Invictus explores Mukuyu-2 further, identifies oil, gas presence


MUZARABANI – Australian energy firm, Invictus Energy Limited, has dicovered hydrocarbons at the second drill site of its Cabora Bassa Project in north-eastern Zimbabwe.

This indicates further natural gas and oil deposits at the second drilling site, called Mukuyu-2. Late last year, persistent machine breakdowns had forced the company to abandon its drilling efforts at its first identified drilling site, Mukuyu-1.

Invictus Energy Drilling identifies more gas, oil at Mukuyu 2
Image: eBusiness Weekly

The Australian Securities Exchange listed company owns and operates 80% of the project, covering a vast 250,000 ha in the Muzarabani district of Mashonaland Central province, located in the north-eastern part of Zimbabwe.

In a statement released on Monday, Invictus managing director Scott Macmillan said, “Further evaluation results continue to reaffirm the presence of moveable hydrocarbons at Mukuyu-2, evidenced by the recovery of natural gas from the Pebbly Arkose formation and further wireline logging data interpretations obtained from the upper and lower Angwa reservoirs,”

“Due to compounding sampling challenges, borehole conditions and well control measures the company, in conjunction with our service providers, have determined a simple vertical sidetrack that will provide the strongest opportunity to achieve our remaining upper and lower Angwa evaluation objectives.”

He said the company was currently funded to conduct and evaluate the planned sidetrack operations, with the completion allowing the well to be suspended for future flow testing.

The natural gas, predominantly methane and trace heavier hydrocarbons, surfaced primarily from the Pebbly Arkose formation.

Invictus added that it continued pipe conveyed logging operations due to challenging borehole conditions.

“Additionally, wireline logging data from gamma ray, density-neutron and resistivity has identified multiple hydrocarbon bearing intervals in the Upper and Lower Angwa reservoir sands, subsequently reaffirming the moveable hydrocarbons observed during initial fluid sample clean-up which showed gas and liquid hydrocarbons flowing through the onboard compositional fluid analyser,” Invictus said.

“Prior to the fluid sampling in the Pebbly Arkose formation, analysis of the wireline logs interpreted the presence of residual gas (low gas saturation below the net pay cut-off). The formation was targeted to acquire a water sample to assist the calibration of resistivity data and calculation of gas saturation in the below Upper and Lower Angwa formations.”

Thus, the recovery of natural gas surface from a primarily water bearing interval in the Pebbly Arkose proves the presence of hydrocarbons.

This is coupled with the wireline log interpretation of hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs in the upper and lower Angwa formations signifies a potential discovery in the Mukuyu field.

“The Exalo Rig 202 is preparing to plug back the existing eight and a half” wellbore section and commence re-drilling the 8 ½” hole section with more optimal parameters to approximately 3 400mMD above where the overpressure zone in the lower Angwa commences,” the company said.

“The Mukuyu-2 vertical sidetrack will be more conducive for conventional wireline logging operations including the fluid sampling to be conducted in the upper Angwa and part of the lower Angwa reservoirs, providing favourable parameters for a more efficient and economic sidetrack operation in comparison to the Mukuyu-1 sidetrack well.”

Invictus said the completion of the sidetrack would also allow for the well to be suspended for future flow testing.

“The company anticipates the remaining activities to conduct the sidetrack and wireline logging to take approximately 21 to 28 days depending on drilling and logging conditions and is currently funded to complete these activities,” it said.

The Muzarabani Oil and gas project began in 2017 following the awarding of special grant 4571 to Geo Associates Pvt Ltd. Geo Associates is a joint venture between Invictus Energy and One Gas, which owns 20%.

The area covered by the special grant was previously explored by Mobil in the early 1990s as part of their oil exploration in the Zambezi valley. Geo Associates is the first company to explore for oil and gas since Mobil left in 1994.

In 2021, Geo Associates and The Government of Zimbabwe signed two MOU's, namely the Petroleum Exploration and Development Production Agreement (PEDPA) and the Petroleum Product Sharing Agreement (PPSA). The agreements granted Geo Associates the right to commence the Cabora Bassa Project. 

The agreements also stipulated a 25 year production licence following exploration period, Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status for the Cabora Bassa Project, as well as a framework for the commercialisation of oil discoveries and the sharing of the resource between government and the investors.

Zimbabwe is already a mineral-rich country, and the discovery of oil and gas is expected to lead Zimbabwe to become energy self sufficient and boost the country’s economy. Granted these are just exploration stages, these findings give hope to the investors, the government, and the country at large.

It remains to be seen whether the Cabora Bassa Project will uplift the lives of the Muzarabani community, and Zimbabweans at large.

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