Invictus Energy, an Australian company prospecting for oil and gas in Muzarabani, on Tuesday announced it will shift focus to new drilling sites after failing to acquire a fluid sample at the first exploratory well – the Mukuyu 1 due to equipment breakdowns.
In an update, Invictus said while encouraging data had been collected, the drilling campaign had not been able to obtain fluid samples which are needed to confirm discovery of either or both oil and gas.
As such, Invictus said the drill rig will remain in Zimbabwe for an extended period of up to 12 months to test other sites.
“Further attempts to obtain a fluid sample are not feasible and the company will conclude operations on Mukuyu-1 and side track well and demobilise the well services equipment and personnel,” it said.
“Invictus and Exalo Drilling S.A have executed a contract amendment for Rig 202 to remain in the Cabora Bassa Basin in Zimbabwe for up to 12 months to enable the drilling of future wells in the basin.
“The highly encouraging results from the initial Mukuyu-1 and side track well have provided the company with the confidence to keep Rig 202 warm stacked at the Mukuyu-1 location whilst preparations are made for the future drilling campaign for at least one firm well in 2023, with
further wells to be agreed. During the rig stacking period Exalo will perform maintenance and upgrades to Rig 202 in preparation for drilling to recommence.”
Commenting, Invictus managing director, Scott Macmillan, said while the obtained data was incomplete, they were taking some positives from the Mukuyu-1 drilling campaign which include the existence of multiple gas zones and potentially liquid hydrocarbon.
“We have a proven hydrocarbon system in the Cabora Bassa Basin as evidenced from significantly
elevated gas shows and fluorescence during drilling and confirmed presence of rich source rock, seal, reservoir, trap and timing,” he said.
“Whilst we are frustrated with the numerous operational challenges encountered and not being able to obtain a fluid sample which would have enabled the formal declaration of a discovery, we have still achieved a hugely significant result from the first well in the basin which has substantially de-risked our dominant acreage position and established a new petroleum province.
“We have gathered a high quality dataset across the Mukuyu-1 and sidetrack well which will now be integrated with the existing seismic data to calibrate and refine our interpretation and plan for the
appraisal of Mukuyu as well as additional prospects in the basin.”
Macmillan said the contract extension with Exalo underpinned their confidence in the hydrocarbon prospectivity of the basin.
“We have gained a deeper understanding of the subsurface geology and valuable experience in drilling of the Cabora Bassa Basin which will allow us to optimise our plans, drilling fluids, equipment and services required for future campaigns.
“Overall, the drilling campaign and Mukuyu-1 and sidetrack well have been a tremendous success. We thank our shareholders and supporters for backing the Company to fund and sole risk the drilling campaign, the results of which have put us in a strong future position given the petroleum potential of the basin has been proven. We have an exciting portfolio of additional prospects and leads which has been substantially de-risked in addition to Mukuyu,” he said.
New Ziana/Business Weekly Writer