Drilling of oil exploration wells in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa basin set for 2022

Oil drilling in WCTP block 2

Zimbabwe’s ambition to become energy sufficient is becoming a reality, with an Australian firm prospecting for oil and gas in the country’s Cabora Bassa basin set to sink exploration wells next year.

Invictus Energy, an Australian gas and oil exploration company, has appointed Canadian firm Polaris Natural Resources to conduct a seismic survey of the area to map the underlying geology more precisely in order to accurately determine positions to drill.

Invictus Energy Technical Director and Country Manager Brent Barber said seismic data acquisition in the area has progressed according to plan.

“The seismic studies here on the ground should be finished mid-November, the data then goes over to a specialist company in Canada to do the interpretation, that interpretation then goes to Australia where our geophysicists finally interpret it and locate the positions we will drill wells,” he told Xinhua.

Earlier this year Invictus Energy and the government of Zimbabwe signed a petroleum exploration development and production agreement (PEDPA). Under the PEDPA, the company was granted rights to undertake the production for the next 25 years.

The Cabora Bassa Basin, located in the Zambezi Valley in Muzarabani, 300 km northeast of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, is believed to be one of the largest under-explored interior rift basins on the African continent.

Mobil was said to be the first oil company to undertake seismic surveys in the region in the early 1990s.

Using advanced data processing techniques, Invictus Energy reprocessed the data gathered by Mobil and found evidence that the underlying geological structures in the area contain oil and gas deposits.

If confirmed, the hydrocarbon deposits could lead to energy independence for Zimbabwe, said Barber.

“What we have been exploring here is the largest unexplored anticline in Africa. It has the potential to contain multimillion barrels of oil and trillion cubic feet of gas, but for Zimbabwe, if that discovery is made, it will be a total game-changer,” said Brent Barber. “For example, if we have gas here, we can generate electricity, we can solve Zimbabwe’s electricity problems in a very short period of time.”

Onias Hwata, the local chief of the area, said the discovery of oil and gas could bring significant economic benefits.

“This exploration of gas and oil in Muzarabani is going to be a game-changer in this area, especially in terms of employment creation. It is going to be a new look in Zimbabwe as well. The economy is going to change in Zimbabwe because of this exploration of oil and gas,” he said.

Prior to the coming of Invictus Energy in Muzarabani, the main economic activity in the region was cotton farming, and the new industry is expected to completely transform the area. Enditem

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  1. This is excellent news for Zimbabwe, we need to encourage more companies to invest in our country to make more jobs and income to the country to be self reliant.


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