Zimbabwe president says study points to oil in country

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Zimbabwe government's Austrian partner in the Muzarabani gas and oil exploration, Invictus Energy Limited has dismissed media reports that followed President Emmerson Mnangagwa's media briefing, that a discovery had been made. The president has announced this through a press release which has been posted on Twitter by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.

"As part of its exploration studies, Invictus has engaged a number of world-wide professional companies with extensive experience in oil and gas", said Mnangagwa.

The presence of the presidium triumvirate pointed to the significance of Mnangagwa's statement with regard to Invictus's exploration work in the country's Muzarabani area.

Twenty-five years after oil giant Mobil carried out tests and left disappointed, advanced technology appears to show that there are oil deposits in northern Zimbabwe, near the border with Mozambique.

"After the exploration well, the next stage will be commercial exploitation of the resource".

He pledged Government's full support for the project and indicated that if all goes according to plan, Zimbabwe would have its first oil exploration well by 2020. In the interim, additional geo-physical work is ongoing to identify further exploration targets.

"The result as communicated by Invictus is an exciting development for our country".

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Mines Minister Winston Chitando said the well would be sunk at a cost of $20 million.

Invictus Energy has agreed to enter a production sharing arrangement with Zimbabwe once the project reaches commercial production, Mnangagwa said.

Government has pledged all its support.

"Far from discordance, what we are getting from the company is a measured statement which we fully understand".

"The estimated quantities of petroleum that may be potentially recovered by the application of a future development project relate to undiscovered accumulations". These estimates have an associated risk of discovery and risk of development.

"Further exploration, appraisal and evaluation are required to determine the existence of a significant quantity of potentially movable hydrocarbons".

Mnangagwa's spokesperson George Charamba said there was no discord between the Zimbabwean leader and the Australian company. "Anything that brings a smile to the people will be announced", Saungweme said.

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