Australian firm confirms gas, oil & helium discovery in Zimbabwe

Australian firm confirms gas, oil & helium discovery in Zimbabwe

Australia-listed oil and gas firm Invictus Energy has recently confirmed its discovery of light oil, gas condensate and helium in a remote northeastern region of Zimbabwe, which is hailed as a culmination of months of exploration.

Analysis of samples from its remote sites near the border with Mozambique “definitively proves the presence of hydrocarbons in multiple reservoir pay zones” at one of the wells. The Australian company said analyzed samples “demonstrate a consistent, high-quality natural gas composition, exhibiting low inert content, containing less than” 1% carbon dioxide. Invictus Energy’s landmark discovery at its Cabora Bassa project, which comes 30 years after US giant ExxonMobil gave up its quest to secure crude oil in the area, has sent its shares up 8.7%.

Zimbabwe suffers severe power outages of up to 19 hours a day and the find could lead to the country’s first gas production that would help improve power supplies. Invictus Energy inked the exploration, development and production deal with Zimbabwe in 2018, promising to also build a gas-to-power facility to supply the national grid. The discovery is also a boon for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government which is entitled to as much as 60% of the project’s output. Helium is a key component in the manufacture of semiconductors, liquid crystal display (LCD) panels and fibre optic wire. The Perth-based Invictus Energy is an independent upstream oil and gas company focused on sub-Saharan Africa.

In a separate but related development, Invictus Energy has now awarded Polaris Geo, a specialist onshore seismic data gatherer, a contract to gather additional 400 kilometers of 2D seismic data over Invictus Energy’s acreage in Zimbabwe, building on similar contract undertaken in 2021. Australia-listed junior Invictus drilled its technically challenging Mukuyu-1 wildcat in the Cabora Bassa basin last year, which established the presence of oil, gas and helium. A follow-up appraisal well will be spudded shortly with an upgraded rig and improved equipment to further test this new play, while simultaneously acquiring valuable seismic data on adjacent blocks.

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