilize the rig to the US Gulf of Mexico, where it is expected to commence operations in the first quarter of 2011 under a five-year contract with BP.

Pride International president and CEO Louis Raspino said that the addition of the Deep Ocean Clarion to the company’s fleet further strengthens its presence in the deepwater.

The Clarion, fully capable of dual drilling activity, has the ability to drill in water depths of up to 12,000ft, and has a 165 ton advanced heave compensated crane, advanced dynamic positioning systems, a 6,000-barrel active fluid storage and handling system, and storage and deck space.

The Clarion and its three sister ships in the new build construction program are key to Pride’s commitment to expand its presence in the deepwater sector.