President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that his country had discovered and confirmed it had oil in the Muzarabani area.
“The prospect of oil discovery is exciting,” President Mnangagwa said on Friday, adding that this will make the country energy self-sufficient, create employment, grow the economy and bring huge downstream benefits.
According to Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s oil and gas industry represented huge, unique and competitive investment opportunities given the significant potential for value chain linkages.
He was speaking during the signing of the petroleum exploration development and production agreement (PEDPA) between the Government and Australian oil and gas exploration firm, Invictus Energy at State House.
“The project will undoubtedly impact the GDP of Mashonaland Central Province as well as Muzarabani and surrounding districts,” he said.
Details indicate that PEDPA provides the framework for accelerated development of the Muzarabani oil and gas initiative while also detailing roles and obligations of each party throughout the project lifecycle.
President Mnangagwa said the signing of the PEDPA with Geo-Associates, Invictus’ major shareholder, was testimony to the Government’s commitment to open up the economy to investment as well as engage and reengage the global community to do business in Zimbabwe.
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“This event shows the positive and tangible strides that my administration is making with regards to the ease and cost of doing business reforms.”
“Zimbabwe is indeed open for business and investors are welcome to explore opportunities in other sectors of our economy, such as agriculture, manufacturing, energy and tourism, among others,” he said.
Geo-Associates owns the controlling stake in Invictus Energy, the Australia Stock Exchange-listed company that has made significant progress in exploring for oil and gas in Muzarabani.
The company says it will sink between US$15M and US$30M towards drilling of two oil and gas test wells in Muzarabani by October.
President Mnangagwa said the signing of the PEDPA, which provides the framework for rapid progression of the Muzarabani oil and gas project, would give further impetus to the accelerated attainment of the Government’s US$12B mining industry target by 2023.
“I exhort all stakeholders to position themselves for the value chain benefits, new investments and technologies that will accrue from the exploration of oil and gas in our country,” he said.
However, he implored Invictus to protect the environment in its operations.