INVICTUS Energy, which is exploring for oil and gas along the Zambezi Valley, is starting a second well drilling project in the next few days after US$20 million went into the drain as hydrocarbons’ commercial discovery on the first well could not be confirmed.
The Australian-listed firm, in January this year announced that it had found natural gas and oil reserves in Muzarabani and Mbire districts, Mashonaland Central province, but technical hiccups experienced on the first well (Mukuyu-1 prospect), meant a fluid sample could not be extracted to fulfil regulatory requirements to declare a commercial discovery.
The imminent drilling campaign on the second well (Mukuyu-2 prospect) is expected to gobble an additional US$20 million with prospects that commercial discovery of hydrocarbons would be confirmed.
Briefing journalists during a media tour of the Mukuyu-2 wellsite where the Exalo Rig has already been mounted ahead of the anticipated drilling date, that is slated for Sunday, Geo Associates managing director, Paul Chimbodza, whose firm is Invictus’ local partner said:
“For Mukuyu-2 we are ready to start drilling or the spud date (September 17, 2023) which is the planned date of starting to drill. . . so, in a few days’ time we hope to start drilling on Mukuyu-2.
“Anyone exploring for oil should be able to declare a commercial discovery, it is actually a requirement that you actually go into whatever horizon whether it’s 3000 metres or 3 500 metres and extract an actual physical sample.
“We went into Mukuyu-1 but because of the pressure at the depth, our well had collapsed but still we were keen to validate these results through an appraisal.
“We decided to do a side track, which is basically another well that you drill on the side of the original well that has collapsed and we drilled that from 3 000 metres to about 4 000m unfortunately, our equipment into that well suffered equipment failure and we couldn’t get that physical sample in order for us to declare a commercial discovery.”
Chimbodza said results from Mukuyu-1 well are indicative of the presence of hydrocarbons in the Cabora Bassa Basin (Muzarabani and Mbire districts).
Recently, Invictus also announced that additional samples have reaffirmed light oil, gas-condensate and helium on the Mukuyu-1 well.
“We do have hydrocarbons in the Zambezi Valley but what we failed to do in the last campaign was
to extract that physical sample from depth which is a requirement for us to declare a commercial
“We also realise that we are bringing in this investment which is an investment at risk because there is no guarantee that there will be success. Mukuyu-1 we accomplished that at a ticket price of US$20 million, we expect to spend a similar amount on Mukuyu-2,” he said.
An evaluation of technical data from the results of Mukuyu-1 exploration drilling confirmed that Zimbabwe holds substantial oil and gas reserves parallel to recent discoveries in regional countries such as Namibia and Uganda that, however, had to drill several hundreds of holes before success.
It is hoped that the successful commercial discovery of oil and gas in Zimbabwe would make the country energy self-sufficient, create employment, promote economic growth and development on account of the significant potential for value chain linkages.