Gas discovery excites Government

Mines and Mining Development Minister Soda Zhemu

AUSTRALIA oil and gas exploration firm, Invictus Energy, has announced a massive breakthrough in its exploitation drive declaring a gas discovery from the Mukuyu-2 sidetrack well in the Upper Angwa formation, a development the Government described as a major discovery and represents one of the most significant milestones in the onshore Southern Africa oil and gas industry for decades.

In 2020, the Government classified the Muzarabani project as one of the priority development projects, which can provide a significant economic benefit to the economy in pursuit of an  upper middle-income economy by 2030.

Invictus announced on Thursday that four samples from the Upper Angwa section of its Mukuyu-2 exploration well confirm the presence of gas at the site.

Managing director, Mr Scott Macmillan said they are “delighted to declare a gas discovery from the Mukuyu-2 sidetrack well in the Upper Angwa formation. The discovery represents one of the most significant developments in the onshore Southern Africa oil and gas industry for decades.”

He said the oil firm has delivered an exceptional result from the first two wells drilled in Mukuyu, which provides it with significant running room in its large portfolio of prospects and leads for further discoveries in the acreage in the Cabora Bassa basin. 

“The Mukuyu-2 discovery, 7km away and 450 metres updip of the Mukuyu-1 well, which can subsequently be classified as a discovery, provides confirmation of the large potential of the Mukuyu field, which has a structural closure of over 200km2.

Reacting to the announcement, Mines and Mining Development Minister Soda Zhemu said this is a major discovery with vast potential to transform the economic landscape of the country.

“The Government of Zimbabwe is pleased to announce that Geo Associates and its partners Invictus Energy and One Gas Resources have successfully declared a gas discovery in Zimbabwe through the ongoing exploration activities in Muzarabani,” said Minister Zhemu.

“This is a major discovery and represents one of the most significant developments in the onshore Oil and Gas Sector in the Southern Africa region.”

He added: “A total of four hydrocarbon samples were recovered to the surface from two separate zones in the Upper Angwa using the wireline formation testing tool. The samples meet key international standards and; gas and fluid properties will be confirmed following laboratory testing.”

Currently, Invictus is conducting further appraisal and evaluation work to                                                                                                     confirm the size and quality of the gas reservoirs, and to determine the optimal development plan.

Minister Zhemu noted that the discovery also bodes well for other prospects and leads in the remainder of the larger Cabora Bassa Basin.

“This discovery is a result of the long-term partnership between Geo Associates and the Government of Zimbabwe, with the Government providing an appropriate mining title and a conducive regulatory and fiscal environment for the project. Zimbabwe is proud and grateful of this co-operation, and we are confident this will unlock the full potential of Zimbabwe’s oil and gas resources,” he said.

“We believe that this discovery will have a positive impact on the economic and social development of Zimbabwe. Gas will also support the diversification of Zimbabwe’s energy mix, enhance its energy security, and create jobs and opportunities for local communities. We are confident that this discovery will open up new horizons for Zimbabwe.”

However, he stressed that both the Government and the investor reiterate that at this stage, it’s only a gas discovery saying “we have not yet confirmed the discovery of oil as further exploration, tests and evaluations are still ongoing.”

“The discovery will definitely change the economic landscape of the country,” he added.

Mr Macmillan said with additional hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs ahead, the focus now is to complete the drilling and evaluation programme and obtain further wireline data including fluid samples to declare an additional discovery from the Lower Angwa formation.

Zimbabwe and the whole Sadc region are grappling with power shortages and the need to invest in renewable and clean energy continues to grow louder.

Experts say the country will need to boost electricity supplies to 2 350MW by 2025 due to the economic growth being experienced especially through investments in the mining sector.

Last year, the firm indicated that the country could be sitting on more than 5,5 billion barrels of oil.

A barrel of oil equivalent (boe) is a term used to summarise the amount of energy that is equivalent to the amount of energy found in a barrel of crude oil.

It said the project is one of the largest oil and gas exploration prospects to be drilled globally this year and if successful, could be transformative for the company and Zimbabwe.


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