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Invictus Energy starts drilling first exploration well in Zimbabwe

Oil Reserve

HARARE (Reuters) - Australian-listed Invictus Energy Ltd has started drilling one of two exploration wells for oil and gas in the northern part of Zimbabwe, the company said on Monday.

The 3.5 kilometer (2.17 miles) deep well, situated in the Muzarabani-Mbire area, is part of the Cabora Bassa project in Zimbabwe, which is 80% owned and operated by Invictus through its interest in Geo Associates.

Invictus said in a statement that the drilling of the first well, Mukuyu-1, began on Friday and will last between 50 and 60 days.

Mukuyu, which will cost $16 million, is one of the largest oil and gas exploration prospects to be drilled globally in 2022, estimated at 20 trillion cubic feet and 845 million barrels of conventional gas condensate, or about 4.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, the company said.

Invictus has been prospecting for oil and gas deposits for the past four years in the Cabora Bassa and Zambezi basins.

The company said that Mukuyu-1 will be followed by the 1.5 km deep well, Baobab-1, which will be completed in 30-40 days.

Last month, the company raised additional $17 million to fund the drilling of the exploration wells through private placement.

(Reporting by Nyasha Chingono in Harare; Editing by Anait Miridzhanian and Louise Heavens)