Friday, April 29, 2005

Trading Updates: Still Waiting, After All These Years

As diplomats from Sao Tome and Nigeria haggle with one another over signature bonuses and payment dates, investors in ERHC Energy, Inc. (OTC BB symbol: ERHE) are also waiting for awards. Many are awaiting the news in hopes of paying college tuition, taxes, home down payments, credit card bills and other liabilities they have succesfully deferred for anywhere from months to years in the belief that the two countries had devised a reliable and open process for determination of block awards.

That confidence began to slip with the share price today as not one newspaper or Website in the region carried a single word about the Joint Ministerial Council meeting in Abuja, and even UpstreamOnline's Barry Morgan was not confident enough to predict a possible date after being burned so many times by his sources in the Joint Development Authority.

As the unprofessional and highly suspicious delays continue, JDA spokesman Sam Dimka has become more and more evasive in his conversations with orangeandwhite0, even while promising hope that is never realized.

Are we worried? Not enough to sell, but yes. The only consistent pattern we hsve discerned in the awards process of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority is mystery, obfuscation, evasion and delay. It is as though the only experience in business the Nigerians and Sao Tomese have is the 419 scam, which makes abundant use of all those qualities in perpetrating it against millions of unsuspecting people around the world. ironically, I received one from a Nigerian this morning who identified himself as "Olesengun Obasanjo", used the Subject: header "From the President," and carried a two-line message advising me that the funds can be transferred in two days. There was an attachment I didn't bother to open. Note, please, that the president's first name was misspelled.

This has been, as we said before, a nightmare process, and one appropriate only to a backward Third World nation that has no business trying tio play on the world stage.

And now for today's Trading Updates.

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Update, 4:18pm EDT, 4/29/05: The final tally: The closing price was $0.82, the Bid, and the Ask was $0.825, for a $0.02 loss for the day - not bad, in my view, considering that the lack of news was bad news indeed. There were 440 trades, with 30,000 after hours in Form T trading, the last two of those buys at $0.825 of 10,000 each at 4:02:14 and 4:02:24. The earlier two were a 4:01:38 buy at $0.825 and a sale at $0.82 of 5,000 at 4:01:41. For the day, the Buy volume was 1,257,229 and the Sell volume was 1,445,256, and 78,875 shares were unidentified. The after-hours sales brought the total volume to 2,765,400 shares.

For ERHC On The Move, our loss for the day was $2,460.80, bringing our net profit on 123,040 shares averaging $0.4394 to $46,645.32. The blog has had one of its busiest weeks ever, with 14,601 visitors, and 442 clicks generating $156,59.
Since Feb. 3, when we added advertising, we've had 110,846 visitors - an average of 1,288 for all those days - and income of $483.89, an average of $5.63 a day. Thank you for this tremendous level of support!

Update, 4pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price is $0.82, the Ask $0.825 and the Bid $0.82 as the volume hits 2,781,400 in the last minute of trading.

Update, 3:57pm EDT, 4/29/05: Holding at $0.82, the Bid, on 2,745,400 shares and an Ask of $0.825.

Update, 3:57pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price is back to $0.825, off $0.015, with the Bid and Ask at $0.82 x $0.825, on climbing volume of 2,731,700 shares.
Update, 3:55pm EDT, 4/29/05: With volume at 2,710,400, the price is $0.82, the Bid, and the Ask is $0.825.

Update, 3:53pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price slips to $0.825, the Bid, and the Ask is at $0.83 on 2,705,400 shares of volume.

Update, 3:51pm EDT, 4/29/05: Volume rising to 2,679,300 as Sells again dominate Buys, a second reversal in the past half hour, with Buys of 1,169,729 to Sells of 1,359,156 and 78.875 shres unidentified, at 3:31, on 398 trades.

Update, 3:49pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price is $0.83 on 2,670,800 shares of volume. The Bid and Ask are $0.82 x $0.83.
Update, 3:46pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price improves to $0.825, the new Bid is $0.82, and the Ask is $0.83 again, on volume of 2,655,800 shares.

Update, 3:43pm EDT, 4/29/05: The Bid slips again to $0.815, as the price falls to $0.82, on volume of 2,650,800 shares.

Update, 3:40pm EDT, 4/29/05: Bid and Ask slip to $0.82 x $0.821, with the price at $0.825, on a difference of just 4,500 shares; volume is now 2,630,800.

Update, 3:39pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price is still $0.83 but the Bid has slipped to $0.825 and the Ask is lower at $0.83, with volume of 2,626,300 shares.

Update, 3:37pm EDT, 4/29/05: Buys now dominate Sells - a dramatic reversal in the past half-hour - as of 3:21pm EDT, by 1,133,279 to 1,306,122, with 78,875 shares unidentified in 374 trades.

Update, 3:35pm EDT, 4/29/05: Volume is 2,607,800 shares and all else is unchanged.

Update, 3:32pm EDT, 4/29/05: Now we're at $0.83, the Bid, with an $0.835 Ask and 2,606,800 shares traded - a nice jump in volume.

Update, 3:26pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price is lower at $0.835. The Ask has slipped to $0.84 while the Bid holds at $0.835 on 2,545,000 shares.

Update, 3:23pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price slips to $0.84 while the Bid and Ask remain unchanged and volume inches up to 2,518,300 - just 100 shares changed the Ask a tenth of a cent to $0.844. It took 100,000 shares to accomplish that last November.

Update, 3:21pm EDT, 4/29/05: No one wants to sell, and buyers don't want to riase the Bid from $0.835. Volume is unchanged.

Update, 3:18pm EDT, 4/29/05: Volume 2,518,200 and price holding at $0.845, putting us back in the green zone for the day.

Update, 3:15pm EDT, 4/29/05: The 3:15 surge arrives with a price jump to $0.845, and the Bid moved up to $0.835, while the Ask goes to $0.845 and volume rises to 2,516,200 shares.

Update, 3:13pm EDT, 4/29/05: The Ask moves up to $0.84 after 6000 shares are sold, bringing volume to 2,508,700.

Update, 3:11pm EDT, 4/29/05: Price, Bid, Ask and volume unchanged.

Update, 3:08pm EDT, 4/29/05: We're hearing two rumors now: First, that ERHE was recommended by the JDA for operatorships in Blocks 2, 3 an 4, and the second, that ERHE has won exclusive operatorship of Block 2. The first, a private message, is the more likely; the second comes from a new poster on ERHE who is unknown to all. The 3:15 surge approaches.

Update, 3:04pm EDT, 4/29/05: A little improvement now as we hit the last hour of trading, with the price back to $0.835, volume now 2.5 million, the Bid at $0.83 and the Ask higher at $0.835.

Update, 3pm EDT, 4/29/05: It wasn't long ago that no institutions at all bought or held ERHE and its predecessor, ERHC, and today I-Watch, which monitors institutional and retail buying says institutional buying has accounted for 14 percent of the action today, compared to 7 percent on average. The increase paced the noon-hour surge to $0.86 we saw. At 3pm, volume is 2,496,700, the price is $0.825, the Bid better at $0.825, and the Ask $0.83.

Update, 2:52pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price slips to $0.622, the Bid, while the Ask slips to $0.825 on 2,465,600 shares. The big news on CNN is the arrest of a mom who stabbed each of her two very young children 100 times or more.

Update, 2:50pm EDT, 4/29/05: At 2:25, there were 1,084,785 Buys and 1,261,622 Sells, with 76,275 shares unidentified in 345 trades. The price is back to $0.83 at 2:49pm EDT, with the Bid lower at $0.820 and the Ask $0.83. Volume is 2,461,600 shares.

Update, 2:44pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price is back to $0.83, the Ask, while the Bid is at $0.825 on 2,458,100 shares of volume.

Update, 2:41pm EDT, 4/29/05: The Bid and price have slipped to $0.825 on 2,447,100 shares, while the Ask stays at $0.83.

