Zimbabwean Drilling Campaign to Drive African Exploration in 2022

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African exploration

Energy research firm, Westwood Global Energy Group, has classified the Mukuyu-1 drilling project in Zimbabwe’s Muzarabani prospect as one of Africa’s ‘key wells’ set to boost the continent’s exploration portfolio in 2022.

Drilling for the project is set to commence this month with the well representing one of the largest to be drilled in 2022.

Drilled by Australian oil and gas company, Invictus Energy, Mukuyu-1 ranks among 90 high-impact wells set to be drilled globally in 2022. 

With drilling conducted by energy services firm, Exalo Drilling SA and Baker Hughes, the project is targeting 8.2 trillion cubic feet of gas and 247 million barrels of oil.

The Zimbabwean drilling project comes at a time when the African continent is ramping up exploration in pursuit of energy security and to address high energy prices – largely due to the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war and the overreliance on energy imports. With regional countries including Angola, Mozambique and Namibia recently discovering massive oil and gas reserves, the Mukuyu-1 project is anticipated to further boost the southern African region’s energy outlook, driving energy security and economic growth through job creation and GDP growth.

The launch of the drilling campaign follows a 41% decline in exploration spending across Africa in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019 levels due to limited investments across the upstream sector, global energy transition-related policies, efforts by majors to diversify portfolios and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jamie Collard, Senior Analyst with Westwood Global Energy Group, stated that, “Africa will see a return to high-impact exploration in 2022, with key wells planned in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe following the success in Namibia earlier in the year.”

Other drilling campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa ranked alongside Mukuyu-1 include Savannah Energy’s campaign in Chad’s Doha basin where ExxonMobil and Petronas previously operated and Kinetiko Energy’s Korhaan 3, 4 and 5 drilling initiatives.

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Nicholas Nhede

Nicholas Nhede

Nicholas is an energy sector journalist with a passion on how technology and diversification of the energy mix can be used to address energy sector challenges. Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication studies and has been covering energy-related topics including the Internet of Things, distributed energy and digitalisation since 2015.

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