Oliver Kazunga Senior Business Reporter
INVICTUS Energy will soon begin drilling the first exploration well to confirm the presence of commercial quantities of oil and gas in the Cabora Bassa Basin at Muzarabani.
Invictus Energy managing director Scot McMillan described the first phase of drilling exploration wells as “the most exciting part”.
The Australia-based company, which explores for oil and gas at Muzarabani in the central Mashonaland province, has brought the Exalo 202 rig to the Mukuyu-1 well site and is currently being assembled.
In the early 1990s, a French company, Mobil, carried out initial seismic studies but decided not to pursue them.
And Invictus, using modern data processing techniques, reprocessed the collected data and obtained overwhelming evidence that the underlying geological structures had domes and traps that could indicate oil and gas at Muzarabani.
Speaking on ZBC radio station Classic 263 on Tuesday afternoon, Mr McMillan said: “We will be drilling the Mukuyu-1 well to test the outlook to determine whether or not there is a commercial accumulation of hydrocarbons in the Cabora Bassa basin in the north of the country.
“So the first thing so far is to assess the potential of the basin through some legacy data that was acquired by Mobil, then we went and acquired a whole new technology and a new process and on top of that we let’s drill one of the targets that we have identified from there that will approve or disapprove if there is oil and gas in the basin.
The oil and gas exploration company intends to drill two exploration wells in the Mukuyu prospect.
“We are now approaching the most exciting part which is the actual drilling of the first exploration well.
“On the forward-looking resources side, we released an updated valuation of a petroleum resources consultancy with ERCE a few weeks ago and the report is very encouraging,” he said.
ERCE’s independent report estimates the average recoverable conventional gross potential of the Mukuyu prospect at a combined total of 20 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) and 845 million barrels of conventional gas condensate, or approximately 4.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) on a gross average risk-free basis.
“So I have to say these are prospective resources and to put it in layman’s terms it’s basically like a preliminary estimate of the potential volume but that doesn’t mean it’s been discovered as I mentioned more early if we can prove the presence of commercial quantities of oil and gas by drilling a well or a borehole,” McMillan said.
As part of the drilling campaign, the Mukuyu-1 well will be drilled approximately 2,500 meters below surface and Invictus will then proceed with an evaluation of the targets to be drilled and establish their potential size.
“You have to do this to really assess whether or not it’s commercially viable for you to continue.
“So you’re doing this exercise to first identify how big the potential targets are.
“Secondly, where exactly to test the targets and the trajectories of the boreholes you need to drill below the surface, so ours is going to be a deviated well and we’ll first drill 1,200 meters vertically and then we’ll angle the well to an angle of about 34 degrees to hunt targets,” he said.
Mr McMillan said drilling and exploration for oil and gas was a relatively expensive exercise compared to the drilling used for minerals in Zimbabwe.
“It takes a long time to gather a lot of data before you get to that phase of drilling and it is relatively expensive compared to drilling or drilling that we are used to in minerals in Zimbabwe,” he revealed. .