Update, 2:37pm EDT, 4/29/05: Price up to $0.835 now, a half-cent loss for the day. The Bid is at $0.825, the Ask $0.83, and volume has climbed to 2,435,100. The 3:15pm surge is approaching, and that could be meaningful on a Friday. The last time awards were granted, they were made on a Saturday. We noted earlier that ERHE investor/founder Phil Nugent's GEECF was up 29 percent or $0.21, but it has now fallen back, and is up $0.07 at $0.78.

Update, 2:30pm EDT, 4/29/05: Traders are giving up on awards today. Volume, which was rising quickly, has slowed, and share prices are static within a two- or three-cent range. All measures unchanged in the last several minutes.

Update, 2:28pm EDT, 4/29/05: Bid, Ask and Volume are unchanged.

Update, 2:26pm EDT, 4/29/05: Volume is now 2,422,700 and the price is still at the Bid, $0.83, while the Ask has slipped back a half cent to $0.835.

Update, 2:22pm EDT, 4/29/05: Our last price improvement's come on a mere 3,000 shares, and that's been typical of trading today. The good thing is that, with news, the lability in price means we can shoot up 20 or 30 cents with little difficulty if the news is good. Market makers are prepared, just as we are, for good news or bad.

Update, 2:21pm EDT, 4/29/05: Is this the calm before the storm? The volume today is more than double yesterday's, and that's one indication something may break in Abuja. The fact that Sells are dominating trades may be less important than the steady and substantial size of Buys. We've now moved up to $0.83 once again, with Bid now higher at $0.83 and the Ask at $0.84.

Update, 2:17pm EDT, 4/29/05: Despite some substantial buying in the past hour, at 1:57 Sells lead Buys by 1,131,122 shares to 1,046,265, with 76,275 unidentified, on some 356 trades. Our price is $0.825, the Bid higher at $0.822, and the Ask still at $0.83. Volume at 2:15pm is still 2,407,200, unchanged.

Update, 2:09pm EDT, 4/29/05: The price is $0.825 as the Bid slips to $0.82. Ask is $0.83 and volume is unchanged at 2,407,200. Lots of weird exchanges on RB.

Update, 2:07pm EDT, 4/29/05: After hitting an intraday high of $0.86 in my absence, we'e now at $0.825, the Ask at $0.83, and the Bid also at $0.825. Volume is 2,407,200, jumping nicely.

Update, 1:59pm EDT, 4/29/05: On CNN, they're saying traders are confused about the state of the economy and that as a result, prices are jumping around quite a bit. On the way back from the hospital, I was refining my list of the qualities that characterize the operations of the Joint Development Authority: Mystery, Confusion, Obfuscation, Evasion and Delay. Sounds like a Texas law firm! We're now at $0.82, with the Bid $0.82, the Ask $0.825 and volume of 2,253,700 shares.

Update, 1:54pm EDT, 4/29/05: Back to $0.82, with the Ask now down, too, to $0.83 and the Bid at $0.82. Volume jumped to 2,243,700.

Update, 1:53pm EDT, 4/29/05: We're back! Up to $0.84 now, with the Ask at $0.84 and the Bid at $0.835. Volume has shot up - a very good sign - to 2,199,900. My brother needed two units of blood, but he'll feel a lot better tomorrow..

Update, 11:41am EDT, 4/29/05: My brother is blacking out, so I have to take him to the hospital. I'll be back around 1pm in all likelihood, and maybe earlier.
Stay tuned to Raging Bull's ERHE message board for news that could come at noon.
The price is now $0.81, with the new Bid at $0.81 and a new Ask at $0.82, on volume of 958,347 shares.

Update, 11:37am EDT, 4/29/05: The price still at $0.83, the Bid drops to $0.81, while the Ask stays at $0.83, on 949,747 shares of volume, which is picking up.
Update, 11:34am EDT, 4/29/05: We're back at $0.83, while volume moves to 903,457 and the Bid and Ask remain unchanged at $0.825 x $0.83.

Update, 11:31am EDT, 4/29/05: The price slips to $0.825 but the Bid improves to0 $0.825 and the Ask slips to $0.83 on volume of 892,247 shares. There's a growing sense new may be coming today.

Update, 11:29am EDT, 4/29/05: The price moves up to $0.835, the new Ask, and the Bid stays at $0.82, while volume reaches 887,247. The volume is getting strong and positive.

Update, 11:28am EDT, 4/29/05: The price is now $0.83, the Ask, while the Bid stays at $0.82 on volume of 837,747 shares.

Update, 11:26am EDT, 4/29/05: Trading at $0.82 now, the Bid is $0.82 and the Ask is up to $0.83. Volume is up 5K to 815,247.
Update, 11:24am EDT, 4/29/05: The bid is better at $0.81, and volume is 810,247. The Ask is still at $0.82.

Update, 11:20am EDT, 4/29/05: The price bounced back to $0.82 and then to $0.80, the Bid, while the Ask is better at $0.82 on volume of 810,247 shares.

Update, 11:15am EDT, 4/29/05: The Ask has slipped to $0.81, the price, while the Bis is still at $0.802. Volume is 776,747 shares.

Update, 11:13am EDT, 4/29/05: Volume is at 770,147 with the p[rice $0.81, the bid, and the Ask unchanged at $0.82.

Update, 11:09am EDT, 4/29/05: Breaking news on CNN about messages from the Baghdad branch of Al-Qaeda, which seems to communicate more regularly with the world than the JDA does. Eleven car bombs have gone off this morning after President Bush's news conference on the Iraqi security recruitment successes last night. The insurgents are targeting the ability of the U.S. and the new Iraqi government to continue recruiting Iraqi police and soldiers, who are establishing a toehold at last. The price is $0.81, a cent better, and the Bid has climbed again to $0.802 as the Ask moves to $0.82.

Update, 11am EDT, 4/29/05: The price is better at $0.0802, but the Bid is lower at $0.80, on volume of 748,882, The Ask is unchanged at $0.81.

Update, 10:57am EDT, 4/29/05: The Bid has climbed two-tenths to $0.802, while the Ask is at $0.81 on the same volume.

Update, 10:54am EDT, 4/29/05: Volume now 745,882, the price and Bid $0.80, while the Ask has fallen to $0.81. We may test a new low of the day soon, just as we did yesterday morning before closing $0.055 higher.

Update, 10:51am EDT, 4/29/05: The price and Bid have slipped to $0.80, while the Ask stays at $0.62, on volume of 733,582.

Update, 10:46am EDT, 4/29/05: The price climbs back up a cent to $0.82. Just noticed that ERHE founding investor Phil Nugent's GEECF has shot up more than 29 percent from $0.71, up $0.21 to $0.92, on just 38,730 shares of volume. He is a major ERHE shareholder.

Update, 10:46am EDT, 4/29/05: The price is holding at $0.81, while volume is climbing pretty dramatically to 719,592. The Ask remains at $0.82.

Update, 10:40am EDT, 4/29/05: Volume is 685,592, with the Bid and Ask unchanged. ERHC On The Move is not going to sell shares despite the very strong temptation to take our $45,414.93 profit and head for for greener pastures.

Update, 10:37am EDT, 4/29/05: The price has slipped back to $0.81, the new Bid, while the Ask stays at $0.82 and volume reaches 681,592.

Update, 10:30am EDT, 4/29/05: The only news is a second-hand message from gwv2 on the Raging Bull ERHE message board, to wit:

****Spoke with Sam Dinka****
Meetings were adjourned last night. Awards going foward. he would not speculate ( his words) as to when. I asked specifically if the blocks were going to be re-bid and he said no, awards will be announced. For those of you who would like to verify his number is 011-234-9-524-1069

Update, 10:26am EDT, 4/29/05: The price has moved to $0.815, above the $0.815 bid, and the Ask is unchanged at $0.82 on volume of 532,382.

Update, 10:24am EDT, 4/29/05: The price has slipped to $0.81, while the Bid is higher at $0.815, and the Ask remains at $0.82, on volume of 531,392 shares.

