Windhok – Southern Africa is the next big thing in oil and gas exploration, with exploratory drilling currently taking place in Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The jewel in the crown is Mozambique, where multinationals are involved in a US$20 billion investment, the largest such private sector-led initiative Africa.
Namibia has also whetted the appetite of oil investors in recent months, with Canadian firm Reconnaissance Africa starting explorative drilling in the Kavango Delta.
In Zimbabwe, Australian firm Invictus has been talking up the prospects of its exploratory work on oil potential in the Muzarabani Basin.
Although these are still very early days for the both the Namibia and Zimbabwe prospects, initial indications are positive.
This week Reconnaissance Africa announced it had successfully drilled its first of three wells in the Okavango Basin in an environmentally friendly manner, as the delta is an ecologically sensitive site.
“In accordance with the contractual obligations in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Recon Africa has achieved total depth on the 6-2 well, the first of the three drilling. The stratigraphic test well has accomplished all the goals Recon Africa set for it which includes the acquisition of an abundance of whole and sidewall core along with cuttings and significant well log data.
“… All data is undergoing a comprehensive analysis by Recon Africa ‘s Namibian and North American Technical team,” the company said.
Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism chief PR officer Mr Romeo Muyunda urged interested parties to inspect the environment impact assessment report.
Apart from the ongoing drilling by Recon Africa, Namibia last week saw Qatar Petroleum announce that it would join Shell in development of two exploration blocks in the country’s Atlantic waters.
Elsewhere in the region, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently signalled his government’s support for ongoing drilling in Muzarabani by Invictus Energy.
President Mnangagwa said that if the advent of the oil resources are anything to go by the investments will go a long way in changing the fortunes of the Southern African country which also boasts of a host of other minerals including platinum, cobalt, nickel, gold, copper and diamonds.