The discovery of gas and oil in Zimbabwe by the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed mining and exploration firm, Invictus Energy is expected to potentially ease energy and power shortages in the country, the company’s Managing Director has said.
According to the Managing Director Mr. Scott MacMillan, the discovery of oil and gas in the country means there is going to be no energy shortages in the country an initiative which will in turn boost production domestically.
“Discovery (of gas or oil) would mean energy independence for Zimbabwe, which is vital for economic growth and prosperity. There is a clear correlation between energy consumption, prosperity and gross domestic production” said MacMillan.
MacMillan also said that the development at the mine will see Zimbabwe relying on its own fuel and electricity which means that 25 percent of the country’s foreign currency will be saved for other uses. He also said that the discovery has the potential to make Zimbabwe a net exporter of energy and power.
“And for a country like Zimbabwe, it would mean that we are no longer reliant on fuel and electricity imports and instead of consuming 25 percent foreign currency importing diesel and petrol if enough is discovered we can turn into a net exporter,” he said.
Mac Millan also said that the country can become a powerhouse in the region with its discoveries of gas and oil given that South Africa and Zambia are currently struggling to provide sufficient power to meet their domestic demands.
“If the two commodities were discovered in Zimbabwe, it would take between three and four years for the country to start benefiting from resources, which would entail economic growth, tax, royalty and export revenue as well as jobs and emergence of downstream industries among others,” MacMillan said.
The oil and gas mining firm has already made a convincing discovery of oil and gas at its Muzabani project in Mt Darwin using advanced exploration technology which has made its finding to be a very positive outcome.
According to the company, it is working towards obtaining requisite equipment for the company to start exploratory drilling to depths of up to 4km.
MacMillan also said that his company will mobilise the equipment from the region where such machinery is available.
The company director said that results analysis done on the source rocks from Muzarabani are indicating that the area has strong potential for gas and oil deposits.
“From the analysis that we did of the source rock, it is capable of generating both gas and oil,” MacMillan said.
“From the analysis that we did of the source rock, it is capable of generating both gas and oil,” Mr. MacMillan said.
According to the company, although geochemical signatures of rock samples from the area bear striking characteristics to similar rock types that have produced oil in Uganda, Kenya and Australia, in Zimbabwe the source rock type will determine whether Muzarabani has gas or oil. The company holds the fact that the test results show the likelihood of more gas than oil.
The ASX listed exploration and mining company said that the possibility that the area has more oil than gas will be determined by the temperatures the source rock has been exposed to while its also a function of how deep it has been buried.
“We have got source rock that has been buried in both gas window and oil window in particular times,” Said MacMillan.
The Invictus boss said unlike when Mobil explored for oil in the 1990s, with its main target being finding petroleum oil, dynamics have since changed over time and Zimbabwe could unlock significant economic benefits even if it found just gas, which can now be easily monetised.
According to MacMillan, when Mobil explored in the 1990s, oil was the major source of energy globally yet preliminary findings from the global giant’s searches then indicated a high probability of conventional gas than oil deposits.
The Invictus managing director said gas was now a major source of energy across the world and with high demand ; it was only a matter of finding the market to monetise the commodity.
Potentially, independent study estimates have shown that Muzarabani could hold anything between 200 billion and 20 trillion cubic feet of the two valuable energy products.
The company believes that it still needs to undertake further works through geophysical tests to narrow risks and identify areas with the highest potential for the existence of oil and gas as well as to high-grade locations that may hold significant deposits.
Mr MacMillan said being a frontier destination in oil and gas exploration there was 1 to 5 and 1 to 10 chance of successful discover of oil and gas, which is why the company was making extensive tests and studies to ascertain the existence of the highly sought after energy commodities.
This article first appeared in the March 2020 Issue of the Mining Zimbabwe magazine