Oil discovery: Not so fast, Invictus tells Zimbabwe

Contrary to media reports, Australian Securities Exchange-listed entity Invictus Energy Limited is yet to discover oil, the company has said.

It was reported to have discovered oil in Zimbabwe's Mashonaland Central Province.

The ASX-listed company says although its findings thus far are positive and suggest oil and gas deposits, it still has to go through the exploration and drilling stage before it can confirm actual discovery of the two resources.

In a statement released on Friday, Invictus (IVZ) said: "Although the Cabora Bassa Basin possesses all the elements for a working petroleum system, a discovery can only be confirmed through drilling of an exploration well." 

It added: "The Company wishes to reiterate that an oil or gas discovery has not been made and the resource estimate for the Mzarabani Prospect relates to undiscovered accumulations which have both a risk of discovery and a risk of development."

Invictus was on Friday expected to announce its maiden prospective resource estimate, but had to cancel to Monday next week after the ASX sought more details with regard the announcement made in Harare.

In an interview with Fin24, Invictus managing director Scott Macmillan said there had been a misinterpretation of Thursday’s statement.

"Unfortunately there has been misinterpretation of what we did and I can understand because oil and gas is quite foreign in Zimbabwe, but what we discussed is the potential of oil.

"We have identified a big prospect there, that we think has potential to host oil and gas, so at this stage we have been interpreting geological physical data acquired 25 years ago."

He said similar discoveries had been made elsewhere in Kenya and Uganda, but for the Muzarabani project, confirmation was still required through exploration drilling.

"There was a prospective resource estimate that was due to come today, but we have had to postpone to Monday to work through a few of the queries and questions that we have from ASX after the news reports.

"But the fact is, it's still undiscovered potential," said Macmillan.

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa told journalists Thursday that his government had been advised by Invictus that the findings were positive and pointed to oil and gas deposits in the country's northern Muzarabani district.

President Mnangagwa said the company planned to spend $20m in sinking its first exploration well in the next two years.

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