Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
AUSTRALIA Stock Exchange-listed miner, Invictus Energy, has finished desktop exploratory work for oil and gas discovery at its Muzarabani prospective area and is now moving on the ground with the first drilling expected in the first quarter of next year.
The prospect had its potential upgraded early July when the miner announced that results of independent estimates showed that there is a strong case for up to 1,3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) or alternatively an estimated resource of 206 billion litres of oil in the Cahora Bassa Basin in Muzarabani.
The prospect is also estimated to contain 8,2 Tcf plus 250 million barrels of conventional gas / condensate (gross mean unrisked) across five horizons while the Msasa Prospect identified under the same permit (SG 4571) is estimated to contain 1,05 Tcf plus 44 million barrels of conventional gas/condensate (gross mean unrisked) across three horizons.
Speaking at a news conference after a meeting with representatives of Invictus Energy, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, said the miner is now moving to the next stage of acquiring an Environmental Impact Assessment certificate after which it will drill the first borehole of about 3, 5 to 4 kilometres to further define the resource.
The borehole, Minister Chitando said, is expected to cost between US$15 million to US$20 million.
“Invictus have now reached a stage where they are now preparing to do a seismic survey in the first quarter of 2020, which will enable them to assist in the exact location of the borehole to be drilled,” said Minister Chitando.
“In preparation of that work, Invictus will this weekend or sometime next week, put in an advert in the press for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), whereby they will be requesting for input from stakeholders with respect to the work that they will be undertaking in the Muzarabani area.
“As Government, we are very pleased that there is progress towards the roll-out of the Invictus work-plan and initially, just to recap, when an announcement was done of the Invictus project, we indicated that the work which had taken place was desktop study . . . that work has since been audited by an international company . . . the next stage is to start work on the ground,” he said.
He also urged the miner to keep to set time-lines as part of Government efforts to deal with the scourge of investors who hold on to rich assets for speculative reasons.
Speaking at the same event, Invictus Energy technical director Brent Barber, said desktop exploratory work done so far has given the miner confidence of getting positive results upon drilling.
“There are chances of success, I am a geologist, I am always optimistic . . . We are hoping for success,” said Mr Barber.