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TGS-Petrodata Commences Large Multi-Client 3D Survey in the Vicinity of Agbami Field

TGS-Petrodata, having secured a Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) with support from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), has commenced the Awele South 3D multi-client survey offshore Nigeria.

The ‘Awele South 3D 2023’ project will encompass approximately 5,900 square kilometres within the designated 56,000 square kilometers PEL area.

The project, supported by industry funding, is anticipated to span approximately 90 days, with completion planned in Fourth Quarter 2023.

Chevron’s pre-funding of the project with $28Million is a bet on Nigeria’s deepwater future, say spokesmen for TGS and Petrodata.

Some other international operators have indicated interest in acquiring the data after production, but they will not get the benefit of the discount that Chevron is getting for pre-funding.

“TGS-Petrodata has an extensive multi-client data library in Nigeria, including reprocessed 2D seismic and our regional multibeam and seafloor sampling study” says Will Ashby, Executive Vice President for the Eastern Hemisphere at TGS.  “We are delighted to expand our footprint with the Awele South 3D survey. Since this project was announced in March 2023, the TGS-Petrodata team has worked diligently alongside the NUPRC, NCDMB, COSL and other stakeholders to ensure successful commencement of the survey.

“As one of Africa’s largest and oldest hydrocarbon producers, unlocking this prospectivity and de-risking drilling operations will further bolster Nigeria’s energy production capacity. Having insight into the petroleum system of the Niger Delta basin will enhance our understanding of the country’s potential energy resources.”

Invictus Starts New Seismic Shoot in Zimbabwe’s Frontier Acreage

Australian minnow Invictus Energy reports that work is progressing according to plan on the Cabora Bassa two dimensional seismic acquisition 2023 (CB23 2D) programme being carried out by Polaris Natural Resource Development Ltd (Polaris) on its behalf.

Having also acquired Invictus’ earlier seismic survey in 2021 (CB21), “Polaris are well-placed to deliver safe and efficient operations”, Invictus explains.

A total of 425kilometres of lines have been successfully and safely cleared and the layout of receiver nodes is well underway. The first recorded data has been acquired and the survey is expected to be complete in mid-August 2023.

STRYDE wireless node layout ahead of data acquisition

The programme is a key part of the Company’s Phase 2 exploration campaign in the Cabora Bassa Basin, with the new seismic lines tying-in to existing legacy data, including Invictus’ 2021 survey. The data will provide a denser seismic grid over leads identified in the east of the basin and along the basin’s southern margin.

“This, along with data and insights from Mukuyu-1 and the upcoming Mukuyu-2 well, will be used to mature these leads as future drilling candidates”, Invictus affirms.

The CB23 Survey is utilising the latest generation STRYDE wireless nodes, which are less than 25% of the weight of comparable systems and makes the laying out and retrieving of the wireless nodes significantly easier, cheaper and substantially lowers the environmental footprint.

The survey work will include some dedicated testing of acquisition parameters that will allow for the optimization of a potential future 3D seismic survey in the basin.

2D seismic processing contract awarded to Earth Signal Processing Ltd

Meanwhile, the contract to process the data acquired in the CB23 programme has been awarded to Earth Signal Processing Ltd.

“Earth Signal processed the CB21 survey for Invictus and this prior experience will enable an efficient processing workflow and provide a seamless, high-quality dataset across the basin”.

Ewo Well (OML 120) Out of Pressure Control Problems, Close to ‘Primary’ Target

By Macson Obojemuinmoin

General Hydrocarbons Ltd (GHL), the Nigerian independent operator of the deepwater Oil Mining Lease (OML 120), has worked its way out of the “kick” experienced when the platform rig Blackford Dolphin ran into an abnormal pressure regime in a shallow reservoir in the Ewo-1 wildcat in late May 2023.

The well has been sidetracked, and the rig is now very close to the primary target.

“We are close to target and should be drilling that this week” company sources tell Africa Oil+Gas Report.

An analogue of ‘Big Ewo’

The Ewo Deep prospect is a large, deep, four-way closure, hemmed in by a roll over fault.

Fondly called “The Big Ewo” by GHL staff, it lies in the vicinity of the Oyo North West structure in OML 120.

Geoscientists at D’Harmattan, a firm of subsurface consultants who evaluated existing data (seismic, logs and other petrophysical data), say “the reserves estimate is several hundreds of millions of barrels”.