Update, 10:18am EDT, 4/29/05: The price is $0.82, a $0.02 slip from yesterday's $0.84 close, on good volume of 506,382 shares. The Bid is $0.815 and the Ask $0.82.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Daukoru Chides Oil Services Sector

Nigeria's Presidential Advisor on Petroleum & Energy, Dr. Edmund Daukoru, took on the business school grads and lawyers he says are running the Nigerian oil industry's servces sector into the ground in a speech to the Niogeria Oil & Gas conference that ended last week, the country's Financial Standard reported today.

ERHC Energy's chairman, Sir Emeka Offor, owns what is probably the largest oil services firm in the country, Chrome Oil Services Ltd., which is now the nominee for his 303 million shares of ERHE stock. Offor was not mentioned in the story, nor were any others in the sector such as Fobi Engineering, a rival firm based in Port Harcourt, named in the speech.

The paper's headline seems somewhat misleading. His comments appear aimed more at Nigerian infrastructure needs than multinational trickery.

Here is the Financial Standard report:

FG warns multinational oil firms over sharp practices
by Samuel Ibiyemi

ABUJA -- The federal government has cautioned multinational oil firms operating joint venture (JV) and production sharing contract (PSC) fields in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, to desist from uncompetitive practices responsible for increasing cost of exploration and production (E&P) activities.

If government succeeds in curbing these alleged malpractices, there would be an increase in the nation’s earnings from the oil and gas industry. It would also encourage emergence of local firms as manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials for the industry.

Dr Edmund Daukoru, presidential adviser on petroleum and energy matters, who gave this advice last week in Abuja at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference, said selection of service and material providers for multi-billion dollar projects from a small pool of contractors is responsible for the steady increase in cost of procurement for E&P activities in the country.

These, he said are inimical to the ability of the sector to meet the objectives of both government and industry. These objectives include attainment of 40 billion barrels (bbl) reserves in 2010; increase of production capacity from 2.6 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 4.5mbpd in 2010; elimination of gas flaring by 2008 and realising as much revenue from gas as from oil by 2010.

"I urge our partners to take urgent steps to address observed shortcomings that would pose serious challenges to our common aspirations", he said.

Daukoru said participation by more service providers is required to expand the contracting environment to enable Nigeria to contribute towards achieving global energy security. Besides, he said activities that were once regarded as core industry activities such as seismic acquisition, evaluation, reservoir engineering and drilling, are now fully outsourced thereby making rigs, for instance, unavailable when activities spring up at various regions of the world at the same time.

"More activities chase the same rig population leading to significant increases in costs as is set to face Nigerian oil and gas industry in the very near future", he said.

The presidential adviser added that functional experts who ensured that personal insights built up over many years played a key role in subsurface evaluation, reservoir engineering and production, have been systematically planned out and their roles taken up by computer systems to the exclusion of human know-how and experience.

He said the industry is now staffed more by legal experts and business school management types that only add to lack of core expertise and ultimately higher costs arising from bad project scooping, supervision as well as cost control.

"Success would depend entirely on our ability to innovate, apply technology, manage complexity and work together", he said.

Barry Morgan: ERHE "Insistent" On Rights

A new UpstreamOnline article by veteran oil journalist Barry Morgan focuses on ERHC Energy's role in the results of the current round of licensing awards for the five blocks on offer in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone.

The article is a bit odd, as Morgan uses the language that "US minnow ERHC Energy this week insisted that it will also at that time 'be informed in respect of its validated options in the blocks'," but that very language was contained in the letter from H.A. Tukur, MFR, Executive Director (F&A) and Secretary of the Joint Ministerial Council, and only quoted by ERHC in its subsequent press release (see excerpt below the Morgan story) last Thursday.

The good news in his article was attributed to Carlos Gomes of Sao Tome, the chairman of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority, who said "tax would be levied at a flat rate of 50 percent, with a 50 percent uplift on capital costs," Morgan reported.

There has been a persistent demand from the lower house of the Nigerian parliament for an 80 percent tax on oil revenues, a sharp hike from the 50 percent now in force, and some lawmakers have sought to make their proposed tax retroactive to the JDA contracts for the nine blocks on offer in at least three separate rounds.

Morgan did not offer any specific time for block awards, but his deadline is on Wednesday and developments beyond then are beyond the scope of his article.

Here is the story, posted by avid newshound ruby11 on the ERHE message board at 7:15pm EDT:

Nigeria and Sao Tome council to reveal results of second offering; JDZ poised to show new round hand
by Barry Morgan

23:12 GMT 04.28.2005

ABUJA -- The Joint Development Zone (JDZ) administered by Nigeria and Sao Tome & Principe to govern exploration and production in the deep waters of the Gulf Guinea was aiming to convene its next critical Joint Ministerial Council meeting this week.

Results of the second JDZ licensing round were expected to be announced shortly afterwards.

US minnow ERHC Energy this week insisted that it will also at that time "be informed in respect of its validated options in the blocks" where it has preferential rights. The company has also bid for key licences offered in the round, including blocks 2 and 4 with partners Pioneer Natural Resources and Noble Energy.

Houston-based ERHC president and chief executive Ali Memon said this week that the company enjoys an option interest of 15% with a payable signature bonus in Block-5 and an option interest of 20% in Block-9, also with a payable signature bonus.

ERHC's option interests secured under a bilateral protocol that has been agreed between the two countries also include a 30% stake in Block 2, 25% in Block 4, 20% in Block 3 and 15% in Block 6 all free of signature bonus liability.

Only blocks 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 are on offer under this second round, for which the highest bids approved by the Joint Ministerial Council are, respectively, $71 million, $40 million, $90 million, $37 million and $45 million, according to Abuja-based Joint Development Authority chairman Carlos Gomes. He said second-round talks actually ended in January.

He said royalties were pegged at a maximum of 5% but "this would be lower for smaller fields, and even 0% is possible for declining fields".

Cost-recovery terms of 80% would kick in after royalties, while tax would be levied at a flat rate of 50%, with a 50% uplift on capital costs, he added.

Here is the corresponding part of the press release ERHC allegedly "insisted" about:

Mr. H.A. Tukur, MFR, Executive Director (F&A) and Secretary of Council, stated in today's letter:

"Please be informed that the meeting of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) is scheduled for 25th and 26th April 2005, in Abuja, Nigeria. It is after the meeting that the results of the 2004 JDZ Licensing Round will be announced and successful bidders informed.

"ERHC will also be informed in respect of its validated options in the blocks."

We are unsure of the point Morgan is trying to make. It was also unclear why the release focused on ERHC Energy, as there are 26 bidders for the five blocks. One The company is poised to win operatorships in three blocks, Morgan reported several months ago (see Erhc On The Move archives for January).

Trading Updates: The Die Is Cast

We regret being unable to post trading updates for most of the day. There are two cases of cancer in my family, and the demands of their schedules had to take preference today. However, updates will now resume; thanks for your patience and support.

Your clicks on the ads at right support this blog. We thank you.

Update, 4:24pm EDT, 4/28/05: A late trading update: At 4:03, 142,500 shares were sold. That was a Form T trade, meaning it occurred after hours. The price the seller received was $0.8334, under the closing Bid. So we have the phenomenon of heavy buying and heavy selling at the end of the day, with volume jacking up to 551,106 Buys against 655,310 Sells and 11,500 shares unidentified, a total of 1,217,918. No indication yet of why the late sale occurred, as there is no news from Abuja. It could well be that a day trader leapt too late, but many such four-digit late sales are institutional.

Update, 4:15pm EDT, 4/28/05: It turned all the way around, with the final tally 651,108 Buys to 512,819 Sells. With just 18 seconds to go, 50,000 shares were purchased, and another 18,500 in four trades followed. The last 16 trades, including those five, beginning at 3:51:54, were all buys. Today's trades tapered off to a total of 278.

Update, 4:09 pm EDT, 4/28/05: We will update at 4:15pm EDT to let you know the final tally of Bids versus Sells, as that ought to be interesting. At 3:51, Sells led 512K to 442K with 11.5K unidentified on 263 trades. Let's see if it turns all the way around.

