Reuters reports that Invictus Energy, an Australian-listed oil and gas exploration company, said it had not found any oil and gas deposits on Zimbabwe but there were indications of a “working petroleum system”. The company claims this can only be confirmed by a planned exploration well.
Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa had told reporters on November 1, 2018 that Invictus found oil and gas deposits in the Muzarabani area and has agreed to enter a production sharing arrangement with Zimbabwe once the project reached commercial production.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Invictus countered this claim by revealing that an “oil or gas discovery has not been made”.
The company said “the prospective resource estimate for the Muzarabani prospect relates to undiscovered accumulations which have both a risk of discovery and a risk of development. Although the Cabora Bassa Basin possess all the elements for a working petroleum system, a discovery can only be confirmed through drilling of an exploration well”.
Winston Chitando, Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister said the well would be sunk in 2020 at a cost of $20 million. He also said the Muzarabani project was the largest undrilled onshore resource in Africa.
Invictus, a firm whose only assets are in Zimbabwe, is using data first generated by Mobil Oil during its studies in the 1990s.
Chitando said Invictus had made more progress than Mobil because it had a better knowledge of the Muzarabani basin which had a similar geological structure to Uganda and Kenya, where oil has been discovered.