Africa Oil+Gas Report confirmed that the seismic dataset used in determining “The Big Ewo” is the same data set used by Erin Energy, (formerly CAMAC), the previous asset holder and operator. So, we repeated our question: “If the ‘Big Ewo’ was sitting there all along, how come no one ever drilled it, in all the 30 years since the acreages were first awarded?”

The response from both GHL and D’Harmattan sources is that “the current estimate is from a deeper prospect from the one Erin looked at and drilled one well on”.

The Oyo field was producing in OML 120 before the acreages (OMLs 120 & 121) were revoked from Erin Energy, in 2019. The acreage was awarded to GHL in 2020, in one of the last discretionary awards made on the eve of the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which now forbids any granting of acreage awards outside of the process of a bid round.

This drilling is GHL’s first field operations since its incorporation in 2007.



TOTAL and Seplat Discoveries Not Evidence of Aggressive Exploration in Nigeria

By Lukman Abolade, Senior Correspondent

It would be wrong to characterise the discoveries of Sibiri and Ntokon oil and gas fields by TOTAL and Seplat in Nigerian Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 40 and 102 within the last six months as evidence of aggressive exploration in the country.

“I’m not surprised that TOTAL made a new discovery, within what you might call a busy area, because in the vicinity of the Ofon structure where the new find was made, there are developments all around”, argues Biodun Adesanya, a leading Nigerian geoscientist.

Adesanya has run a subsurface evaluation firm, Degeconek, for all of 33 years. He is a former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), the largest single grouping of technical professionals in the upstream sector of the African hydrocarbon patch.

“OML 40 too is also a busy area, of some sort. Making a new find in the midst of busy areas is like incremental discoveries. You are in a much-developed environment, with brownfields all around you. It will be an entirely different thing if a discovery was made offshore Lagos. In that case, the context of the exploration narrative is different”.

Adesanya notes that Nigerian operators should be encouraged to drill upside prospects near producing fields the way Sepat and TOTAL have done.  “It’s what is called Infrastructure Led Exploration”, he says. “Every one of those companies who have assets similar to those plays that Seplat and TOTAL drilled should be encouraged to go back and drill the low hanging fruits, because the beauty of that is that, the hook up of the discovery to the market requires a very short time. And I think that there are still a lot of people in the industry who are too conservative to take these kinds of risks. They are not venturing out. But knowledge and professionalism and risk taking are different from entity to entity. Those (drilling) opportunities ae everywhere in the Niger Delta, and the question is: if companies choose to do these Infrastructure Led Exploration all over the place, does this portend that there is an active exploration going on in the country?

Adesanya contends that the industry-in Nigeria in particular- has gone through two or more recessions and several low oil price regimes, that there have been significant lessons learned. “We have always advocated even at NAPE level that we need reserve replacement, you know, otherwise the country’s crude volume will continue to deplete, and we will run out”.




ENI Concludes First Well in Moza’s Angoche Basin

Italian explorer ENI has concluded the drilling process of the Raia-1 well, located in Block A5-A in the Angoche basin, off Nampula province in the north of Mozambique.

Area A5-A is located off the Angoche coast at a water depth ranging from 300 to 1800 metres. With an area of 4,612 square kilometres, it is approximately 50 kilometres from Angoche and 220 from Nacala.

Nazário Bangalane, Chairman of National Petroleum Institute (INP), Mozambique’s hydrocarbon regulatory agency, says that West Capella, the Aquadrill owned rig which drilled the well, has already left the works site.

“At this moment, it is premature to advance the result of this operation, because we are still in the evaluation phase,” said Mr. Bangalane. “The well, christened with the name Raia-1, was the first to be drilled under the work programme agreed with the Government for the award of the Exploration and Production Concession Contract (EPCC), initialed in December 2018 and effective from January 2019,” he explained. “This was the first exploration well done in this part of the Mozambique basin, and it has the particularity of allowing the collection of geological information and assessment of the petroleum potential of the Angoche block, ” Bangalane noted.

ENI Mozambico S.p.A operates Area A5-A, with a 49.5% participating interest, Partners include Qatar Energy Mozambíque Limitada, with 25.5%; Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, E.P., with 15%; and Sasol Petroleum Mozambique Exploration, Lda, with 10%.

