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Another boost for Zimbabwe’s oil and gas ambitions

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The Zimbabwe landscape might see increased oil ad gas activity in the future. Image credit: Leon Louw

Another boost for Zimbabwe’s oil and gas ambitions  

Australian listed Invictus Energy has extended its footprint in the Cabora Bassa Basin of Zimbabwe giving it more room to continue exploration drilling of this highly prospective oil and gas play.

Last week Invictus Energy announced that it had signed an agreement with the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe to increase the exploration area where drilling is currently taking place.

Scott Macmillan, Managing Director at Invictus, says that the company’s 80% owned Geo Associates and the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe have executed an assignment agreement for the exploration rights to Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) 1848 and 1849.

“EPOs 1848 and 1849 are contiguous to our current SG 4571 licence, with the newly combined area covering the entire conventional oil and gas play fairway in the Cabora Bassa Basin.

“The combined exploration licences provide us with a basin master position encompassing the entire conventional oil and gas play fairway and running room in the basin,” says Macmillan.

The exploration licences are focused on the core prospective area in the basin, which is covered by the company’s CB21 Seismic Survey and minimises its holding costs through the relinquishment of non-prospective areas in the basin.

“We are grateful for the constructive efforts by the Zimbabwe Government to conclude the amendments to the Petroleum Act to facilitate the signing of the Petroleum Production Sharing Agreement (PPSA),” says Macmillan.

A framework for long-term investment

“The PPSA will provide a robust framework to facilitate long-term investment in the oil and gas sector with confidence and ensures the country derives its fair share of any discovered resources.”

Macmillan confirmed that drilling at the company’s Baobab-1 well in the basin imminent in a new exploration program that will target the newly identified “Basin Margin play.”

Macmillan is convinced that, subject to making an opening discovery with either Mukuyu-1 or Baobab-1, it could potentially provide the company with “future discoveries on a large scale within the basin.”

This newly expanded basin master position, combined with the high-quality seismic data acquired in the CB21 Survey, has provided Invictus with a material portfolio of high potential prospects and leads.

Multiple drill ready prospects in the newly identified Basin Margin play have been mapped along the southern basin bounding fault, which display similarities the East Africa Rift “String of Pearls” that resulted in material discoveries in the Lokichar Basin in Kenya and Albertine Graben in Uganda.

Additional large leads on trend with the Mukuyu prospect have also been identified along the basement high in the Central Fairway play, which provide follow-on prospectivity that can be matured at low cost.

The maiden drilling campaign scheduled to commence in early September will test both major play types through the Mukuyu-1 and Baobab-1 exploration wells, with the potential to unlock a large resource base in the Cabora Bassa Basin.

Another string of pearls?

According to a statement by the company the Mukuyu-1 well will target stacked Triassic and younger sandstones within a 200km2 fourway dip closure on the basement high trend. The Baobab-1 well will target stacked Cretaceous and younger sandstones, within four-way and three-way dip closures, against the southern basin bounding rift fault.

Baobab displays similar structural characteristics to the basin opening Ngamia discovery drilled in the Lokichar Basin in Kenya. Ngamia-1 successfully tested a stacked three-way dip closure which found pay at multiple horizons and resulted in subsequent discoveries in the “String of Pearls” along the Basin Margin.

“Prior to the acquisition of the CB21 Seismic Survey we recognised the potential for the Basin Margin to evolve into a substantial play due to the structural similarities we observed with the East Africa Rift System,” says Macmillan.

“The exceptional results delivered through the planning and execution of the CB21 Survey has enabled us to mature this conceptual play initially identified on sparse vintage data to multiple drill ready prospects which provides us substantial follow-up potential.”

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