Business Briefs

Oil and gas drilling on cards

Studies conducted thus far from secondary data collected by petroleum giants Mobil in the early 90s, have shown encouraging results and tremendous potential for possible existence of oil and gas in the firm’s specials grant area.

The Muzarabani prospect has ticked all the relevant boxes to warrant millions of US dollar investment into drilling for oil or gas. Thus far, US$3,5 million has been invested in preliminary work and processing of secondary data, but the actual sinking of the first oil and gas wells in the country will cost upwards of US$15 million.

Officials, including managing director Scot MacMillan, said the company was already mobilising heavy duty equipment used for oil and gas from the region ahead of commencement of drilling within the next 12 months.

In between, the company will conduct further on-site investigations, specifically geophysics (seismic studies) to narrow down on the most accurate sites for drilling two wells to test the possible existence of oil and gas in Muzarabani.

On the back of strong evidence gleaned from the investigations and studies that have been conducted, Government is now tying the loose ends to a production sharing agreement with Geo Associates, the Zimbabwean registered firm that controls Invictus, and a draft agreement should be ready in the next few weeks.

The development was announced by Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, when he gave an update on the oil and gas project at a media briefing last week. Expectations are that the project, in the event of discovery, could change the Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes in many ways than one. If Zimbabwe discovers oil or gas, as is widely expected and supported by the strong evidence from studies by independent experts, the country will become energy self-sufficient (both in terms of electricity and powering vehicles).

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