Update, 4pm EDT, 4/28/05: Volume closes at 1,075,400, which qualifies as a late surge. The price at the close was $0.84, better than it traded most of the day, and the Bid was still $0.835 and the Ask $0.84. Some 98,500 shares traded in the last two minutes, and that was coming in on the Buy side after a very slow afternoon.

Update, 3:58 EDT, 4/28/05: Volume at 1,006,900 and the price, Bid and Ask are unchanged at $0.84 and $0.835 x $0.84.

Update, 3:57 EDT, 4/28/05: The price is now $0.84, off just $0.01 for the day, but 7500 shares have traded in the past minute, bringing volume to 974,588.

Update, 3:55 EDT, 4/28/05: Price is still $0.835, while the Bid stays at $0.835 and the Ask at $0.84. Volume is still 967,038, so no very noticeable late surge. We're off $0.015 for the day.

Update, 3:52 EDT, 4/28/05: Volume still slow at 967,038, and day traders may spend the night. Price leaps to $0.835, and the Ask to $0.84.

Update, 3:51 EDT, 4/28/05: With 9 minutes to go, we may not sell a million shares today. Volume is 961,038, and the price is unchanged at $0.825, with the Bid and Ask also unchanged at $0.825 x $0.83.

Update, 3:48 EDT, 4/28/05: Volume inching up to 959,038. The price slips to $0.825, the Bid, and Ask of $0.83 is unchanged. Heavy late volume now would signal news, but it's not coming yet.

Update, 3:46 EDT, 4/28/05: Volume slowing a little, to 948,938, with price, Bid and Ask unchanged. 15 minutes ago, the Sells with 487,216 still led Buys of 414,628 on 243 trades at 3:29.

Update, 3:42 EDT, 4/28/05: Be alert for the possibility that news of the awards will break immediately after closing at 4pm. That has happened in the past, and some companies prefer it that way. Volume is climbing now, to 947,938. The price is again $0.83, the Ask, and the Bid has moved up to $0.825.

Update, 3:40 EDT, 4/28/05: The price up a half cent to $0.825 now, which is the Ask, while the Bod stays at $0.82 and volume hits 940,938 shares. If you'd asked any veteran investor at this time last week how many shares would trade today, they'd probably guess 10 million.

Update, 3:37 EDT, 4/28/05: The possibility of awards tomorrow morning would be based upon a statement in a Nigerian paper lasdt week that there would be a four-day meeting of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Ministerial Council, not a two-day meeting as in the letter to ERHE from the JDA or as per Sam Dimka's several notes. In any case, the Ask has now fallen to $0.825 and the Bid remains at $0.82, with the price at $0.82 and volume of 933,483 shares, picking up now.

Update, 3:34 EDT, 4/28/05: Only 1,000 shares a minute in last 15. Price still at $0.82, and Bid at $0.63. Volume is 915,843.

Update, 3:27 EDT, 4/28/05: The Dow is down 95 points, and the Nasdaq is off 19, with 33 minutes left to trade. Price, Bid, Ask and Volume are unchanged.

Update, 3:25 EDT, 4/28/05: We want to thank a number of readers, particularly Marty and Perry, for their warm notes of appreciation for the Trading Updates. The price has fallen to $0.82 on a trade of less than 400 shares, while the Ask stays at $0.83. Volume now at 910,343 shares.

Update, 3:21 EDT, 4/28/05: Both SwingingK and orangeandwhite0 have offered updates, but the only notable addition from them was that Sam Dimka assured the latter once again that all blocks will be awarded. The Bid has fallen back to $0.82, with the price at $0.83, the Ask. Volume is 910,068 shares.

Update, 3:18 EDT, 4/28/05: Some of you have written me at amreporterATaolDOTcom for the draft of the story we have prepared in anticipation of the awards. I just hope it gets used soon! Nothing's changed since 3:15.

Update, 3:15 EDT, 4/28/05: By all rights, trading today should resemble that of late Friday afternoon, with dramatic moves near the close. But we're unsure if this kind of action supports that suggestion today. The volume is 905,076, and the price is still at $0.83 with the Bid and Ask unchanged at $0.825 x $0.83.

Update, 3:12 EDT, 4/28/05: The price improves to $0.83, and the bid moves up a notch to $0.625; Ask stays at $0.83, and volume crosses 904,106.

Update, 3:10 EDT, 4/28/05: The other big question: Will we get a Barry Morgan story tonight? Last week, his work disappointed some and was inconclusive about awards. No wonder, though! Nothing has changed since 3:03 except another 5,000 shares have traded, bringing volume to 899,106. The 3:15 hour should bring action.

Update, 3:03EDT, 4/28/05: Traders have been supportive of ERHC Energy throughout the day, maintaining it in the $0.81-$0.83 range despite the lack of news from Abuja. Currently, the price is $0.82, off $0.03 for the day, while the Bid is $0,82 and the Ask is $0.83. Volume is a slow 894,106 shares, but has picked up dramatically in the past two hours. At 1:44, there were 226 trades, with Sells outpacing Buys by 465,940 to 392,566, with 9,000 shares unidentified.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Offor's Non-Operating Airline Stays Grounded; He Transfers His ERHE Holdings To Chrome Oil Services Ltd.

Sir Emeka Offor has a lot on his platem but his airline took flight today as a Nigerian government agency told him to turn over its operating license for failing to provide service. Offor's bank, African Express or AfEx Bank, is apparently on the same flight, and an insurance company and newspaper owned by Offor are also believed to be moribund.

However, the Nigerian billionaire has far bigger fish to fry. His Chrome Energy and Chrome Oil Services Corp. have substantial contracts, and his flagship, ERHC Energy, Inc., the debt-free, Houston-based oil exploration venture with a current market capitalization of $521 million (OTC BB symbol: ERHE), is expecting huge awards from the Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority Thursday morning.

The concessions awarded to ERHC Energy may be worth tens of billions of dollars. The Chrome companies have substantial contracts with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. for the maintenance and repair of refineries and other oil-related facilities.

In an unrelated move, SEC filings today revealed that Offor has moved his personal holdings of 303 million shares from one of his oil services firms to another, according to a Form 4 filing made March 9:

On March 9, 2005, Chrome Energy, LLC assigned to Chrome Oil Services Ltd. 303,591,433 shares of the issuer's common stock and warrants to purchase 2,500,000 shares of the issuer's common stock.

No reason was given for the transfer of ownership. However, Offor had to surrender 63,000,00 shares to a Nigerian bank, First Atlantic Bank of Nigeria PLC, last November 10 after he settled the bank's lawsuit over an unpaid $53 million loan with his own shares.

However, despite the other business issues, ERHC has agreements with mid-tier Noble Energy and Pioneer Natural resources to exploit its Gulf of Guinea oil rights, and the Pioneer accord also connects it to Devon Energy, a very large second-tier multinational oil firm. The company just appointed the immediate past U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and a former high-rankingformer NNPC executive to the ERHC board of directors.

Here is the relevant part of the story from Thursday's ThisDay Online, whose story this morning about awards today turned out to be wrong:

Chrome, Freedom, Skyline Licences Revoked
by Ndubuisi Francis and Clara Udeh


ABUJA -- The hammer yesterday fell on nine domestic airlines as civil aviation regulator, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) revoked their operating licences, otherwise known as Air Operator Cerificate (AOC).

The revocation which was conveyed to the affected airlines in separate correspondences by the NCAA takes immediate effect.

The airlines affected are Chrome Air, owned by Anambra businessman, Chief Emeka Offor as well as Freedom Air and Skyline.

Others are Trans Saharan Air, which was involved in last year's hajj operations, Amaco Air, Earth Air, Savanah Airlines, Millennium Air and Nexus Aviation.

A statement issued by the NCAA yesterday and signed by Media Assistant to the Director General, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, said the action was taken because the affected airlines had failed to make effective use of their AOCs.

