Australia-listed Invictus Energy has secured a drilling rig for its upcoming drilling campaign in Zimbabwe targeting a potential "elephant field" discovery.

Invictus confirmed on 10 March it had executed a binding drilling rig contract with European onshore drilling contractor Exalo Drilling to drill the Muzarabani-1 exploration well at its 80% owned and operated Cabora Bassa project in Zimbabwe.

The contract also carries an option for an additional exploration well as part of the upcoming drilling campaign, which is scheduled to start in June.

The binding contract comes after Invictus signed a memorandum of understanding with Exalo in December last year for the Exalo Rig 202, which is currently engaged in operations in Tanzania and is expected to commence mobilisation to the Cabora Bassa project in May.

Invictus wrapped up processing of its 2021 Cabora Bassa 2D seismic survey last week and stated on 10 March that early interpretation had revealed multiple trapping geometries and a target rich hydrocarbon environment.

It added that it had also identified a number of potential well locations for the Muzarabani-1 well and was currently maturing additional prospects identified from the seismic data for the potential second well to be drilled in the upcoming campaign.

Invictus claims the Muzarabani prospect is the largest undrilled conventional oil and gas prospect onshore Africa, holding an estimated 8.2 trillion cubic feet of gas and 247 million barrels of condensate, or roughly 1.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

If the estimate is correct, it could result in the discovery of what is known as an "elephant field", which are conventional oil or gas fields with a recoverable reserve of 1 billion boe or more, as defined by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

The Cabora Bassa project lies in SG 4571, which covers 250,000 acres in the most prospective portion of the Cabora Bassa basin in northern Zimbabwe.

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