There is also an opportunity to export gas to South Africa - Scott Macmillan

Invictus Energy Managing Director (MD) discusses Success

Across Africa’s proven and promising hydrocarbon basins, independent oil and gas companies are playing a central role in driving exploration and resource monetization while getting large-scale projects off the ground. These companies have been at the forefront of notable developments throughout the continent, with Australia’s Invictus Energy actively exploring the Muzarabani and Cabora Bassa basins in Zimbabwe.

Ahead of this year’s African Energy Week (AEW) ( conference and exhibition – taking place in Cape Town on November 4-8 – an interview with Invictus Energy Managing Director Scott Macmillan showcased how the company has managed to achieve success in the southern African market.

Raising Capital for oil and gas projects in the energy transition era requires innovative financing mechanisms. What strategies is Invictus Energy implementing to raise capital?

Raising capital for oil and gas projects has been challenging, particularly in the exploration space, which comes with high risk and no guarantee of achieving success and making a discovery. We have been very fortunate to have had excellent support from our shareholders who have funded our exploration activity to date. Post the gas-condensate discovery at Mukuyu-2 we have now de-risked the asset and – with a tangible resource base – it opens additional options for the company to fund the future work program. We have a high amount of equity in our licence (80%), and it provides us with flexibility on a number of fronts. These options include farming out an interest to other E&P companies, financing from regional development banks, strategic local investors that are positioning to become a part of a new industry in Zimbabwe and pre-payment for future offtake.

Invictus Energy announced a gas discovery at the Mukuyu-2 well in Zimbabwe last December. What is the status of the drilling campaign? Is a development plan in place?

The Mukuyu-2 well has been safely suspended along with the Rig 202 stacked at the wellsite in preparation for a future flow test. The flow test design work is being undertaken to determine the long leads and mobilisation plan for the test given the relatively remote location. We are also planning a 3D seismic survey over the Mukuyu field, which will assist in determining future appraisal and development well locations for an early phase development.

With regards to a development plan, we envisage Mukuyu to be a phased development consisting of an initial pilot project to provide early revenue and demonstrate proof of concept. That will be followed by a more traditional full field development plan to commercialise a large volume of gas through gas-to-power, gas to fertiliser and feedstock for industrial customers as well as small scale LNG and compressed natural gas for end users that are not proximal to the pipeline network.

Invictus Energy signed a gas supply MoU with Mbuyu Energy in December 2023 for feedstock related to a 500 MW gas-to-power project. How does the project align with Invictus Energy’s strategic plans in Zimbabwe?

We see gas playing a critical role in the industrialisation of the country and gas-to-power is probably the biggest opportunity in Zimbabwe for us to monetise large volumes of gas given the energy deficit in the country. This energy deficit is going to be exacerbated in future due to increasing energy demand from some of the intensive energy users such as the mining houses and large industrial consumers and their need for reliable and affordable power is greater than ever and crucial for their businesses. 500MW is just the start and it is estimated that an additional 2,500MW of new power generation is required to meet demand in the next few years.

Due to our proximity to the electricity network, through a gas-to-power development we can utilise the grid as a virtual pipeline to deliver electrons to end users which significantly reduces development cost and timeline of the initial phases of full field development.

Does Invictus Energy have plans to expand regionally, given the untapped potential in neighboring countries?

We do have ambitions to expand regionally dependent upon the ultimate reserves from our licence area as there is a significant power and gas shortfall in South Africa and untapped potential in countries such as Zambia. We can export electricity through the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) and with our project located within 100km of 3 major SAPP interconnectors it provides us with the ability to export across the region using the existing infrastructure.

There is also an opportunity to export gas to South Africa by joining into the ROMPCO pipeline from Mozambique which has a captive market in South Africa and fetches premium pricing. South Africa is facing a 1 billion cubic foot per day shortfall in gas supply by 2030 which is obviously a huge opportunity for a resource like ours that is strategically placed to fill the void.

Invictus Energy participated in the African Energy Week: Invest in African Energy conference in 2023. What are you looking forward to most regarding this year’s conference and can we expect any deals or announcements to be made by Invictus?

AEW is a fantastic event that is growing and getting better every year and we are looking forward to building on the relationships that we have established in previous years as well and the new ones that will undoubtedly be formed. There are always new ideas sparked by panels and presentations and new business opportunities generated from conversations.

Whilst we can’t reveal any deals or announcements as of yet, given our activity and ambition to drive our project ahead there will definitely be some news for us to deliver at the conference.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Start typing and press Enter to search