Gonzales, who attended the meeting, wrote:
[Name withheld], Joe,
Thanks for pointing out the error. I'll file a correction shortly.
The error involved the assets owned by ERHC in Blocks 1 through 9 of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone. While the story originally said ERHC had rights in five of the nine blocks, in fact they have rights in six; the sixth is Block 9, where ERHC has a 15 percent entitlement that is not signtaure bonus-free.
The other error was that those assets comprise all of the assets of ERHC; in fact, the company has rights to 100 percent of two blocks in the Sao Tome Exclusive Economic Zone which are free of signature bonus fees, and to 15 percent entitlements in two additional blocks.
Those choices are exercisable only after those of Equator Exploration Ltd., the British upstart company that holds equivalent rights as a result of services performed by a predecessor company acquired by EER, and gets to exercise its choices first.
In another development, a note to ERHC On The Move from UpstreamOnline reporter Barry Morgan has disavowed a claim by orangeandwhite0, the former markvo10, made by the latter on an investor board and repeated by him on the Raging Bull ERHC message board to much acclaim.
According to markvo10, Morgan had told him - and he told ERHC investors at a chat site - that in a note to him Morgan had assured him that ERHC had "swept" three of the blocks - Blocks, 2, 3 and 4 - on offer in the Nigeria-Sao Time and Principe Joint Development Zone.
In a note to ERHC On The Move following our request for confirmation, Morgan said he did not say any such thing, "although I believe they are on track," he wrote.
Morgan went on to say that if had known such information, he would have immediately posted it on UpstreamOnline's 24-hour Website, available at the URL http://www.upstreamonline.com/news/frameset.jsp.
The Upstream site - and particularly the stories by Barry Morgan - is the best and most consistent source of late-breaking news on developments in the JDZ.
ERHC On The Move posted the information provided by markvo10 with the caveat that the original note and the substance of it as posted could not immediately be verified.
The same caveat was added to our publication of a note from markvo10 purporting to be from JDZ public relations director Sam Dimka, which stated that the block awards in the JDZ await the exercise of rights held by ExxonMobil to two 25 percent entitlements in any of the five blocks currently on offer.
The substance of that information has been tacitly verified by other sources, including ERHC's chief executive officer, Ali Memon, at the shareholder meeting on Friday, Feb. 4, in Houston. Memon indicated that he was unaware that ExxonMobil had any deadline by which it must exercise its preferential rights.
In fact, as developments have indicated, there is no certainty that awards will be made in any of the five blocks at any time in the near future.
It would appear that ExxonMobil has little incentive beyond the long-elapsed deadline set by the JDZ to make any decision regarding its additional rights until it has explored Block 1 and determined whether additional investments in other blocks are justified.
Cognizant of that, and of the apparent carnage involving protesters at the ChevronTexaco terminal in Warri, Nigeria, ERHC On The Move believes a substantial retracement in ERHC's share price, which closed down one-half cent to $0.525 on Friday, is likely to occur at opening on Monday, and that it may therefore be a propitious time to take profits from recent gains, and then re-accumulate.
Disclosure: ERHC On The Move holds 123,040 shares of ERHC at an average price of $0.4394, and may or may not sell tomorrow, depending on volume, price and any additional news from the JDZ. Also, it's our birthday and we'll will be distracted much of the day, and are generally not inclined to sell at any time.
To restate what we have said before: We believe the stock is being accumulated - possibly by the group of Texas-based investors who once owned the company, who hold 116 million shares and whose apparent representatives on the RB ERHC board are the most vocal in resisting any discussion of a possible takeover.
The logical combination would be the shares of these stockholders added to the 60 million held by First Atlantic Bank of Nigeria Plc, plus the shares they may have accumulated in the present $0.37 - $0.555 range. The original 176 million shares are just 59 million short of the number required to take control; Sir Emeka Offor has 235 million shares. Many sellers seem willing to supply the additional shares at recent bargain prices, and the bad news certainly serves the buyers' interests.
The minority controlling interest in ERHC held by Sir Emeka Offor, and the fact that the company has no "firewall" provisions that would prevail or even deter a buyout, plus the apparent long delay ahead in announcement of awards, "push" the company towards a near-term takeover. We believe that such a takeover may in fact be welcomed by the present management of ERHC. Thus, any sellers may lose a substantial profit due to future accumulation if positions are not restored after any forthcoming retracement (dip) in ERHC share price.