Invictus drilling rig finally heads to Zim

OIL and gas exploration firm, Invictus Energy, has announced the process of bringing the Exalo #202 rig from Tanzania to the Mukuyu-1 well site in Zimbabwe has commenced.

The rig will be used by the company to drill the first of its Muzarabani two-well exploration programme in Cabora Bassa basin.

The Australia-headquartered firm is exploring for oil and gas in Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central province after a France-based company, Mobil, the early 1990s, carried out initial seismic surveys but decided not to follow it up.

However, Invictus using modern data processing techniques, reprocessed the data gathered and obtained significant evidence that the underlying geological structures had the domes and traps that could indicate oil and gas in Muzarabani.

In an update, Invictus said the rig and associated equipment are expected later this month.

“Invictus is pleased to confirm that following the completion of clearing procedures and documentation, the Exalo Rig 202 has commenced mobilisation from Songo Songo Island in Tanzania to Cabora Bassa.

“The rig and associated equipment will arrive over the course of June and commence rig up to drill the first of two wells in the company’s upcoming exploration campaign in the Cabora Bassa Basin,” it said.

Invictus said the Mukuyu-1 well pad construction was nearing completion following the finalisation of civil works including pad levelling and compaction, water supply and reservoirs.

The concrete footings for the rig will be poured for curing ahead of the arrival of the rig to the wellsite.

“The Mukuyu-1 well will test multiple stacked targets within the greater Mukuyu structure which is independently estimated to contain 8.2 Tcf + 247 million barrels of conventional gas condensate (gross mean unrisked),” it said.

The company said it has been advised that the pre-gazettal administration process to increase its Special Grant 4571 (SG 4571) area by seven-fold has been completed and awaits publishing in the Government Gazette.

Invictus’ 80 percent owned subsidiary, Geo Associates (Pvt) Ltd and the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe have executed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to increase SG 4571 licence area from 100 000 hectares to 709 300 ha.

Invictus managing director Mr Scott Macmillan was quoted as saying: “The commencement of the rig mobilisation marks another milestone in the project as we prepare to commence drilling the Mukuyu-1 well, the first well in our potentially play opening two-well exploration campaign in the frontier Cabora Bassa basin.

“The enlarged SG 4571 licence provides us with a basin master position encompassing the entire Cabora Bassa Basin in Zimbabwe.

“Subject to making an opening discovery with one of our first two wells, it potentially could provide us with future discoveries on a large scale within the basin which will be transformational for the company and the Republic of Zimbabwe.”

The company has committed to drill a second well in the campaign to test the newly identified basin margin play which was matured through the CB21 Seismic Survey completed in November 2021.

Details of the second well will be provided once the gazettal process has been completed.

Geo Associates and the Republic of Zimbabwe will also conclude the Petroleum Production Sharing Agreement (PPSA) which will encompass the legal and fiscal provisions to govern the project and the development of any discovered resource.


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