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No oil or gas found yet by Invictus in Muzarabani amid drilling challenges

Invictus Energy (IVZ) has ended operations on Mukuyu-1 and ST1 amid ‘unsuitable’ exploration characterised by challenges with drilling due to equipment failures.

In a statement, Invictus managing director Scott Macmillan said difficulties during drilling included breakage of a T Bar Clamp during attempts to retrieve the wireline formation testing tool, which was later damaged in the process.

He made it clear that there was more work to be done.

The company, however, said results prove the potential of Upper Angwa formation over a 900m gross interval. It further stated that the log analysis indicated multiple potential gas-bearing reservoir units, despite no initial fluid sample being able to be obtained due to technical and operational issues.

Invictus Energy Managing Director Scott Macmillan
Invictus Energy Managing Director Scott Macmillan
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Accordingly, Exalo Rig 202 contract has been extended for 12 months to remain in Cabora Bassa Basin. Preparations are also commencing for Mukuyu appraisal with Phase 2 drilling and evaluation.

Invictus began drilling the Mukuyu-1 well, in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa Basin, in late September last year. By mid-November, the company was reporting positive results. The well found a working petroleum system, with particular interest in the Upper Angwa.

On January 3, 2023, Invictus had managed to retrieve stuck tools, but that more work would not be feasible. As such, Invictus brought operations to an end and demobilised its equipment and people.

“We are particularly encouraged with the Upper Angwa Alternation Member horizon”, he said. The well “proved up the hydrocarbon potential over a 900 metre gross interval with elevated gas shows up to 135 times above background and fluorescence to TD”, the executive said.

Macmillan added that there remains deeper untested potential and a further 300 metres of updip potential at the crest of the structure.

He said that drilling the well and sidetrack were a “tremendous success”.

Results “have put us in a strong future position given the petroleum potential of the basin has been proven. We have an exciting portfolio of additional prospects and leads which has been substantially de-risked in addition to Mukuyu.”

“The stacking of the rig at Mukuyu-1 will allow Exalo to perform maintenance and upgrades of the rig” before drilling the next well, Macmillan said.

The company will source long lead items, tender for services and integrate information “into the geological model to determine future drilling locations”, he said.