The statement noted that some of the airlines ceased operations three years ago, adding that the NCAA has the power to revoke the AOC of any airline if such an operator did not commence operations 60 days after its licence was issued.

Trading Updates: Once More Unto The Breach? President's Speech Boosts Energy Technology; Table-top Fusion Breakthrough Revealed

Will ERHE gap up this morning as investors await word from Abuja of any awards in the second round of bidding for five blocks in the Gulf of Guinea's Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone?

It's not happening at 9:15am EDT, when most news-related gaps usually become evident. That means traders will have to fight their way back to yesterday's $0.90 high against the tide of doubters and profit-takers that take advantage of the sometimes langorous workings of the Joint Development Authority and its governing Joint Ministerial Council.

We appreciate your support of this blog by clicking on the ads at the right!

ERHC On The Move has prepared a draft of the awards story we will publish when news breaks - with appropriate modifications - and you may request that draft for informational purposes by writing me at amreporterATaolDOTcom.

Update, 4pm EDT, 4/27/05: The bidder blinked, and moved to $0.85 as the Ask stayed at $0.855. The last price appears to be $0.85. a $0.03 gain for the day. The final volume was 1,530,700 shares.

Update, 3:57pm EDT, 4/27/05: With three minutes to go, and awards likely to be announced at noon Abuja time tomorrow, ERHE is positioned at $0.855, with the Bid at $0.832 and the Ask at $0.855. Volume is now 1,475,700 shares, a deep step down from Monday's.

Update, 3:51pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Ask moves back up to $0.855. The price is $0.835. Volume is unchanged.

Update, 3:50pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price drops to $0.835 and the Bid to $0.83. The Ask stays at $0.85. Volume is 1,468,700 shares.

Update, 3:48pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Ask drops back to $0.855. Volume and price are unchanged.

Update, 3:45pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is back to $0.859, while the Bid lags at $0.835. Volume is 1,467,400 shares.

Update, 3:44pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Ask moves back to $0.85, and so does the price. The Bid is up at $0.845. !,452,900 shares have traded.

Update, 3:42pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is $0.84, the Ask, and the Bid has dropped to $0.835. Volume is still climbing at 1,441,900 shares.

Update, 3:38pm EDT, 4/27/05: As the close nears, the price is $0.845, the Bid, and the Ask is $0.85. Volume has surged to 1,422,900 shares.

MBREAKING NEWS: Researchers at UCLA have just announced a breakthrough in tabletop fusion, and the results will be published in the science journal Nature and could have major implications for oil drilling technology, they said.

Here is the Associated Press story:

Researchers Say They Achieved Nuclear Fusion in Tabletop Experiment


Filed at 2:48 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A tabletop experiment created nuclear fusion -- long seen as a possible clean energy solution -- under lab conditions, scientists reported.

But the amount of energy produced was too little to be seen as a breakthrough in solving the world's energy needs

For years, scientists have sought to harness controllable nuclear fusion, the same power that lights the sun and stars. This latest experiment relied on a tiny crystal to generate a strong electric field. While falling short as a way to produce energy, the method could have potential uses in the oil-drilling industry and homeland security, said Seth Putterman, one of the physicists who did the experiment at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The experiment's results appear in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

Previous claims of tabletop fusion have been met with skepticism and even derision by physicists. In 1989, Dr. B. Stanley Pons of the University of Utah and Martin Fleischmann of Southampton University in England shocked the world when they announced that they had achieved so-called cold fusion at room temperature. Their work was discredited after repeated attempts to reproduce it failed.

Fusion experts noted that the UCLA experiment was credible because, unlike the 1989 work, it didn't violate basic principles of physics.

"This doesn't have any controversy in it because they're using a tried and true method," said David Ruzic, professor of nuclear and plasma engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "There's no mystery in terms of the physics."

Fusion power has been touted as the ultimate energy source and a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels like coal and oil. Fossil fuels are expected to run short in about 50 years.

In fusion, light atoms are joined in a high-temperature process that frees large amounts of energy.

It is considered environment-friendly because it produces virtually no air pollution and does not pose the safety and long-term radioactive waste concerns associated with modern nuclear power plants, where heavy uranium atoms are split to create energy in a process known as fission.

In the UCLA experiment, scientists placed a tiny crystal that can generate a strong electric field into a vacuum chamber filled with deuterium gas, a form of hydrogen capable of fusion. Then the researchers activated the crystal by heating it.

The resulting electric field created a beam of charged deuterium atoms that struck a nearby target, which was embedded with yet more deuterium. When some of the deuterium atoms in the beam collided with their counterparts in the target, they fused.

The reaction gave off an isotope of helium along with subatomic particles known as neutrons, a characteristic of fusion. The experiment did not, however, produce more energy than the amount put in -- an achievement that would be a huge breakthrough.

UCLA's Putterman said future experiments will focus on refining the technique for potential commercial uses, including designing portable neutron generators that could be used for oil well drilling or scanning luggage and cargo at airports.

Update, 3:23pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Ask has slipped to $0.854, and the Bid is better at $0.85. The price remains $0.859. Volume is unchanged in a Mexican standoff. Awards remain imminent and no one wants to sell at these prices.

Update, 3:19pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is $0.859 and we're up $0.039 on the day. The Ask is at $0.858 and the Bid at $0.85. Volume is at 1,384,500 shares.

ERHC On The Move has prepared a draft of the awards story we will publish when news breaks - with appropriate modifcations - and you may request that draft for informational purposes by writing me at amreporterATaolDOTcom.

Update, 3:12pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is back at $0.86, the Ask, while the Bid stays at $0.845. Volume is steady at 1,377,700.

Update, 3:10pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Ask imporved momentarily to $0.86 but fell back a cent to $0.85, as the price remains at $0.845. The 3:15pm "witching hour" approaches. With awards a certainty tomorrow, we think, these last 45 minutes will set the platform for tomorrow's explosive action. Volume is 1,376,700.

Update, 3:03pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price has slipped to $0.845, the Bid, while the ask is at $0.85. Volume is 1,341,700 shares.

Note: We apologize for any technical problems you may have epxerienced in the past half-hour that made it difficult for us to post.

Update, 2:59pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is now $0.85, after hitting $0.863 briefly, and the Bid is back to $0.85 and the Ask $0.863. Volume is 1,313,700. This final hour of trading is critical, we believe, as it sets the stage for awards that will be announced no later than tomorrow. It may be the very last hour when shares are available at less than a dollar. We've had 2,125 visioters today but only $8 in income from clicks. Yesterday's record revenues were $64.68 at midnight, with 3,600+ visitors hitting the site.

Update, 2:55pm EDT, 4/27/05: With 1:05 to go, the price has wavered between $0.845, the Bid and $0.863, the Ask, hitting $0.865 for a minute or so. Volume is 1,304,300 shares. The President has endorsed nuclear, coal and hydrogen energy in a long speech that seemed antediluvian until CNN lost the signal. He also wants to drill in the Arctic wildnerness, but didn't call for reduced energy consumption by Americans. Ex-DOE official Joseph Romm tells CNN afterwards the speech was a "bait and switch," since the Republicans have sternly opposed mandates for higher-fuel-efficiency vehicles he says we have the ability to build. But the President sees a day of "zero-energy homes," meaning energy-neutral homes that produce as much energy as they need. Sound like cold fusion to us! :)

Update, 2:30pm EDT, 4/27/05:The price is $0.845, and the Bid is $0.835, moving to $0.845 x $0.855. Volume is 1,295,800 shares.

Update, 2:28pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price has slipped to $0.85 as the President speaks, and the Bid is lower at $0.84. The Ask has also slipped to $0.85 on volume of 1,268,800 shares.

