Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Equator Exploration Shares Moving Up As ERHC Falls

Shares of the London-based rival of ERHC in the Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Zone (and also in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Sao Tome) are climbing dramatically this week from record lows to levels closer to the opening price when the new issue was launched in December. It's moving in the opposite direction from ERHC, now at 0.445, a recent low.

EEL stock broke the 100 pence mark, just .135 pence below its all-time high of 113.5 pence on opening day, as the London Exchange neared the close of this morning's trading.

The company has assets of $60,000,000 in cash raised from its IPO on the London Exchange's small cap AIM market, and another $30 million in private investment, in what the Times of London called one of the most successful IPOs of the year.

But the company's fortunes dimmed in past weeks as new delays cropped up, sending the stock down more than 20 percent from its Dec. 9 opening-day high.

CEO Wade Cherwayko, a former employee of ERHC and associate of its founder, Sir Emeka Offor, has teamed up with ONGC Videsh, a subsidiary of India's largest company Reliance Industries, for its JDZ bids.

The downdraft in ERHC shares remains baffling, as the company is known to be the topic of a forthcoming Dow Jones News Service article by reporter Norval Scott.

Today, its JV partner in its bids for oil-rich JDZ Blocks 2 and 3, Pioneer Natural Resources - which is partnered with Devon Energy in the same deal - also said it anticipated awards for the partnership in two of the blocks on offer. The blocks collectively hold some 4 billion barrels of oil, seismic data provided by Schlumberger subsidiary Western Geco reportedly indicates.

The move may be related to an Africa Energy Intelligence alert to French subscribers that moved Jan. 5, which suggested linked the company with the winners of Block 1 in the first licensing round, ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and Energy Equity Resources (EEQ).

The linkage suggests to us that ExxonMobil may have found a buyer for some of its existing (awarded) and unallocated preferential rights.

An AES summary of that Sunday report:

- Edition française N°501
- 01/05/2005


Les juniors tentent leur chance

Il s'agit du Britannique Equator Exploration, associé pour l'occasion à ONGC Videsh, la branche internationale de la société nationale indienne Oil and natural gas corporation, du Sud-africain Ophir, contrôlé par l'homme d'affaires Tokyo Sexwale, et du Norvégien Energy Equity Resources (EER), déjà présent sur le bloc 1. (...).

Whatever the reason, the EEL move on the London Exchange indicates news surrounding the awards may be imminent.

Update at 2:35pm EST: ERHC shares have begin to recover, moving from .445 bid / .455 ask to .45 / .46, an improvement of 0.015 cents.

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