HomeBusiness DigestHigh noon for oil hunters

High noon for oil hunters

TANYARADZWA NHARI
INVICTUS Energy, the firm that is exploring potentially lucrative oil fields in Zimbabwe’s Muzarabani district, says it has inked a deal with Poland-based Exalo Drilling SA to sink the first of its two test wells for the project.

Exalo is a world leader in gas and oil well drilling.

It is a crucial phase of the Australia Stock Exchange-listed resources’ Zimbabwean ambition, a culmination of seven years of extensive exploration work that started in 2015.

Invictus took the bold step to explore oil fields previously worked on by global energy giant Mobil in the 1990s.  The giant firm abandoned Muzarabani before making a find, in a region now described by Invictus as endowed with potentially Africa’s largest offshore reserves.

In a market update released in the past week, Invictus chief executive officer Scott Macmillan, a Mobil veteran, said Exalo SA would be deploying the Exalo#202 rig to drill the well.

Exalo#202 is currently working on a similar project in Tanzania, but would head southwards to Muzarabani in May before drilling kicks off in June, Macmillan said.

MacMillan was in Zimbabwe in the past week to assess progress.

“Invictus is pleased to confirm it has executed a binding drilling rig contract with Exalo Drilling SA to drill the Muzarabani-1 exploration well and an option for an additional exploration well for the basin opening drilling campaign, scheduled to commence in June 2022,” MacMillan said.

“The contract comes after Invictus entered a memorandum of understanding with the company last December and involves the Exalo #202 rig, which has a drilling range of 5 000 metres. The #202 Rig is currently engaged in operations in Tanzania and is expected to commence mobilisation to the Cahora Bassa (Muzarabani) project in May,” he said.

The southern Africa-focused Australian firm has said it could be sitting on Africa’s largest find.

It has reported that exploration results so far have been promising.

This is a region that is in close proximity to recent discoveries in nearby Mozambique, which are billed to transform the country.

This could be the reason why Invictus said in August 2020 it was determined to raise US$20 million to sink its first test wells.

For now, it looks like the oil/gas find is set to make a huge impact, considering the scale of the resource being estimated by Invictus.

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