Invictus raises US$6m to fund next stage of Muzarabani gas exploration

Invictus Zimbabwe
Invictus MD Scott Macmillan

Energy explorer Invictus Energy has raised US$6 million in a share placement to fund a seismic exploration in Muzarabani, the next steps towards the development of the gas prospect.

The money will be used for a 2D seismic campaign. During this survey, explorers use sound devices to predict the location of oil or gas that could be enough for commercial exploration. This exercise helps companies to know where to drill exploration wells, as well as how to design the wells.

“We are extremely pleased with the excellent support received from new and existing shareholders and it is a strong endorsement of our Cabora Bassa project and the exciting and world class Mzarabani-1 Prospect which the Company is preparing to drill,” Managing Director Scott Macmillan said.

“The placement funds will allow us to commence our 2D seismic acquisition campaign to refine the drilling targets in the stacked Muzarabani Prospect and identify additional prospectivity in the SG 4571 permit.”

Invictus will also use the new funds to order drilling equipment and start preparing to issue a tender for the rigging. The company expects to start an exploration drilling campaign in late 2021 or early 2022. While surveys have so far showed there is strong potential, only after drilling can the company confirm whether there is gas or oil.

Long road: Invictus’ path towards development

Invictus’ initial data is based on surveys done by Mobil when it explored for oil in Muzarabani in the early 1990s. Other surveys that have followed, using more modern technology, have shown what the company describes as potentially “the largest conventional oil and gas prospect onshore in Africa”.

The prospect sits in the Cabora Bassa basin, which also hosts other gas finds further East in Mozambique. The site could potentially yield up to 9.25 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas. Anticipating a gas find, Invictus has already inked future supply deals amounting to 730 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas, which would be just a fraction of the site’s potential. These include a 2019 MoU to supply fertiliser company Sable Chemicals with up to 70 million cubic feet of gas per day for 20 years, and another with Tatanga Energy, which plans to build a 500MW power plant in Zimbabwe.

Last December, Invictus received a non-binding farm-in offer for the project. The company is also in advanced talks with the Zimbabwe government over a production sharing agreement. The agreement would spell out how any gas that is discovered will be shared between the developer and the government.