INVICTUS Energy, which is searching for oil and gas in the north of Zimbabwe, now holds expanded exploration acreage after the Government gazetted the transfer of the exploration rights of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe (SWFZ) in Caborra Bassa to the Australian firm.
This will add exploration acreage to the Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) listed firm’s special grant 4571, in Muzarabani and Mbire, where Invictus has already located two sites for exploration drilling, which is expected to commence anytime from.
This marks the first time Zimbabwe will have actual exploration drilling on its land.
It is expected that commercial discovery of oil and gas in Zimbabwe will make the country energy secure, increase exports, create employment and drive investment in downstream industries among other national and localised benefits.
Invictus said it was notified of the publishing of General Notice 2010 of 2022 in the official Zimbabwe Government Gazette of the assignment of the exploration rights of the SWFZ for Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) 1848 and 1849 for a period of three years to 15 September 2025.
The rights are assigned to the company’s 80 percent owned subsidiary Geo Associates under section 92(2) of the Mines and Minerals Act following the recommendation of the Mining Affairs Board.
The exploration licences cover a combined area of approximately 360 000 hectares, with exclusive prospecting orders (EPOs) 1848 and 1849 each covering an area of approximately 130 000 hectares and the current Special Grant 4571 licence area covering a further 100 000 hectares.
The assignment agreement provides for the conversion of the EPOs to a special grant in terms of Part XX of the Mines and Minerals Act providing the pathway to development and production.
‘This newly expanded basin master position, combined with the high-quality seismic data acquired in the CB21 (Caborra Bassa 2021) Survey, has provided the company with a material portfolio of high potential prospects and leads.
“Multiple drill ready prospects in the newly identified Basin Margin play have been mapped along the southern basin bounding fault, which display similarities to the East Africa Rift “String of Pearls” that resulted in material discoveries in the Lokichar Basin in Kenya and Albertine Graben in Uganda.” Invictus said.
An independent prospective resource estimate for the basin margin area including the Baobab prospect is nearing completion and will be released once finalised.
Invictus managing director Scott Macmillan commented: “We are extremely pleased to have completed the assignment of the exploration rights which sees our footprint cover the entire conventional oil and gas play fairway in the Cabora Bassa Basin.
“In relation to our first well Mukuyu-1, the rig maintenance is nearing completion and the final outstanding well services equipment will arrive in the coming days.
“Following the rig acceptance once the commissioning and testing has been completed it will allow for the spud of Mukuyu-1, the first well in our high impact exploration campaign which will then be followed by Baobab-1.
“Subject to making an opening discovery with either Mukuyu-1 or Baobab-1, it could potentially provide Invictus with future discoveries on a large scale within the basin.”
Invictus expects to start drilling the Mukuyu-1 exploration well soon to a depth of up to 4,5 kilometres, after results of the seismic study, gathering underground sound signals to determine the possible existence of accumulated hydro-carbons, showed highly encouraging results.
The company’s principal asset consists of contiguous exploration licences SG 4571, EPO 1848 and 1849 located in the Cabora Bassa Basin in Zimbabwe, which contains the world class Mukuyu prospect – the largest undrilled prospect onshore Africa independently estimated to contain 20 trillion cubic feet and 845 million barrels of conventional gas condensate.
Invictus’ 80 percent owned subsidiary Geo Associates and the SWFZ have executed a Heads of Agreement ((HoA) to increase special grant 4571 licence area from 100 000 hectares to 709 300 hectares.
Under the HoA the SG 4571 licence and application area will be amalgamated with the SWFZ’s Cabora Bassa South reserved area to cover the entire Cabora Bassa Basin in Zimbabwe.
The SG 4571 area increase is now awaiting procedural Government Gazette.
The company will increase the minimum work program obligation for the current second exploration period to drill two exploration wells, including the Muzarabani-1 prospect and one exploration well in the expanded area.
The rig contract with Exalo Drilling SA, confirmed on 10 March 2022, accommodates a two well drill programme anticipated to commence in late June 2022.
Geo Associates and the Republic of Zimbabwe will also conclude the Petroleum Production Sharing Agreement which will encompass the legal and fiscal provisions to govern the project and the development of any discovered resource.