Exciting prospects ahead for Zim oil/gas project – investor

The Chronicle

Harare Bureau

INVICTUS Energy, the Australian firm scouring the ground for oil and gas in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa region, northern Zimbabwe, has described the project as an exciting asset, which remains the largest undrilled prospect onshore Africa and possibly, globally in 2022.

The Australian exploration junior recently raised US$8,5 million to start exploration at its Muzarabani prospect after completing a seismic campaign in September last year, through Canadian firm Polaris Natural Resources, which showed huge potential for petroleum deposits in the area.

Mr Scott Macmillan, the group’s managing director, speaking to the African Energy Chamber (AEC), ahead of the continent’s premier energy event, African Energy Week (AEW) 2022, about the company’s operations on the continent said the company’s vision was to become a regional energy supplier in southern Africa.

“Our Cabora Bassa project in northern Zimbabwe is an exciting asset. It’s one of the last undrilled interior rift basins in Africa that has significant potential for finding hydrocarbons.

“Our Mukuyu-1 prospect is world class and independently estimated to contain 8,2 trillion cubic feet and 247 million barrels of conventional gas-condensate,” he said.

He noted that the company was currently planning its maiden drilling campaign in the Cabora Bassa Basin (Muzarabani and Mbire districts) in Zimbabwe, which is scheduled to commence in July.

“We will be drilling two exploration wells: Mukuyu-1 and an additional well, which is being matured for drilling at present. Our goal is to conclude our drilling campaign safely and make a basin opening discovery,” said Mr Macmillan.

He said the project will fulfil the group’s vision of becoming a regional energy supplier in southern Africa and the success in the exploration campaign at Mukuyu-1 will go a long way to fulfilling that goal and having a significant impact in the region.

He added that energy independence and energy security were critical to helping end energy poverty in southern Africa.

Zimbabwe already faces a crippling energy deficit, which sees State power utility Zesa resort to long ours of load shedding, disrupting industrial, commercial and household activities.

Mr Macmillan said the challenges for the company from an operational perspective are mainly around availability of service providers and the mobilisation and logistics hurdles to move equipment to the project.

“We experienced this during our seismic campaign last year, which we executed during the height of Covid-19,” he said.

“It is something that our team has had to be very involved in to ensure that our drilling campaign kicks off on schedule and within budget.

“We have managed to rapidly progress a very frontier project from acquisition in 2018 to shooting a large 840 km infill seismic campaign in the second half of 2021, and now preparing to drill two wells within six months of completing the seismic survey.

“We’re very fortunate that we have a very experienced and dedicated local team and a supportive government who have gone out of their way to assist us,” he said.

Mr Macmillan noted that the other challenge is overcoming the perception that whilst Africa has great geological potential, the fiscal terms and above ground environment has made it a difficult place to do business.

“This is certainly true for some jurisdictions, but others have recognised this and amended their terms to attract investment back into their countries. We are now seeing the change in terms bear fruit in places such as Ivory Coast and Namibia with the recent material discoveries,” said Mr Macmillan.

On key trends that will shape Africa’s oil and gas market in the next three to five years, Mr Macmillan said the African oil and gas is going to be in greater demand, particularly in Europe and Asia, because of the changing energy dynamics and desire to move away from dependence on Russia.

He said this will help unlock stalled developments that have struggled to reach Final Investment Decision or secure anchor markets.

“Fiscal competitiveness will determine whether Africa can capture further interest that will lead to exploration and development activity,” he said.

Mr Macmillan said that the increasing energy demands in Africa from a growing population as well as the industrialization of economies will require affordable and reliable sources of baseload power and gas is going to play a hugely important role in that regard.

Meanwhile, Mr MacMillan said the AEW conference will provide a fantastic platform to network with other E&P companies and government delegates from around the continent and provide the company with access to new opportunities and partnerships.

He said the company will take the opportunity to discuss the results from the company’s maiden drilling campaign as well as seeking new opportunities.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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