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SOUTHERN Africa-focused oil and gas exploration outfit, Invictus Energy has signed a binding well services contract with Baker Hughes for its drilling campaign in Muzarabani.

Baker Hughes is one of the world’s leading oilfield service providers, operating in more than 120 countries worldwide.

The two parties signed a letter of intent in February relating to Invictus’ upcoming two-well exploration campaign called Cabora Bassa.

The agreement looks at several issues including providing services for cementing, mudlogging, wireline, drilling fluids and mud engineering, tubular running, finishing and abandonment, directional drilling and logging, liner hangers, drill bits, reservoir technical services and project management.

Invictus’ drilling campaign is scheduled to commence at the end of July 2022.

Invictus managing director Scott Macmillan said the deal marked another significant milestone for the company as it prepared to embark on its maiden drilling campaign.

“The basis of well design has been completed and the well pad construction for the first well in the drilling sequence, Mukuyu-1, is progressing well. The Exalo 202 rig is expected to start its mobilisation in the coming days once it is released from Tanzania,” Macmillan said in an update to shareholders.

“We remain on track to spud the first well end of July, while we continue to make progress on selection of the second well location and expect to update shareholders in due course,” he said.

Last week, NewsDay Business reported that Exalo 202 had been stuck in Tanzania after authorities in that country delayed releasing requisite papers for its journey to Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley basin.

The drill, which is operated by Romania-headquartered Exalo drilling SA, was said to be undertaking a similar project in Tanzania.

Axalo was expected to make the journey from Tanzania to Zimbabwe this month, arriving in time to execute the assignment from July 1, according to statements by Invictus.

In an interview with NewsDay Business last week, Paul Chimbodza, whose firm, Geo Associates is a shareholder in the project, confirmed the delays, but said several parts of the plant had already arrived in Zimbabwe.

“There have been delays in Tanzania, they are working on the paperwork, but several parts of the equipment have already started arriving,” Chimbodza told NewsDay Business.

The firm said it was on course to kick start the Mukuyu-1 oil and gas drilling, after raising US$8,5 million through a private placement.

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