Australia’s Invictus Energy Limited is looking to develop the world’s first carbon-neutral oil and gas project on a Scope 1 and 2 basis.
Invictus entered a 30-year contract with the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe (FCZ) for the development of the Ngamo-Gwayi-Sikumi (NGS) REDD+ project, which is renewable for a further 30 years, as part of the company’s sustainable plan to manage emissions.
The project areas were awarded by the FCZ through an international tender process and cover a combined 301,565 hectares of indigenous forest in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North province.
The NGS REDD+ project will enable Invictus to fully offset all Scope 1 and 2 emissions generated across the entire lifecycle of the Cabora Bassa Project, in Zimbabwe, in the event of a discovery.
“We actively sought a carbon management solution that would benefit the country and communities where we operate. This project will not only offset our emissions but help ensure the preservation of Zimbabwe’s rich biodiversity, aiding both forestry and wildlife conservation efforts, while also creating jobs and sustainable incomes for the entire region,” said Invictus Energy Managing Director Scott Macmillan.
Invictus and FCZ will develop the NGS REDD+ project to protect the indigenous forests by implementing programs to mitigate deforestation activities. The resulting benefits of these programs are quantified in the form of emission reductions, which then generate carbon credits.
The NGS REDD+ project has the potential to generate more than 30 million carbon credits over its initial 30-year life, based on the biomass assessment completed in a pilot REDD+ project in Ngamo and Sikumi and comparable REDD+ projects operating in the region.
Invictus has created a new division, Miombo Forest Carbon Investments, to develop and manage the project, as well as the carbon credits generated, with plans for them to be certified through Verra’s internationally recognized Verified Carbon Standard program.
This will allow carbon credits to be registered as Verified Carbon Units, which can either be used by Invictus or sold on the Voluntary Carbon Market, creating an additional revenue stream for the Company. One carbon credit is equivalent to saving 1 ton of CO2 equivalent emissions.
The profits generated by the NGS REDD+ project will be shared between the Miombo Forest Carbon Investments, FCZ, and the local community to fund further protection of forests through investment in positive social, economic, and environmental projects.
“The award of these carbon offset projects marks a significant milestone for Invictus and will make Cabora Bassa one of the first carbon neutral oil and gas projects from the exploration phase to decommissioning if our upcoming drilling campaign is a success. Additional revenue generated from carbon credits will also aid the work Invictus is doing to improve health and education in the local communities where we operate, well beyond the initial 30-year term of the initial NGS REDD+ project,” Macmillan added.
REDD+ was created by the United Nations under its Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It also supports local communities through socio-economic projects in line with principles of sustainable management, forest protection, and nature conservation.
The award of the carbon offset projects comes as the Company prepares to embark on its maiden drilling campaign at the Cabora Bassa Project, which will start with the Mukuyu-1 prospect, where drilling is scheduled to commence in August.
Mukuyu was recently independently assessed to hold combined gross mean recoverable conventional resources of 20 trillion cubic feet and 845 million barrels of conventional gas condensate, or about 4.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, making it one of the largest oil and gas prospects to be tested globally in 2022.
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