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Zimbabwe to start digging for oil and gas

by reporter263

Australian-listed Invictus Energy Ltd expects to start drilling its first exploration well for oil and gas in the northern part of Zimbabwe in the coming weeks, an official with the company’s Zimbabwean subsidiary said on Friday, citing Reuters.

The first well, Mukuyu-1, situated in the Muzarabani-Mbire area, will be 3.5km deep at a cost of $16 million, said Paul Chimbodza, managing director of the Australian company’s local subsidiary Geo Associates.

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According to reports, Mukuyu is part of the Cabora Bassa project in Zimbabwe, which is 80% owned and operated by Invictus through its interest in Geo Associates.


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“All things being equal, we will start (at the) end of this month or first week of September,” Chimbodza told journalists at a media tour of the rig site.

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Following an updated independent report from petroleum consultancy firm, Erce, as well as new data from the Cabora Bassa 2D Seismic Survey, the reserve estimates are now measured at 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and 845 million barrels of conventional gas condensate, according to Energy Capital Power.

According to the Maravi Post, the firm plans to build a gas-to-power facility to supply the national grid, an attractive possibility as Zimbabwe is plagued by power shortages.

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But environmentalists fear the construction of pipelines could lead to forced displacement, harm the vegetation and animal habitats.

Invictus has been prospecting for oil and gas deposits for the past four years in the Cabora Bassa and Zambezi basins, the company said.

Chimbodza said the drilling phase is to ascertain resource availability and the quality of the deposits.

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He said there had been some delays to the project due to logistical issues, without giving details, but said these had not caused serious problems.

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