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Zim makes major gas discovery in Mbire

AUSTRALIAN firm, Invictus Energy, and its local partner One Gas Resources have discovered condensate gas at their Mukuyu-2 exploration site in Mbire, Mashonaland Central province, north of Zimbabwe, in a development the company described as a potential game changer for Zimbabwe’s economic growth and the country’s energy security, among other benefits. Mines and Mining Development Minister Zhemu Soda made the announcement this morning, saying the major gas discovery represented one of the most significant developments in the onshore oil and gas sector in the Southern African region.

This marks one of the most successful exploration programmes in Africa given the companies managed to find the hydrocarbons at the first instance of exploration drilling compared to hundreds of attempts made elsewhere on the continent before moveable deposits were confirmed.

Zimbabwe’s discovery is the Triassic-aged hydrocarbon in Sub-Saharan Africa. The successful discovery of moveable hydrocarbons in Zimbabwe could have a far-reaching positive impact on the company and economy in general.

Potential game-changing benefits include faster economic growth, increased export earnings, energy security for a country facing a crippling electricity deficit, massive job creation, and the development of completely new downstream industries.

Condensate gases are also used for power generation, manufacture of products such as petrol (gasoline), jet fuel, diesel and heating fuels.

Some condensates, particularly those with a high paraffin content, are used for the manufacture of ethylene (feedstock for polymers and industrial chemicals).

“A total of four hydrocarbon samples were recovered to the surface from two separate zones in the Upper Angwa using a wireline formation testing tool. The samples meet key international standards and gas and fluid properties will be confirmed following laboratory testing.

Currently, the company is conducting further appraisal and evaluation work to confirm the size and quality of the gas reserves and to determine the optimal development plan,” he said.

Natural gas condensate, also called natural gas liquid, is a low-density mixture of hydrocarbon liquids that are present as gaseous components in the raw natural gas produced from many natural gas fields.

Exploration, however, continues at Mukuyu-2 to explore the full extent of the gas deposits, amid expectations further tests could also confirm the presence of some oil.

Invictus’ special grant exploration area covers an expansive land that will also be explored or tested shortly.

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