Gas, oil discovery changes energy game Speaking at a press conference in Harare yesterday, Minister Soda said the discovery was a major boost to Zimbabwe’s Vision to become an upper middle-class economy by 2030. He said plans are now underway for the early commercialisation and monetisation of the declared discoveries while exploration works continue.

Wallace Ruzvidzo-Herald Reporter

ZIMBABWE is primed to become a major player in the oil and gas industry following the confirmation of gas, light oil, condensate and helium deposits by Geo Associates, Mines and Mining Development Minister Zhemu Soda has said.

The discovered oil falls under light oil classification and will see Zimbabwe producing diesel, petrol and jet A1, thus cutting the country’s petroleum import bill.

Speaking at a press conference in Harare yesterday, Minister Soda said the discovery was a major boost to Zimbabwe’s Vision to become an upper middle-class economy by 2030. He said plans are now underway for the early commercialisation and monetisation of the declared discoveries while exploration works continue.

“Today we are here to make further announcements about the exploration activities that continue to happen in Muzarabani. We are pleased to announce that from the 11 samples that were extracted, Geo Associates reported to Government yesterday that they made further discoveries of gas, condensate, helium, and hydrogen.

“The hydrogen which they discovered does not contain hydrogen sulphide which is an undesirable constituent of our petroleum products and there is potential from the light oil which was discovered to be beneficiated to produce diesel, petrol and jet A1.”

“This is a huge step in the realisation of our Vision 2030 where we aspire to become an upper-middle-income economy,” he said.

“We do encourage the investors to roll out their commercialisation and monetising activities which they have intimated to Government.”

Minister Soda said the gas reserves that had been discovered were of high quality with minimal impurities.

The findings, he said, would see Zimbabwe’s economy benefit from “unimaginable” spinoffs, setting the tone for the country’s exponential economic growth.

“The results are that the natural gas is of high quality with minimal impurities and that there is no hydrogen sulphide in the samples (which is an undesirable constituent in oil and gas).

“Above all, the oil discovered falls into the light oil classification. This is the oil classification that produces diesel, petrol as well as jet A1. The presence of helium and hydrogen that has also been confirmed becomes a welcome bonus from the Mukuyu deposit,” the Minister said.

“Zimbabwe is on course to be counted as a player in the oil and gas industry. There are unimaginable spinoffs for the economy and for Zimbabweans at large from oil and gas extraction and the attendant value chain activities.”

The nation, said Minister Soda, would be kept abreast of the progress and results from further testing.

President Mnangagwa has continued to champion and reiterate the need for transparency across the country’s economic spectrum.

“On more than one occasion, results of the ongoing exploration have been made known to the public at local, regional and international level.

“Government has always made it clear that as exploration continues, the nation will be kept informed of progress and results attained. As per the standing pledge, the Government will keep the nation and stakeholders informed of developments about the project,” Minister Soda said.

The minister went on to congratulate President Mnangagwa and the nation at large on the successful oil and gas exploration as well as the excellent results.

The results also buttress the need for continued investigations in the 360 000-hectare licence area as the two wells — Mukuyu 1 and 2 — are just 7km apart hence the need for basin-wide exploration.

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