Update, 2:32pm EDT, 4/27/05: "Technology is the ticket to better energy independence," the President says, as he starts to talk about the impact of high gas prices on small businesses. "Why don't you lower gasoline prices, Mr. President?" a soldier asked him in Crawford recently. "It's a problem years in the making," the President responded. "The most important thing we can do today is to address the fundamental situation of our energy supply," he said. He doesn't appear to have a solution, or the will to impose one if he could. He calls on Congress to "pass the legislation necessary to reduce our dependence on foreign energy supplies." The biggest part of that is "transformational technology," he says, employing a novel phrase. "One of the most important new sources of energy is nucklear power," he says, apparently preparing a plea for "more of it here in America." He says more than 35 nuclear plants were stopped since the '70s, and there is a need "to reduce uncertainty in the nuclear power regulatory process." More plants, less supervision?
It seems like a plan that will go over as well as his Social Security reforms.

Update, 2:22pm EDT, 4/27/05: We're back to an $0.855 price, but the Ask is back to $0.86 while the Bid remains at $0.855. Volume is 1,252,700 and appears to be picking up speed.

Update, 2:17pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price moved back to $0.865 as volume hits 1,226,700 shares; then the bid dropped to $0.855 and the Ask to $0.86.

Update, 2:15pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is lower at $0.86 but the Bid is higher at $0.86 and the Ask remains at $0.865. Volume is now 1,201,700 shares.

Update, 2:13pm EDT, 4/27/05: The President is beginning a speech to the Small Business Administration, which CNN is covering live. Hopefully, there will be good news for motorists on gas prices.

Update, 2:09pm EDT, 4/27/05: 1,200,000 shares have traded, and the Bid and Ask are unchanged.

Update, 2:08pm EDT, 4/27/05: Finally, some price progress again: We're at $0.865, the Ask, and the Ask is $0.855. Volume has crossed 1,151,300.

Update, 2:05pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is up to $0.85, and the Ask to $0.855. while the Bid is at $0.85 again as volume stands at 1,070,200.

Update, 1:59pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price has improved to $0.849, the Ask, while the Bid stays at $0.84. Volume is a slow 1,047,700.

Update, 1:52pm EDT, 4/27/05: Criticism of me on Raging Bull's ERHE message board for saying that the Sao Tome delegation's arrival late Monday night was due to their reluctance to attend the meeting before the Block 1 money was paid. Stockhocker70, lying again, suggests that I have changed my share count. It has been 123,040 since last November. kobiashi, a Sarasota-based investor, thinks I am making up the friction betwen the two countries. He apparently doesn't read Portuguese; the Tela Non and Vitrina sites would have let him know exactly how the Sao Tomese felt.

Update, 1:41pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is back to $0.84 and the Ask to $0.849, while the Bid is better at $0.84. Volume is building slowly at 1,024,800 shares. At 1:18, with 260 trades accomplished, Buys were gaining ground again over Sells 544,254 to 457,144 with 6,450 unidentified.

Update, 1:23pm EDT, 4/27/05: The paint is dryer... .

Update, 1:16pm EDT, 4/27/05: The paint is dryer... .

Update, 1:13pm EDT, 4/27/05: The smallest price spread of the day, a tenth of cent, separate the $).838 Bid and the $0.839 Ask. Volume is unchanged, and the price is $0.839.

Update, 1:08pm EDT, 4/27/05: Price slips to $0.839, while the Bid and Ask are $0.83 x $0.84. Volume has hit 1 million, at 1,005,800. The Raging Bull message board is absorbing the news reported here at 9:30pm last night, that the JMC meeting started late due to the late arrival of the Sao Tome delegation. That was occasioned, we believe, by their adamancy in waiting for the $123 million signature bonus fee the JDA finally received Monday morning. When that Block 1 money came, so did they.

Update, 1:06pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Ask has blinked, falling to $0.839, while the Bid remains at $0.83 and the price at $0.85 on no new volume.

Update, 1pm EDT, 4/27/05: We go into the afternoon trading $0.03 higher, at $0.85, but the Bid remains at $0.83. Volume now at 995,849.

Update, 12:58pm EDT, 4/27/05: Back to $0.85! The Bid is at $0.83, and volume has climbed to 987,848. if there are now awards, we probably will close below 3 million shares. If there is, we may not go as high as expected until tomorrow, when we would probably do 10 million.

Update, 12:56pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Bid is weakening again, to $0.83 while the Ask stays at $0.85. Volume is up 2K to 981,848.

Update, 12:53pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Bid is $0.83, while the Ask has moved up to $0.85 again, as the price stands on neutral ground at $0.84. Volume has moved up another 25K to 979,848. We're not sure if anyone is still expecting awards today.>br>
Update, 12:51pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Bis has improved to $0.83, and the Ask remains at $0.84. Current share price is $0.82. Volume has moved 1K to 954,848.

Update, 12:48pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Ask slipped to $0.839, the current price, while the Bid stayed at $0.82. Volume is 953,448.

Update, 12:46pm EDT, 4/27/05: The price is $0.84, the Bid still at $0.82, but the Ask's lower at $0.84. Volume is 951,099.

Update, 12:41pm EDT, 4/27/05: A gut-wrenching drop in the Bid to $0.812 lasted a few second and it bounced back to $0.82 as the Ask moved up to $0.85, producing a $0.03 gap that is near the largest of the day. The price is $0.84. raders are staked out on both sides of the issue.

Update, 12:39pm EDT, 4/27/05: There was a very quicjk turnaround on no volume, with the Bid improving to $0.845, but it's now slipped back to $0.84. The price is $0.845, and the volume 942,698. Someone may be hearuing something from Abuja.

Update, 12:35pm EDT, 4/27/05: Some improvement in the price, up to $0.84, and the Ask, to $0.85, and the Bid, to $0.84. Volume is 937,198.

Update, 12:30pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Bid inched up a tenth of a cent to $0.813, the current price, and the Ask is still fixed at $0.825. Volume has passed 903,998.

Update, 12:23pm EDT, 4/27/05: We do not yet know if the Joint Ministerial Council has emerged from its meeting, as there is no one to report that development. Trading is in a state of suspense for the moment. At 12:08, Buys were ahead of Sells
391,529 to 356,759 shares on 208 trades, so sellers are narrowing the gap by about half of the levels a half hour ago.

Update, 12:21pm EDT, 4/27/05: Back down to $0.812, the Bid, as the Ask sticks at $0.825 and volume moves up to 878.863.

Update, 12:20pm EDT, 4/27/05: The Bid is back down to $0.812, and the current price is $0.82, as the Ask slips to $0.825, on volume of 874,363.

Update, 12:16pm EDT, 4/27/05: We're coming back now to $0.83, a half cent above the Ask, while Bid is slightly higher at $0.815. Volume is 846,238.

Update, 12:14pm EDT, 4/27/05: Discouragement is sinking the stock to $0.812, the Bid, while the Ask is also lower at $0.82. Volume has climbed steadily to 833,738.

Update, 12:09pm EDT, 4/27/05: Okay, the Ask is back to $0.83 and the price to $0.821, while the Bid remains $0.82. Volume is 754,738.

Update, 12:08pm EDT, 4/27/05: Selling looms, with the Bid now $0.82 and the Ask $0.825, and the price at $0.825 on volume of 748,473.

Update, 12:05pm EDT, 4/27/05: Time for lunch on Wall Street, time to go home in Abuja. News, if it comes, will probably be doing so within the next 30 minutes or not until tomorrow, the date originally reported by The Punch of Nigeria in late March. The price has slipped to $0.83, still better than yesterday's close, while the Bid is at $0.825 and the Ask at $0.83. The volume is now at 727,473 shares. As of 11:41am EST, Buys outpaced Sells by 110,000, with 369,029 Buys and Sells of 258,869 shares, with 6,450 unidentified.

Update, 11:58am EDT, 4/27/05: With 2 minutes to closing in Abuja and no news yet, the price has slipped to $0.84, the Bid to $0.825 and the Ask to $0.845. Volume is steady at 680,649.

Update, 11:55am EDT, 4/27/05: The price is slipping to $0.845, the new Ask, and the Bid is lower at $0.844 as awards do not materialize. Volume is 660,848.