The Orange Basin, Deepwater Namibia – the World’s Newest and Hottest Oil and Gas Hunting Grounds

Tako Koning, Senior Geologist – Consultant Calgary, Canada

The past several weeks has been full of rumours and speculation about the size of the oil and gas discoveries in deepwater Namibia. Indeed, two weeks ago, a research note from UK-based Barclays (Barclay’s Investment Bank) stated that the currently drilling TOTALEnergies Nara-1X, if successful, could double the estimated resources of TOTALEnergies’ Venus discovery from 3 to 6Billion barrels of oil equivalent. This article is written to be a synthesis of the rumours, speculation, and the hard facts in official press releases.  This article will focus on the activities by Shell, TOTALEnergies and some recent “newcomers”.  The viewpoints of the government of Namibia are also included herein.



Graff Oil Discovery, Orange Basin

In January 2022, rumours began that Shell had made a mega-oil discovery in the Graff-1X

Figure 1. Locations of Graff and Venus oil discoveries, La Rona appraisal well and the Kudu gas field. Yellow outline is the extent of the Cretaceous Aptian-Albian oil play. From: OilNOW, Westwood, April 9, 2022. Figure 2. Land Map, Orange Basin. From: Sintana Energy, 2023

exploration well in the deepwater of Namibia’s Orange Basin. Graff-1X was drilled in Petroleum License (PEL) 39. Shell is operator with a 45% working interest and partners include Qatar Energy with 45% and NAMCOR, the national oil company of Namibia with 10%. Graff-1X was drilled in 1,962 metres (6,435 feet) of water to a depth of 5,376 metres (17,633 feet). The well is located 270 kilometres (162 miles) from the coastline. Shell confirmed the news on February 7, 2022, and oil industry analytical companies such as Wood Mackenzie estimated that the Graff field has recoverable resources of 700Million barrels of light oil.  The reservoirs are Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) marine sandstones.

LaRona Appraisal Well. Shell subsequently drilled the La Rona appraisal well which was aggressively positioned as a long-distance step-out well 8 kilometres (5 miles) northeast of the discovery.   Namibian government officials in a virtual presentation in April 2022 to the Canadian Global Exploration Forum (CGEF) in Calgary indicated that La Rona was “looking very good”. According to the rumor mill, the results of La Rona were so positive it raised expectations that Graff could contain 1 billion barrels of oil recoverable and up to 6Trillion cubic feet of gas.   Accordingly, on a 6 mcf gas to 1 barrel-oil-equivalency, Graaf may have recoverable resources of 2Billion barrels of oil and gas.

Jongker-1X Exploration Well. In December 2022, Shell spudded the Jonker-1 exploration well about 18 kilometres (11 miles) west of Graff. This was part of a three-well programme which included a production test on the Graaf-1X discovery well and a second exploration well, Lesedi-1X. The Jonker-1X well was reported to be exploring for a different geological play from the Upper Cretaceous light oil discoveries made in Shell’s Graaf-1X and La Rona-1 wells. Instead, Jongker-1X was targeting an eastern extension of the Lower Cretaceous oil and gas play that TOTALEnergies found in its Venus-1X exploration well. Jongker-1X is rumoured to have intersected hydrocarbons is a shallow reservoir, offering significant encouragement in addition to positive results found in the deeper primary objective. In early March 2023, Namcor said that Jongker-1X was “a major light oil discovery that will be appraised”. In May 2023, Shell spudded the Lesedi-1X exploration well approximately 20 km northeast of Graff. Also in May, Shell filed plans to drill as many as 10 new exploration and appraisal wells on PEL 39.

Shell was production testing Graaf-1X during May. Southern Africa’s exploration community was full of rumours that the well had achieved “super-charged” flow rates. Descriptions included “like a train”.  In June, Shell’s top upstream executive, Zoe Yujnovich confirmed that a successful flow rate was conducted on Graaf. However, no specific flow data was made public. After completion of the well tests, to the dismay of some of Namibia’s top energy officials, Shell stated that they aim “to move at pace” and cautioned that first oil from Graaf would likely not flow before 2030.  Some industry analysts believe that Shell is deliberately downplaying the test results to stop excessive speculation about the potential of the deepwater Orange Basin.

