THE gamble by the Australian Stock Exchange-listed company Invictus to spend millions of United States dollars on exploration for oil in Muzarabani looks set to pay off after the company this week announced it had found a “presence of light oil and rich natural gas-condensate”.
Last year, the independent upstream oil and gas company focused on sub-Saharan Africa, including on the Cabora Bassa Basin in northern Zimbabwe, announced it had spent US$16 million in four years in primary exploration for oil in Muzarabani which included hiring the drilling rig and logistics.
An additional US$16 million was then spent on the actual drilling of Mukuyu-1 hole in search of the oil.
The company announced it had raised a further AS25 million (US$17 million) through a private placement, to make it fully funded to extend drilling of the Mukuyu 1 and Baobab 1 exploration wells.
The company announced it expected the total cost of the exploration work to rise to US$100 million. However, after spending so much, this week there were revelations that the exercise could begin paying off for the Australian company.
The ray of hope boosted market optimism and sent the company’s shares surging at 8.7%.
“Results from the mudgas compositional analysis definitively proves the presence of hydrocarbons in multiple reservoir pay zones at Mukuyu-1 consistent with the wireline log interpretation, fluorescence, and elevated mudgas readings,” Invictus Energy managing director Scott MacMillan said.
“Analysis shows the presence of light oil and rich natural gas-condensate, with condensate gas ratios estimated at between 30 to 135 barrels per million cubic feet. “The analysed samples demonstrate a consistent, high-quality natural gas composition, exhibiting low inert content, containing less than 1% CO2.
“Furthermore, the presence of helium gas in commercial concentrations in multiple reservoir units is comparable with global helium producing fields and provides an additional high value by-product.” MacMillan revealed that these results were pleasing and pointed to a positive future.
“We are extremely pleased with the results from the mudgas analysis which confirm our geological modelling of the Cabora Bassa Basin and the presence of both light oil and gas–condensate provides us with confidence as we prepare for the drilling of Mukuyu-2 in Q3 this year.
“Success at Mukuyu-2 and confirmation of a significant discovery will further unlock the value of our material portfolio and basin master position in the Cabora Bassa Basin.”
In addition, the latest analysis also confirmed the presence of helium gas in commercial concentrations comparable with global helium producing fields. Helium, mainly sourced from natural gas wells, is a critical component in the manufacture of semiconductors, liquid crystal display panels and fibre optic wire.
Its asset portfolio consists of the highly prospective SG 4571 & EPOs 1848/49, in the Cabora Bassa Basin in Zimbabwe, one of the largest under-explored interior rift basins in Africa. Invictus recently drilled its maiden Mukuyu-1/ST1 well in SG 4571, which identified 13 potential hydrocarbon-bearing zones and proved a working hydrocarbon system in the basin.
The company is now preparing to drill the follow-up Mukuyu-2 appraisal well, targeting multiple hydrocarbon (gas-condensate and potentially light oil) bearing intervals encountered in the Mukuyu-1/ST1 well in the Upper Angwa and Pebbly Arkose formations, with the aim of confirming a gas-condensate discovery.
Mukuyu-2 will also test additional prospec tivity in the deeper Upper Angwa and undrilled Lower Angwa, which were not penetrated in the Mukuyu-1/ST1 campaign, providing further upside potential.
It will also aim to test the Post Dande horizon away from the major east-west fault on the southern flank. Mukuyu-2 is expected to spud in the third quarter of 2023.