Update, 11:52am EDT, 4/27/05: Just 8 minutes now until the close of business in Abuja. We might speculate that the late arrival Monday night of the ministers from Sao Tome may have delayed the awards by a day, which would mean they could be announced now. The price is $0.85, the Ask and Bid unchanged at $0.845 x $0.85, and volume slow at 658,348.

Update, 11:48am EDT, 4/27/05: The Bid is up a tenth-cent to $0.845, while the Ask falls a half-cent to $0.85, on volume of 654,348.

Update, 11:45am EDT, 4/27/05: At 11:24am EST, on 169 trades, Buys outpaced Sells 343,000 to 233,000, with 6,450 unidentified. Investors are buying, but no one one wants to sell.

Update, 11:42am EDT, 4/27/05: Just 20 minutes until it's 5pm in Abuja, where wire service news reporters are on "red alert" waiting for an award announcement, according to SwingingK. The price is $0.85, after the Bod falls to $0.844. The Ask remains at $0.855. Volume is 634,348.

Update, 11:39am EDT, 4/27/05: The price is back to $0.855, but the Ask hasn't moved. Volume up 1K at 619,348.

Update, 11:37am EDT, 4/27/05: The price is now $0.85, but the Bis and Ask are unchanged. The close of Business in Abuja is 24 minutes away. Volume is pushing slowly upward to 618,148.

Update, 11:33am EDT, 4/27/05: The price drops back to $0.85, but the Bid moves up $0.006 to $0.85 as the Ask remains at $0.855. Volume is 585,473.

Update, 11:29am EDT, 4/27/05: The price is at $0.855, the Ask, and the Bid still at $0.844. Volume slowing at 583,473.

Note: We misreported a 100K trade at 11:06 - sorry!

Update, 11:23am EDT, 4/27/05: Oh, those courageous buyers! They've upped the Bid another tenth of a cent to $0.844, while sellers have frozen in fear at $0.855, the share price. Not so fearful, though: Buyers outnumber Sellers by a healthy margin as of 11:05am EDT, with 159 trades and Buys of 330,774 and Sells of 231,969 and 6,450 unidentified.

Update, 11:18am EDT, 4/27/05: The Bid dares $0.843, another tenth of a cent, while the Ask and the share price stay at $0.855. Volume is unchanged.

Update, 11:17am EDT, 4/27/05: Screwing their courage to the sticking place, Bidders move up a tenth of a cent to to $0.842, but braver Askers now want $0.855, the current price. Volume is 582,343.

Update, 11:15am EDT, 4/27/05: The Ask has moved to $0.855 while the Bid stays at $0.841, with the price still at $0.85. Volume is 580,343.

Update, 11:13am EDT, 4/27/05: Admiral Balsey quoting the great Joseph Conrad and loneclone is going on about Scylla and Charbydis on the Raging Bull message board, so we're as loony as the trading today. Some things remains the same: the price, at the $0.85 Ask, and the Bid, at $0.841, and (almost) the volume, at 572,193 on steady trading.

Update, 11:06am EDT, 4/27/05: Buys are well ahead of Sells at this point, so investors and the market agree good news is likely soon. With 151 trades recorded at 10:47am EDT, Buys of 298,074 lead Sells of $231,969 with just 6,450 unidentified.
The price remains at $0.85, the Bid at $0.841, and the Ask $0.85, on volume of 569,193 at 11:06.
Update, 11am EDT, 4/27/05: The paint is definitely getting dryer. We're at 560,893 now, and the price is $0.85, while the Bid has moved up to $0,841.

Update, 10:58am EDT, 4/27/05: A 10K trade leaves Bid and Ask unchanged at $0.84 x $0.85 on volume of 548,393.

Update, 10:55am EDT, 4/27/05: No one is selling, and no one is buying; 100 shares traded in the past few minutes. The price remains at $0.85, the Ask, and the Bid at $0.84, a cent higher. Volume is 536,893.

Update, 10:52am EDT, 4/27/05: The price is still at $0.85, and the Bid is slightly lower at $0.83, while the Ask remains at $0.85. Only 400 shares traded in the past few minutes, so traders are expectant, anxious and waiting with their breath held as news of awards remains to be heard.

Update, 10:50am EDT, 4/27/05: The great lability of ERHE is very encouraging today. It means that we can move in either direction at a moment's notice. Just five months ago, it sometimes took a million shares of volume to move the price one cent.

Update, 10:48am EDT, 4/27/05: The bid moves back up to $0.83, and the price hits $0.85, the Ask, on 536,493 shares of volume.

Update, 10:47am EDT, 4/27/05: The Bid falls to $0.825 and the Ask rises to $0.85. You can have it both ways here! Volume is 531,493.

Update, 10:45am EDT, 4/27/05: The Bid has imrpved half a cent to $0.835, the current price, while the Ask stays at $0.84 and olume reaches 529,993 in slow trading as investors still await news. It's 3:45pm in Abuja: Do you know where our awards are?

Update, 10:35am EDT, 4/27/05: Trading is stop-and-go as investors remain tentative awaiting awards. Price still at $0.84, the Ask, while the Bid remains at $0,.83, and volume has changed only 500 shares to 511.993.

Update, 10:29am EDT, 4/27/05: Still at $0.84 with volume crossing 511,493 shares. The Bid is lower at $0.83, the Ask unchanged at $0.84.

Update, 10:24am EDT, 4/27/05: The price is at $0.84, the Bid at $0.835, and the Ask at $0.84. Volume is 487,343.

Update, 10:19am EDT, 4/27/05: The price backs off to $0.835, the Bid, while the Ask stays at $0.85. Volume slowing and now at 489,343.

Update, 10:10am EDT, 4/27/05: The price is $0.85, the Ask, while the Bid remains at $0.835. Volume at 474,343.

Update, 10:05am EDT, 4/27/05: No news, but lots of sound and fury on Raging Bull's ERHE message board as traders try to make sense of the wild swings today. The price has improved to $0.855, the Ask, while the Bid languishes at $0.835 on 471,343 shares of colume.

Update, 10:05am EDT, 4/27/05: The $0.84 price leads the $0.835 Bid, while the Ask improves to $0.855. Volume is 469,774.

Update, 10:03am EDT, 4/27/05: The price is back to $0.825, below the $0.83 bid, while the Ask stays at $0.854. Volume has reached 420,274.

Update, 10am EDT, 4/27/05: orangeandwhite0 says they've seen white smoke and the bells are ringing outside the Joint Ministerial Council conclave. Price is off at $0.84, while the Bid has come back to its senses at the same price. The Ask still at $0.855 on volume of 386,274 shares.

Update, 9:57am EDT, 4/27/05: No basis for the low Bid that we can see. The Ask is staying higher at $0.855. Volum is 353,274.

Update, 9:55am EDT, 4/27/05: Backing off $0.001, the Ask is at $0.859, the current price, and the Bid is $0.8110 again - that's not a typo! Price is $0.85, so we've got a hell of a gap.

Update, 9:52am EDT, 4/27/05: We're at $0.86, up $0.04. with the Bid at $0.65 and the Ask at $0.86. Volume is 321,674, and ERHC On The Move has made $4,921 on our portfolio of 123,040 shares in the past five minutes.

Update, 9:51am EDT, 4/27/05: Here we go! Price is $0.84, Bid is $0.83 and Ask is $0.84 on 279,674. It hasn't taken much to improve us $0.06.

Update, 9:50am EDT, 4/27/05: Now we're at $0.821, with the Bid higher at $0.828 and the Ask at $0.83. Volume is 272,174.

Update, 9:48am EDT, 4/27/05: Now trading at $0.82, the Ask, on volume of 266,465 - up $0.01 on a 1K trade.

Update, 9:46am EDT, 4/27/05: Moving now, with the Bid at $0.81 and the Ask at $0.82. Volume is 262,265, so it didn't take much to move it.

Update, 9:45am EDT, 4/27/05: 15 longish minutes have brought the Bid back to $0.80, while the Ask stays at $0.81 and volume hits 255,665.