Zoe Yujnovich, Upstream Director and member of Shell’s Executive Committee. Photo: Shell

For oil industry observers and analysts including myself, the magnitude of the play-opening Graaf discovery and follow-up drilling is amazing. Unconfirmed rumours now indicate that Shell is already giving thought to utilizing at least one floating LNG vessel to produce the gas and one or two FPSOs to produce the oil. According to Namibia’s daily business publication The Brief, May 13, 2023, research conducted by Barclays suggests that if Shell were to discover 8Billion barrels of oil in place, it could account for up to 6% of Shell’s stock market capitalization. Shell’s current stock price is $2,990/share.  The company’s market capitalization is $200Billion.  Based on Barclay’s analysis this equates to Shell’s assets in Namibia valued at $12Billion assuming Shell’s exploration and appraisal in Namibia continues to be successful.                                                            


Venus Oil and Gas Discovery, Orange Basin. Two weeks after Shell’s announcement about Graff-1X, TOTALEnergies announced on February 24, 2022, that the Venus-1X deepwater exploration well drilled in Block 2913B had intersected 84 metres (275 feet) of net pay in a high-quality Lower Cretaceous sandstone reservoir containing light oil and associated gas.  Informal reports mentioned that in fact the well intersected as much as 250 metres (820 feet) of net pay. The well was drilled in 2,900 metres (9,515 feet) of water to a total depth of 6,296 metres (20,657 feet). The oil and gas-bearing reservoir is rumoured to cover about 600 square kilometres.  Also rumoured is that this field will be produced through several FPSOs.

Soon after Venus-1X was completed, Wood MacKenzie was reported in various oil industry publications stating that Venus may have recoverable oil resources of about 3Billion barrels of oil which positions Venus as Sub-Sahara Africa’s largest ever oil discovery.  If these estimates are confirmed by drilling, then Venus is larger than Nigeria’s giant Agbami, Akpo and Engina fields and larger than Angola’s giant Girassol and Dalia oil fields. TOTALEnergies is operator of Venus-1X with a 40% working interest and the partners include Qatar Energy 30%, UK-based Impact Oil & Gas 20% and NAMCOR with 10%. Vancouver-based Africa Oil Corp has a stake in Venus through a 31% working interest in Impact Oil & Gas. Keith Hill, chief executive officer of Africa Oil Corp said that the operator, TOTALEnergies, would fast-track Venus’ development through an early production system. Hill in an interview on November 25, 2022, stated “I think it will go very fast when we have at least two wells that are tested and confirm the lateral continuity and deliverability of the reservoirs. I think you’ll see this project moving very quickly into an early production phase”.

Nara-1 Appraisal Well. TOTALEnergies and its partners have commenced their second drilling campaign with an appraisal well of the Venus-1X discovery called Nara-1.  This well is 13 km from Venus-1X so it is a bold step-out which is almost unheard of in exploration circles, which just indicates how large this discovery may be. Nara-1 is being drilled by the Tungsten Explorer drillship.  A second drillship, the Deepsea Mira has arrived to test Venus-1X with a flow test.

Development Challenges for TOTALEnergies.   Water depths in the westerly block ranges from 3,000 metres (9,900 ft) and 3,900 metres (13,000 ft) which is pushing the technical envelope for deepwater drilling and will pose significant challenges for any development. Furthermore, Venus will be logistically challenging since it is located almost 300 km (180 miles) from the coast.

TOTALEnergies announced its intentions to deploy half of its global exploration budget in 2023 for further exploration and appraisal drilling using the two drillships in the Orange Basin. This highlights the huge importance of Namibia for THE French major.

NEWCOMERS TO DEEPWATER NAMIBIA                                                                                                                                   

Chevron.  San Ramon, California-based Chevron farmed into PEL 90 which was operated by Australia’s Harmattan Energy. PEL was held by Tullow Oil who unfortunately relinquished the block just before the Graff and Venus announcements. Chevron is accelerating seismic surveying and drilling plans and is committed to spending $100 million on PEL 90.

Galp.  Lisbon-based Galp Energia has lined up a harsh environment semi-submersible to drill two wells this year on its block PEL 83. Galp has an 80% working interest in PEL 83. This block is located just north of the Graff and Venus discoveries. An advantage of PEL 83 is that the water depths are much shallower than that of Graff and Venus.

Woodside. In March 2023 Australia’s Woodside Energy entered into an agreement with Australia’s Pancontinental Energy to acquire a 56% interest in PEL 87. Woodside will pay the full cost of a 5,000 square kilometer 3D seismic survey at an estimated cost of $35 million.

Beyond Namibia. The oil and gas play discovered by Graff and Venus also extends southwards into South Africa where one or more exploration wells will be drilled this year. If future drilling in South Africa’s portion of the Orange Basin is successful, this could be of major impact on South Africa’s economy and help alleviate the energy shortages which currently plagues South Africa.

