NVICTUS Energy, the Australian firm searching for oil and gas in Zimbabwe, says a contractor has completed the well design for its Muzarabani project ahead of actual exploratory or test well drilling in the first half of 2022.
President Mnangagwa earlier this year said the prospect of oil, gas discovery in Zimbabwe was exciting, as it could bring significant economic benefits, including growth in exports, energy self-sufficiency, new jobs and industries.
In June 2021, Invictus appointed Aztech Well Construction the drilling project manager.
Aztech is an oil, gas well project management company based in Perth with extensive track record in onshore and offshore drilling projects.
“The preliminary Basis of Well Design (BoWD) has been completed, which will enable the ordering of long lead drilling items (casing and wellheads) for fabrication shortly,” Invictus managing director Scott MacMillan said.
The basis of well design provides “WHY” a particular well is drilled the way it is designed. The well programme is based on “How” a particular well will be implemented, considering the environment, geology, risks and mitigation. The well design process is in two stages: the functional requirements of the well being first specified, following which the well construction details to deliver those functional requirements can be defined.
Invictus’ BoWD will be further refined and finalised once the seismic processing and interpretation has been completed. Aztech are concluding the technical evaluation of the rig contractor options ahead of short-listing to participate in a formal process to select a rig for the campaign.
Invictus has already appointed Canadian firm Polaris Natural Resources to undertake a seismic survey, which entails gathering sub-surface vibrations of locations where there is likely to be oil or gas.
The work programme will require the acquisition of a minimum of 300 line kilometre 2D seismic, which will enable the drilling of one exploration well to test the potential existence of commercially viable oil and gas deposits.
Polaris has carried out over 1 000 seismic projects globally since 1996 and over 15 projects in East Africa, including introducing the first low impact seismic survey into Africa in 2008.
The Canadian company will acquire a minimum of 400-line kilometres 2D infill seismic of the former French oil giant Mobil seismic programme to identify the best drill location.
Polaris started their operations in the country in July 2021, heralding the first seismic operation in the country for 30 years having mobilised from Tanzania, with 5 vibroseis trucks and the STRYDE nodal system. Invictus has made further significant progress in the past year progressing the development of the Cabora Bassa Project in Zimbabwe that encompasses the Australia Stock Exchange listed firm’s Muzarabani Prospect.
The Muzarabani prospect is a multi-trillion cubic feet (TCF)conventional gas-condensate target, which is potentially the largest, undrilled seismically defined structure onshore Africa. It is estimated to host 9,25TCF and 247 million barrels of gas condensate.
The prospect was defined by a robust dataset acquired by Mobil in the early 1990s that includes seismic, gravity, aero-magnetic and geochemical data, much of which was reprocessed in 2019/20.
In December 2020, Invictus received a non-binding farm-in agreement but after extensive engagement with the other parties, that agreement was terminated in June when Invictus was unable to satisfactorily complete the required transaction due diligence on the counter-party.
Farm in agreement means an agreement whereby a Person agrees, among other things, to pay all or a share of the drilling, completion or other expenses of one or more wells or perform the drilling, completion or other operation on such well or wells as all or a part of the consideration provided in exchange for an ownership interest in an oil and gas property.
The company said it had made significant progress since the farm-in offer was received and has been able to create additional value through sole funding the seismic survey, which will enable it to locate appropriate exploratory well sites.
In March 2021, His Excellency President Mnangagwa signed the Petroleum Exploration Development and Production Agreement (PEDPA) for the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The PEDPA provides the licence holder the right to enter into a 25-year production licence following the exploration periods and the PEDPA also provides for Special Economic Zone Status for the Cahora Bassa Project.