Invictus Energy partner expects drilling in 2020 to confirm resource

One Gas Resources, the exploration partner of Invictus Energy in Zimbabwe’s Muzarabani district, expects drilling to begin in the second half of next year, targeting an estimated 1.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent and about 9.25 trillion cubic feet of gas.

“The planned well will cost anywhere between $15 million and $20 million and we will probably drill to a maximum of 3.5 kilometers,” One Gas Executive Chairman Paul Chimbodza said. The

Muzarabani prospect could be “almost at par” with Total SA’s offshore Brulpadda oil discovery in South Africa and Exxon Mobil’s gas project off Cyprus, he said.

One Gas holds a 20% stake in the Muzarabani venture, with the balance owned by Invictus. While the potential oil and gas deposits in the north of Zimbabwe could be a boost for the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, they’re close to Mana Pools National Park – a World Heritage Site – and the Zambezi River, potentially sparking objections from environmental groups.

Last week, Invictus released a new independent survey that showed increased estimates for potential gas and oil at the Cahorra Bassa Basin prospect.

Zimbabwe’s potential gas yield is dwarfed by the 100tcf gas field in Mozambique, which is being developed by Anadarko under a US$25 billion deal.

However, industry players say Invictus’ latest estimate of 9.25tcf (trillion cubic feet) potential resource compares well with the 8tcf estimated at ExxonMobil’s discovery of the coast of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. This could be a draw for potential partners, as Invictus enters the farming out phase.

Invictus has hired ENVOI, a UK-listed consultant to the oil and gas sector, as advisor on the farming out stage, a common practice in the oil and gas industry in which an exploration company such as Invictus seeks out a partner to develop the prospect and bring it to production.

While the Muzarabani prospect is encouraging, the company has previously said the potential will only be confirmed as a resource after the drilling of a well.

Bloomberg

(additional reporting; newZWire)

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