HARARE – An Australian firm has found an oil field in northern Muzarabani, the first to be discovered in Zimbabwe, with $20 million required to drill an exploration well, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Describing the find as “truly incredible”, Mnangagwa said government was entering a joint venture partnership with Australian firm Invictus Energy Limited (Invictus), formerly Interpose Holdings Limited, an Australia-based renewable energy company.
Invictus was expected to officially make the announcement at midnight, with its shares expected to rocket to a record high.
Mnangagwa said government has agreed to enter a production sharing arrangement with Invictus once the project reaches commercial production.
“The government of Zimbabwe has over the last few months worked with and facilitated Invictus Energy Limited which is quoted on the Australian stock exchange to undertake oil and gas exploration studies in Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central,” Mnangagwa told a news conference.
Adding that Invictus is using data which was generated by Mobil Oil in the early 1990s when extensive gas-oil geophysical work was undertaken in greater Muzarabani areas.
Mnangagwa said the Australian company has engaged a number of worldwide professional companies with extensive experience in oil and gas.
“We have since been advised by Invictus that the findings are positive, and they point to oil and gas deposits in this area. The company and their partners will be making a statement to their shareholders through the Australian Stock Exchange in a few hours’ time.
“The government of Zimbabwe will work very closely with Invictus to ensure that the company realises its plans to sink an exploration well by mid-2020.
“After the exploration well, the next stage will be commercial exploitation of the source. In the interim, additional geophysical work is on-going to identify further exploration studies.”
“The results as communicated by Invictus are an exciting development to our country. Invictus has committed to enter a production sharing agreement with the government of Zimbabwe which will be applicable when the project proceeds to commercial production stage,” he said.
Mines minister Winston Chitando told the media briefing that drilling required a 4,5km deep exploration well and would cost $20 million.