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Invictus Energy has secured a binding contract for a rig to drill at the Cabora Bassa project in Zimbabwe as it works towards a program commencing in June.

Off the back of a MoU signed last year Invictus (ASX:IVZ) has successfully engaged the services of the Exalo #202 rig owned by Exalo Drilling SA – a rig with a range of 5000m.

The rig will be used to drill the Muzarabani-1 well, targeting prospective resources of 8.2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) and 247 million barrels of conventional gas-condensate.

The MoU also included an option for an additional exploration well to be drilled during the campaign.

The timing couldn’t be better for Invictus, which is currently in the process of interpreting data from its 2021 Cabora Bassa (CB21) 2D seismic survey.

The company said early interpretation had revealed multiple trapping geometries and a target-rich hydrocarbon environment, allowing it to identify several potential well locations for Muzarabani-1 while maturing additional prospects for a second well.

“The maiden drilling program to test the world-class Muzarabani prospect is coming together very well, having secured Exalo’s #202 rig, global well services provider Baker Hughes and long-lead items,” Invictus MD Scott McMillan said.

Leading from the front

Invictus has also announced that Barry Meikle, who served as project manager for the CB21 seismic survey, has been appointed as country manager.

Meikle’s appointment comes after he led the execution of the survey, which was delivered within budget and on-schedule.

Meikle brings significant operational and HSE experience to the role, accrued throughout Africa and Oceania.

His past job credits include a range of onshore geophysical, operational and camp project management roles in mining and oil and gas in Africa – including in Kenya with the successful Lokichar Basin drilling campaign and in PNG with InterOil and Total Energies.

Management on the scene

Meikle will be joined on the ground by Invictus managing director and Zimbabwe native McMillan, who landed in his home country last week for the first time in two years ahead of a planned month of on-the-ground engagement ahead of the drilling.

McMillan will be joined mid-month by chairman Dr Stuart Lake and non-executive director Gabriel Chiappini, along with Zimbabwe-based deputy chair Joe Mutizwa and Paul Chimbodza – the executive chair of joint venture partner One-Gas Resources.

The team intends to progress engagements with the Republic of Zimbabwe on a licence area extension which would culminate in a two-well exploration program.

Speaking on the news, McMillan said it was full-steam ahead for Invictus in Zimbabwe.

“Invictus welcomes country manager Barry Meikle to the team at this critical time as the company ramps up activity in the Cabora Bossa basin,” he said.

“Having strong local leadership that continues to engage widely with stakeholders as we mature additional potential within our acreage and build our prospective resource inventory is crucial.

“I am looking forward to spending time on the ground in Zimbabwe over the next month to ensure our campaign remains focused as momentum builds.”

Invictus owns 80% of the Cabora Bassa project.

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