Oil and Gas Trading is Still Not Under MMCZ

The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) remains uncertain about…

The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) remains uncertain about whether it will oversee the trading and export of oil and gas in Zimbabwe due to the absence of legislation defining these commodities as minerals.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement meeting with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development in Mutare, MMCZ Acting General Manager Dr. Nomsa Moyo explained that the organization has not received a clear mandate to manage oil and gas affairs.

According to Dr Moyo, the Mines and Minerals Act empowers the Minister to delineate what constitutes a mineral, and currently, there has been no communication regarding the classification of oil and gas.

She clarified that if the Minister designates oil and gas as minerals, MMCZ would assume responsibility for their oversight.

“In terms of the Mines and Minerals Act, the Minister defines what a mineral is. And so far, we haven’t been told whether, because we preside over minerals, whether gas and oil are minerals. So, the Minister has the powers to designate anything that is found as a mineral. So we have not yet been given the mandate to preside over gas and oil. But if the Minister so defines it as a mineral, then it is our thinking that it will be under our mandate. But so far, we haven’t been told whether we are going to be presiding over gas and oil,” Dr Moyo elaborated.

Oil and gas exploration in the Muzarabani-Mbire district has yielded significant results, with the government of Zimbabwe confirming the discovery of light oil, which fetches higher prices, requires less refinery purification, and produces a higher percentage of diesel and gasoline.

Speaking to the Media at a Press Conference held in Harare in early March, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Hon. Zhemu Soda said that in addition to natural gas, an investor Geo Associates and its partners Invictus Energy and One Gas Resource, which are undertaking exploration at Mukuyu-2 exploration well, have discovered light oil, helium, and hydrogen.

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“The results are that the natural gas is of high quality with minimal impurities and that there is no Hydrogen Sulphide in the samples (which is an undesirable constituent in oil and gas). Above all, the oil discovered falls into the light oil classification. This is the oil classification that produces diesel, petrol, as well as jet A1. The presence of helium and hydrogen that has also been confirmed becomes a welcome bonus from the Mukuyu deposit,” Minister Soda said.

According to Minister Soda, reserve fluid samples by Invictus Energy show that for every one million standard cubic feet of gas, there are an estimated 14-22 barrels of condensate/light oil. The natural gas is of high quality with minimal impurities; there is no hydrogen sulphide in the sample, and CO2 is less than 2%.

Invictus Energy Managing Director Scott McMillan said Mukuyu-1 mud gas analysis results also confirmed the presence of light oil and gas condensate yields of 30-135 bbls/MMscf and high-quality natural gas with minimal impurities.

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