Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Magna Mudyiwa, stated at the South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) conference in Juba last week that Zimbabwe is looking to South Sudan for support ahead of sizable oil and gas finds expected in the southern African country.
An in-country exploration campaign is currently underway in Zimbabwe and has revealed encouraging results. According to Minister Mudyiwa, the country is “inching closer to making a discovery, which will open a new chapter for Zimbabwe, as we will join other producing countries in the region.”
An Australian-listed oil and gas company is currently conducting exploratory work in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa Basin, with resources having already been confirmed.
As a country that relies heavily on refined petroleum product imports, the discovery and development of domestic hydrocarbon resources will significantly aid in achieving energy security, while reducing import costs and stabilizing supply.
“The prospect is exciting and will positively impact our economy. Should sufficient quantities be expected, this will result in the production of liquid fuels from local resources,” Mudyiwa said.
Ahead of anticipated exploratory success, she conceded that Zimbabwe has a lot to learn from South Sudan, as the country has done many exploration projects before.
The two countries already enjoy strong bilateral ties in the education sector, with various initiatives underway including internships, exchange programs and funding. However, the Minister believes that cooperation can be strengthened to include training and capacity building in oil and gas, “given our country’s limitations in oil and gas production, an area where South Sudan is experienced.”
“Zimbabwe has identified this area as an important avenue for cooperation,” she noted.
Mudyiwa further pointed out that South Sudan is an amazing case study and can offer advice on crucial matters such as regulations, structures and law, handling of environmental issues that arise due to oil and gas production, and appropriate technology for optimized oil recovery.