By Business Reporter
HARARE – (Mining Index) GOVERNMENT has endorsed geological findings on oil and gas in Zimbabwe by Australian listed exploration giant Invictus Energy, making Muzarabani the largest undrilled onshore resource in Africa.
In September this year, Invictus Energy Managing Director Scott Macmillan announced that the on-going basin modelling and geochemical study confirms oil potential of Cabora Bassa Basin.
Addressing media in Harare, Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa confirmed the presence of oil and gas reserves in Muzarabani.
“Government of Zimbabwe has over the past few months worked with Invictus Energy, which is quoted on the Australian Stock Exchange to undertake oil and gas exploration in Muzarabani. We have since been advised the findings are positive and point to oil and gas deposits in this area.”
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando said Zimbabwe now boasts of the largest virgin onshore basin in Africa for oil and gas which has never been drilled.
“The Muzarabani target is about 200 square kilometres, which makes it the largest undrilled onshore resource in Africa,” he said.
“The next stage will be to drill an exploration well at a cost of US$20 million,” he said.
The well will measure 300mm in diameter and about 4.5 kilometres deep, with a ridge expected to be imported or relocated to other African countries doing similar projects.
The mines minister advised that the actual drilling process will not take long, with an estimated time of at least 60 days.
“Most of the work is in the pre-planning of the drilling and additional geophysical work. The exact location of the well will depend on work done to date and work to be done in the next few months,” said Chitando.
President Mnangagwa said resource estimates have been confirmed by an international consulting firm in the oil industry. “In the interim, additional geophysical work is on-going to identify further exploration targets.”
Chitando added that the oil will be refined into fuel. “The gas can be piped to end users, power generation and conversion into fuel.”
Chitando said that the recent discoveries of oil in gas in Kenya and Uganda are notably from a similar geological base of extraction. He added that the discovery was also aided by new processing techniques applied to raw datasets that were not available 25 years ago when Mobil first undertook oil exploration.
“Mobil did a lot of geophysical work, which include aeromagnetic surveys in the greater Muzarabani area. Invictus has managed to progress much more than Mobil did,” noted Chitando.
Invictus Energy has committed itself to enter into a production sharing agreement with the Government of Zimbabwe which will be applicable when the project proceeds to commercial production stage,” said the president. ENDS//