Figure 3. Extension of the Orange Basin in South Africa. From: Peter Elliot, UK. 2022.


The Namibian government has stated the deepwater Orange Basin is of national importance.  Shell and TOTALEnergies have been told to accelerate their exploration and appraisal and bring the oil and gas discoveries into production as soon as possible.

The total population of Namibia is only 2.5Million people. Despite Namibia’s significant mineral resources and tourist industry, Namibia is not a rich country. It had a per capita income in 2021 of only $4,865 per person compared with the USA’s $70,480. In parts of the country the economy is subsistence farming.  Namibia suffers from high rates of unemployment. Life expectancy in Namibia is only 63 years compared to 76 years for Americans. The government of Namibia is determined that oil and gas activities will be of significant value for Namibians. The Shell and TOTALEnergies discoveries according to government estimates, could generate annual taxes and royalties between US$3.3 – US$5.3Billion with the potential to create 3,600 direct jobs at the peak of production.  Many more indirect jobs would be created by businesses supporting the oil and gas activities.  My view is that the revenue and employment opportunities created by oil and gas production, if responsibly managed, will be highly beneficial and transformational for Namibia’s economy and people.

Tako Koning is Holland-born and Canada-raised. He has a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Alberta and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Calgary. During part of his long career in the oil industry, he lived and worked in Angola from 1995 – 2015.   He was involved with the evaluation of Namibia’s Kudu gas field for three years when he was portfolio manager with Texaco in Luanda. Shell was operator of Kudu and Texaco had a 15% working interest in the field. Since that time, he has had an abiding interest in Namibia’s oil industry. He closely follows the latest news coming out of the country. He has travelled in Namibia for business and as a tourist.   The country is magnificent with its deserts, spectacular coastline, wildlife, and extensive national parks. Koning is pleased to share his knowledge of Namibia in this article. He has been a member for the past 22 years of the International Advisory Board of Africa Oil + Gas Report (AOGR) since AOGR was founded in 2001 in Lagos, Nigeria by Toyin Akinosho.

Mikuyu-2: Zimbabwe’s Well Contract Awarded to the World’s Leading Oil Service Firms

Baker Hughes elects to “lose the monopoly” of well services it had on Mikuyu-1 and Mikuyu 1 Sidetrack, which encountered oil and gas shows, but didn’t deliver on a certifiable commercial scale reservoir

Australian minnow, Invictus has completed an extensive tendering process and awarded contracts for well services to several leading international oilfield service providers for the drilling of the Mukuyu-2 well.

SLB (previously known as Schlumberger) has been awarded the open-hole wireline logging contract, Geolog International has been awarded the mudlogging contract, while Baker Hughes in combination with NOV have been awarded the directional drilling and logging while drilling (LWD) contracts.

The remainder of the services, including cementing, drilling fluids & mud engineering, tubular running, fishing & abandonment, liner hangers, reservoir technical services and project management have been retained by Baker Hughes.

“Invictus has enlisted multiple service providers for the drilling of Mukuyu-2 as it allows us to leverage their unique expertise and experience in different areas to ensure safe and efficient drilling and well operations, while increasing the chances of meeting all key objectives of the well”, the company says in a release.

Baker Hughes sources told Africa Oil+Gas Report the company “elected to withdraw from Mikuyu-2 wireline services as we already had commitments for a Helium exploration project in Tanzania”.

Invictus explains that “the aim of the upcoming campaign is to build upon the success of the Mukuyu-1/ST-1 well and confirm a commercial discovery, putting the company on a pathway to development.”

Preparation of tools and services will commence for mobilisation of outstanding equipment to Zimbabwe.

“Mukuyu-1/ST1 has already confirmed the presence of light oil, gas and helium, de-risking drilling in the frontier Cabora Bassa basin and Mukuyu-2 is the next step to unlocking this potentially significant resource.”

Maintenance of equipment retained at the Company’s supply base in Harare from the previous drilling campaign has commenced in preparation for mobilisation, following completion of the move of Rig 202 to the Mukuyu-2 wellsite. Exalo Rig 202 maintenance completed ahead of rig move to Mukuyu-2.

The planned maintenance programmme for Exalo’s Rig 202 has been completed in preparation for the rig move to the Mukuyu-2 wellsite.

Following the rig and camp move to the Mukuyu-2 wellsite, the installation and commissioning of the new mud tank system (currently enroute to Zimbabwe) and rig acceptance process will be undertaken in preparation to drill the Mukuyu-2 well.

