INVICTUS Energy, the Australian company scouting for oil and gas in Muzarabani and Mbire districts of Mashonaland Central, successfully raised Australian dollar 60,4 million (US$39 million) enough to cover the firm’s broad range of operational activity and Mukuyu-2 drilling campaign.
The Australia-headquartered firm, through its local partner — Geo Associates, the licence holder for the 700 000-hectare prospective area, also known as the Cabora Bassa Basin in Muzarabani and Mbire districts, commenced Mukuyu-2 wellsite drilling towards the end of September.
Mukuyu-2 well drilling campaign is expected to be completed in the forecast 50 to 60 days with Total Depth called at 3 718 metres.
Early this year, Invictus announced that it had found natural gas and oil reserves in the north-east of Zimbabwe, although technical hiccups experienced on the first well — the Mukuyu-1 prospect, meant the company could not extract a fluid sample to fulfil regulatory requirements to declare a commercial finding.
Seismic studies done for Muzarabani and Mbire oil and gas field have revealed high potential production of around 283,2 billion cubic metres (8,2 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, which is a substantial amount and almost 40 million cubic metres (around 250 million barrels) of oil condensate.
The confirmation of hydrocarbons in Zimbabwe offers extra sources of energy in the country and unlocks avenues for massive economic growth and development through the propagation of downstream industries, new job creation and growth in export earnings and Government revenue.
In its annual report for the year-ended June 2023, Invictus said: “During the financial year support from existing and new shareholders has been immense, with the company successfully raising A$60,4 million to fund a wide range of operational activity and bank contingency funds for the Mukuyu-2 drilling campaign.
“This consisted of A$25 million private placement completed in late August 2022 after a company decision to sole-fund the Mukuyu-1 drilling campaign, following the significant upgrade in the prospectivity of the project as the result of new CB21 seismic data and securing the expanded acreage position.”
This has allowed Invictus to maintain material ownership of the expanded acreage encompassing the new basin margin play, plus additional prospects and leads, providing shareholders with the largest exposure to drilling success.
In the second half of financial year 2023 Invictus raised an additional A$35,4 million through a combination of private placements and a share purchase plan, which assisted company planning and preparations for the Mukuyu-2 drilling campaign.
The funding also assisted the company in securing long-lead items, well services contractors and additional exploration carried out through the CB23 seismic programme.
“We are extremely grateful to our shareholders who have continued to support the company as we strive to realise the huge potential of our assets.
“The company remains open to strategic partnering opportunities in the future that could add value for shareholders as it continues to progress development of the Cabora Bassa project.
“While focused on operational activities at Cabora Bassa, the company has continued to actively screen the market for new business opportunities and value accretive assets that offer a chance to broaden its risk profile and reduce the effect to external influences by introducing cash flow from production or low risk, near term development opportunities,” said Invictus.
Meanwhile, Mukuyu-2 has proved up over a 1000 m gross interval of hydrocarbon charge through the Upper and previously untested Lower Angwa formations across multiple reservoir zones.
“A comprehensive wireline logging programme including formation pressure and fluid sampling, sidewall cores and checkshot surveys was due to be run with the aim of confirming the presence of moveable hydrocarbons in multiple zones in the Upper and Lower Angwa formations to declare a discovery,” said Invictus.