INVICTUS Energy, the Australian firm searching for oil and gas in Zimbabwe, will start drilling the first exploration wells on its Muzarabani licence area in June.
Spurred by encouraging results from the study of secondary and primary data, Invictus is poised to commence drilling the first exploration wells in Zimbabwe by June.
The firm gathered and processed data from a recently concluded seismic study while reinterpretation of a US$30 million data set acquired by Mobil in the 1990s has shown positive results.
Invictus said Exalo, a leading European drilling company awarded the contract to sink the oil/gas exploratory wells, had revised the equipment mobilisation date to May 2022.
This was done to enable additional inspections and maintenance to be performed on machinery while ongoing mobilisation of the key equipment remains underway.
“Accordingly, the spud date for the first well is now anticipated in June,” Invictus said. The exploration will test the potential of Cabora Bassa prospect, independently assessed to host 9,25 trillion cubic feet and 294 million barrels of condensate.
Invictus and Exalo have also agreed to extend the commitment date for the second well option to allow for the formal gazetting of the extended licence area.
Engagements are also progressing with the Government on a licence area extension to culminate in a second well exploration programme for the upcoming drilling campaign in June 2022.
The company said it had received permission to acquire additional data during the Cahora Bassa 2021 Seismic Survey in an existing application area.
Coupled to that, the Australian company said it had provided a commitment to the Government of Zimbabwe to drill a second exploration well within the area.
“The company has commenced preparations for the second well including securing long leads (items that take time to manufacture) and consumables for a 2 well campaign.”
Invictus signed a drilling contract with British firm Cluff Energy and a drilling rig contract with Exalo, which have seen it remain on course to start exploratory drilling in the first half of this year.
Invictus last year signed a petroleum exploration development and production agreement (PEDPA) with the Government, setting the stage for the Australian firm to expedite the exploration.
The PEDPA provides the framework for accelerated development of the Muzarabani oil and gas initiative while also detailing roles and obligations of each party throughout the project lifecycle.
President Mnangagwa, the guest of honour at the signing of the PEDPA said the agreement represents major strides in our efforts to tap into our oil and gas deposits, which is a new territory in the country’s mining sector.
The untapped oil and gas deposits present huge, unique and competitive investment opportunities, given that the industry has various potential downstream linkages, the President said.
Apart from the potential for energy self-sufficiency other potential benefits include electricity generation, production of liquid petroleum, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), fertiliser production and petro-chemicals.
President Mnangagwa said the signing of the PEDPA with Invictus was testimony to the Government’s commitment to open up the economy to investment as well as engage and re-engage the global community to do business in Zimbabwe.
The Muzarabani prospect is a multi-trillion cubic feet and liquids rich conventional gas- condensate target, which is potentially the largest, undrilled seismically defined structure onshore Africa.
The prospect is defined by a robust data set acquired by French oil giant Mobil in the early 1990s that includes seismic, gravity, aeromagnetic and geochemical data.