Invictus injects US$8m into exploration programme

In an update on its financial and operational performance for the quarter ended June 30, 2023, Invictus said it was well-funded for upcoming exploration and appraisal work.

INVICTUS Energy, a firm hoping to make Zimbabwe’s first oil find, spent A$12,664 million (about US$8,41 million) in exploration and evaluation activities during the quarter ended June 30, 2023, NewsDay Business can reveal.

In an update on its financial and operational performance for the quarter ended June 30, 2023, Invictus said it was well-funded for upcoming exploration and appraisal work.

“During the quarter, A$180 000 was paid to related parties of the company relating to executive director salary, non-executive director fees and company secretary fee. The exploration and evaluation activity spend for the quarter totalled A$12,664 million,” the report read.

During the quarter, the firm successfully raised a combined A$35,4 million (about US$23,57 million), placing the company in a strong position as it embarks on its next phase of exploration and appraisal in the Cabora Bassa Basin.

For instance, in April this year, the company announced that it has raised A$10 million via a private placement to sophisticated and institutional investors, which was buttressed by existing shareholder Mangwana Capital, local Zimbabwean partners and the board of directors.

This was followed by an oversubscribed share place plan and private placement, which successfully raised A$25,45 million.

In the quarter under review, the resource outfit awarded SLB, previously known as Schlumberger, the open-hole wireline logging contract.

Geolog International was awarded the mudlogging contract, while Baker Hughes in combination with NOV was awarded the directional drilling and logging while drilling contracts.

The remainder of the services, including cementing, drilling fluids and mud engineering, tubular running, fishing and abandonment, liner hangers, reservoir technical services and project management have been retained by Baker Hughes.

“The quarter also saw the completion of the maintenance programme for Exalo’s Rig 202, which has remained warm stacked at the Mukuyu-1 wellsite since the completion of drilling operations,” the update further read.

“Preparations are now underway to mobilise the drilling rig to the Mukuyu-2 wellsite, with the appraisal well on track to spud in Q3 (third quarter). Mukuyu-2 will test multiple stacked targets within the greater Mukuyu structure with the aim of confirming a commercial discovery.”

Invictus signed an exploration, development and production deal with Zimbabwe in 2018, and exploration started last year in the Cabora Bassa Basin, some 200 kilometres north of the capital, Harare, where an estimated 20 trillion cubic feet of gas are held.

Along with light oil and gas condensate, Invictus announced that it also found the presence of helium gas in commercial concentrations in the Mukuyu-1 well. Helium is used in the production of semiconductors and liquid crystal display panels.

Polaris Natural Resource Development (Polaris) was roped in to carry out further exploration. Work has officially commenced with the start of line clearing operations.

Compositional analysis was completed during the quarter for five priority mudgas samples acquired during the drilling of the Mukuyu-1/ST-1 well in selected Upper Angwa reservoir units.

The results confirmed the presence of light oil, gas-condensate and helium. They also confirmed multiple oil and gas pay zones in sandstone reservoirs consistent with wireline log interpretation and fluorescence observed in sidewall cores and cuttings.

The analysed samples demonstrated a consistent, high-quality natural gas composition, exhibiting low inert content, containing less than 1% carbon dioxide, which will require minimal processing.

Analysis also showed the helium content at Mukuyu-1 at commercial concentrations of 0,1%, consistent with global commercial helium producers, while there is potential for the concentration within the reservoir to be even greater.

This, according to Invictus, presents a potential significant additional revenue stream for the company, with the long-term contract bulk helium price 50-100 times greater than typical long-term natural gas prices.

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