Senior Business Reporter
Zimbabwe’s Muzarabani oil and gas exploration project has made it to the list of this year’s Top Five oil and gas wildcat drilling compiled by leading global energy price, research and analysis site – OilPrice.com.
This comes after developer, Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) listed Invictus Energy, signed a petroleum exploration development and production agreement (PEDPA) with the Government of Zimbabwe.
The PEDPA marked a major milestone in the quest to explore for commercially exploitable hydrocarbons in Zimbabwe and provides the basis for accelerated progression of the Muzarabani oil and gas initiative.
Discovery of oil/gas means huge benefits for Zimbabwe’s stuttering economy, including energy self-reliance, production of petro-chemicals, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), fertliser, increased exports and fiscal revenue among others.
Invictus has successfully raised circa US$10.4 million (A$8m), through a share placement, to fund a 2D seismic campaign, procurement of long lead drilling equipment, basin design and working capital, ahead of exploration drilling this year. The Cahora Bassa Basin project, encompassing the Muzarabani Prospect, has entailed reprocessing and reinterpretation of a US$30 million highly promising data set gathered by Mobil in the early 1990s.
Wildcat drilling, is a form of high-risk exploratory drilling, which entails drilling for oil or gas in unproven or fully exploited areas with no concrete historic production records or has been completely exhausted as a site for oil and gas output.
“We have analysed the hottest gas prospects of 2021 and present you the Top 5, fully cognisant of the fact that in depressed times the highest impact wells might come from high-risk wildcats,” Oilprice.com said in a recent article.
The site said Zimbabwe represented arguably the most disputable project in its Top Five ranking, given it has no known hydrocarbon reserves and has routinely relied on other neighbouring countries to cater for its energy needs.
“This year, however, might alter that picture completely as appraisal activity heats up in the African nation’s Rufunsa Basin,” Oilprice.com wrote.
This comes as Invictus Energy, operator of SG 4571, has had traversing over the prospective area for site acquisition and plans seismic surveying programmes in 2021 in preparation to drill the Mzarabani-1 oil/gas test well, a 4-way dip closure spread across over 200 square kilometres. The Muzarabani wildcat will be drilled around October-November 2021 to a total depth deeper than 4000 metres and will aim to confirm the prospect’s prospective resources of 4.5 Trillion Cubic feet.
“According to the operator (Invictus Energy), the total assessed reserves of the SG 4571 stand at 9.25TCf and 294 MMbbls,” Oilprice.com said.
Other wildcat projects include Russia’s Skuratovskaya, Cyprus’ Cronos, Indonesia’s Rencong and Lebanon’s Block 09.
Invictus Energy will invest between US$15 million and US$30 million towards drilling at least one oil and gas exploration well, before end of this year, chairman Joe Mutizwa said.
Mtizwa said the ASX listed company was highly confident about the prospects for potential discovery of commercial quantities of oil and gas in Muzarabani.
Speaking during the PEDPA signing ceremony at State House last Friday, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe’s oil and gas sector represented huge, unique and competitive investment opportunities given the significant potential for value chain linkages. — www.ebusinessweekly.co.zw