TOTAL Announces a Discovery in South East Offshore Nigeria

French major TOTALEnergies has announced the Ntokon oil and gas discovery on OML102 offshore Nigeria. Located in shallow waters, 60 km off the southeast coast of Nigeria.

“The Ntokon-1AX discovery well encountered 38 meters of net oil pay and 15 meters of net gas pay, while its side-track Ntokon-1G1 encountered 73 meters of net oil pay, in well-developed and excellent quality reservoirs”, the company says in a statement.

Ntokon-1G1 tested successfully up to a maximum rate of about 5,000 barrels per day of 40° API oil.

Located 20 kilometres from the Ofon field facilities on OML102, Ntokon is planned to be developed through a tie-back to these existing facilities.

“The Ntokon discovery opens a promising outlook for a new tie-back development’’, said Nicolas Terraz, President, Exploration & Production at TOTALEnergies

“After the start-up of production of the Ikike tie-back on OML99 in 2022, this new success in the area further demonstrates the potential of nearby exploration to create value within our low cost, low emission strategy”, Mr. Terraz explains.

OML 102 is operated by TOTALEnergies EP Nigeria with a 40% interest, alongside partner NNPC Ltd with the remaining 60%.


Australian Junior Gets a Funding Boost for Appraisal Well in Zimbabwe

ASX listed Invictus Energy says it has now “raised a combined $35.4Million to fund the next phase of Cabora Bassa exploration and appraisal” in Zimbabwe.

The funding will be used to drill the Mukuyu-2 appraisal well and ongoing Phase 2 exploration programme.

Invictus reported that the Mukuyu-1/ST1, which it drilled between October 2022 and January 2023, ”proved the presence of light oil, gas and helium with the very first well drilled in the basin”.

The company did not say that the wildcat probe was a commercial success, but media h reports have implied so.

Invictus has been hi-grading its data acquisition and interpretation since it finalized drilling the Mukuyu-1/ST1. “The appraisal well data acquisition programme has been upsized to include additional tools to enhance the evaluation and acquire high-quality open-hole wireline log data and fluid samples, with the aim of formally declaring a discovery and placing the Company on a pathway to development”, the company explains in an update.

Invictus reports strong support from new and existing institutional and sophisticated investors, saying it reached the $35.4Million funding level when it adds the outcome of the previous private placement in April 2023 and the recently completed Share Purchase Plan, resulting in the success of “an Institutional Placement to raise $12.75Million at an issue price of $0.12 per share”, Invictus explains.

The company says it remains “on track to spud Mukuyu-2 in the third quarter of the current year (2023.


New Seismic Data to High-grade Drillable Prospects East of Zimbabwe’s Frontier Probe

Invictus Energy is working ahead preparing to kick off a two dimensional (2D) seismic campaign at the Cabora Bassa Project in May 2023

. “The campaign will be aimed at maturing multiple leads (Mopane, Musuma, Machabel and Mahogany) along the proven play on trend to the east of Mukuyu and additional leads along the highly prospective Basin Margin play (Mimosa and Mukwa),

These leads, previously identified on reprocessed vintage seismic data, can be converted to drillable prospects in the course of the interpretation.

Invictus says that drilling of Mukuyu-2, the first well in the Mukuyu appraisal programme,  remains in line with prior guidance, with an anticipated spud date early in the third quarter of 2023,  targeting multiple hydrocarbon (gas-condensate and potentially light oil) bearing intervals encountered in the Mukuyu-1/ST1 well in the Upper Angwa, Pebbly Arkose and Post Dande formations.

The appraisal well will also aim to test the Post Dande horizon away from the major east-west fault on the southern flank and the deeper potential in the remaining Upper Angwa formation, which was not encountered in the Mukuyu-1/ST1 campaign due to it being thicker than predrill estimates, providing further upside potential.

The Mukuyu-1/ST1 well encountered gas pay to total depth, interpreted from wireline logs and fluorescence in multiple reservoirs throughout the 1,500-metre interval penetrated in the Pebbly Arkose and Upper Angwa.

“The well design for Mukuyu-2 will incorporate valuable experience gained from the drilling of the successful Mukuyu-1/ST1 exploration well to improve drilling efficiency and lowering operational risks”, the company notes. “The maintenance and upgrade programme for Exalo’s Rig 202  has commenced and will be completed prior to the rig move and spud of Mukuyu-2”.

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