Update, 9:43am EDT, 4/27/05: We're at $0.81, with the Bid, Ask and volume unchanged.

Update, 9:40am EDT, 4/27/05: Progress! We're back to $0.80, with the Ask now at $0.81, so we've got a $0.025 gap with the Bid at $0.785. Volume is 243,665.

Update, 9:37am EDT, 4/27/05: Price is $0.79 now, on 202,265 shares, with the Bid and Ask unchanged.

Update, 9:34am EDT, 4/27/05: We've climbed back to $0.795, but the Ask is only $0.79 now. The Bid's still at $0.78, and volume at 181,015.

Update, 9:31am EDT, 4/27/05: 126,265 trade in the opening minute, and the price is $0.78, $0.04 off yesterday's close.

Update, 9:30am EDT, 4/27/05: We're off further at the start, to $0.78, with the Bid at $0.78 and the Ask at $0.795, as 52,480 trade out of the chute.

Update, 9:28am EDT, 4/27/05: Bad move: the Bid has fallen to $0.80 and the Ask to $.085. News will find us lower than we'd like.

Update, 9:22am EDT, 4/27/05: No gap up, but the Ask has fallen from yesterday's close of $0.84 to $0.83. The Bid stays at $0.82. With the likelihood of news today, we find that odd.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Awards Wednesday Morning, Nigerian Daily Says

The Nigerian daily newspaper ThisDay Online reports in Wednesday morning's editions that awards of oil cncessions by the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority may occur tomorrow morning at the conclusion of the meeting of the JDA's Joint Ministerial Council.

"We have now reached the moment of decision towards the conclusion of the much-awaited 2004 JDZ Licensing Rounds following the response from ExxonMobil on the exercise of their rights", the paper's Onyebuchi Ezigbo quoted Nigerian foreign Minister A.A. Tanko as saying.

The story raises again a question about the wording of a press release issued on April 13 by the JDA in which it said ExxonMobil has the right to participate in "all" awards of acreage. The multinational giant on April 9 elected not to exercise any of its two 25 percent preferential entitlements in two of the five blocks on offer in the 2004 licensing round, where bidding concluded on Dec. 15 without an XOM selection. It is not clear how ExxonMobil could continue to participate in this round, and most doubt it will. The story reopens that issue without clearly stating that ExxonMobil itself has ruled out participation in Round 2.

The reporter took pains to point out that the delegation of ministers from Sao Tome and Principe "arrived late," suggesting that some friction over awards between the two nations still exists but was at least partly resolved by yesterday's payment to the JDA of the $123 million signature bonus for Block 1 that had been delayed by ExxonMobil's consideration of a new "transparency" clause that has now been incorporated in the Prduction Sharing Contract for Block 1.

Here is the ThisDay story:

JDZ Oil Blocks: Companies May Know Fate Today
From Onyebuchi Ezigbo


ABUJA -- Ministers from Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe (DRSTP) appear set to release the result of the 2004 Licensing Rounds for five oil blocks (Blocks 2,3,4,5, and 6) whose bids were opened November, 2004.

The Ministers yesterday went into a close-door session in Abuja aimed at settling once and for, all issues holding up the announcement of results for the bid.

The ministers from Sao Tome who arrived Abuja, late Monday night said they were full of optimism that the meeting would thrash out the remaining issues to enable actual development of the oil blocks to commence.

Addressing the opening session of the Joint Ministerial Meeting, Nigeria's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Tanko, said the authorities of the Joint Development Zone is moving towards the conclusion of the much-awaited 2004 JDZ Licensing Rounds with the response from ExxonMobil on the exercise of their rights.

Apart from concluding action on the oil blocks, the meeting will also consider some key administrative issues such as the Joint Development Authority (JDA) 2005 Budget and other activities that are geared towards furthering the objectives of JDZ.

Tanko explained the several delays that have accompanied the implementation of the 2004 Licensing Rounds, saying the need for the parties to work within the dictates of contractual agreements necessitated the shift from the scheduled date of announcement of bids result last December, 2004.

"We have now reached the moment of decision towards the conclusion of the much-awaited 2004 JDZ Licensing Rounds following the response from ExxonMobil on the exercise of their rights," he said.

He recalled that a lot has happened in the JDA, an organ charged with the responsibility for managing and developing the petroleum and other natural resources in the JDZ for the benefit of the governments and peoples of the two countries.

Some of the achievements so far recorded by the JDA included the signing of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for Block One in February 2005 in Sao Tome, the commencement of the 2004 bidding rounds and payment of signature bonus by the contractors for Block One.

Trading Updates: Ask Hits $0.91 Before Market Opens; Sellers Dominate The Morning; VectorVest: ERHE Undervalued At $1.06; Blog Gets 100,000th Visitor

The opening Ask is set at $0.90 this morning, a minute from the opening bell on Wall Street, and the opening Bid is $0.89. It quickly fell to $0.895 as more than 145,000 shares traded in the first minute. The Bid hit $0.90 and the Ask $0.91 at 9:25am EST, but sank before the open.

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Update, 4pm EDT, 4/26/05: Looks like we close at $0.82, down $0.055 for the day. Volume crested above 3 million at the last minute, reaching 3,028,500. The closing Bid was $0.82 and the closing Ask $0.84. News is still the gold standard around here, and most investors and myself will be glued to the message boards and Nigerian news sites and their own stock brokerage updates for any word. At 3:47, as the price was $0.815, Buys still dominated Sells by 1,491,365 to 1,390,087, reflecting a late surge of selling near the close, probably by day traders who close out their positions before the market day ends. ADVFN counted 609 trades at 3:48pm EDT.

By the close, ERHC On The Move recorded 2,587 visitors - a large number for this time of day - and we'd tied the record day for clicks, April 13, with 144. Many thanks for your tremendous support!

Update, 3:57pm EDT, 4/26/05: The Bid is $0.82 and the Ask is momentarily $0.82, as volume reaches 2,989,500.

Update, 3:54pm EDT, 4/26/05: The price is $0.828, the Ask, while the Bid is at $0.82, and volume is at 2,984,300. Sells outpaced buys 1,465,185 to 1,333,087 at 3:39pm EDT, on 585 trades - half of yesterday's trades.

Update, 3:50pm EDT, 4/26/05: The price is $0.82, and the Bid is back to $0.815 and the Ask to $0.82, while the 3 million-share mark approaches. Volume is 2,969,200.

Update, 3:45pm EDT, 4/26/05: The price is now $0.81, but as of 3:21, there's been no change of buyer sentiment, with Buys still outpacing Sells 1,428,305 to 1,291,087. Don't tell that to the market makers and day traders and swing traders, though. They've taken the price down to $0.80, the low of the day, and the Ask to $0.81. If you get the impression that I'm disappointed, you're right - mainly because the share price is reflecting negative volume that isn't happening and ignoring awards that are both certain and imminent. It appears we may close several cents lower for the day. This is apparently the short-sellers' revenge for the great news yesterday that kept their selloff from gathering any steam and left us with a substantial gain. Awards in the next 15 minutes would unalterably change this, however.

Update, 3:31pm EDT, 4/26/05: Well, the 3:15 surge has seemingly come and gone and left us still at $0.83, the Bid, with the Ask slightly lower at $0.835 and volume at 2,789,900 shares.

Update, 3:25pm EDT, 4/26/05: The $0.83 price and Bid/Ask are static. Volume is at 2,777,600 shares.

Update, 3:20pm EDT, 4/26/05: The price is at $0.835, off its day's low of $0.83, the current Bid. Volume is 2,770,800 shares. With 544 trades at 3:05, Buys had outsripped Sells by 130,000 shares. The deceptively low price doesn't reflect the improved positive buying activity.

Update, 3:16pm EDT, 4/26/05: Volume has leapt to 2,762,800 while the share price and Bid are at the low of the day, $0.83, and the Ask is at $0.835. Apparently, an update from Swinging K on Raging Bull's ERHE message board has demoralized traders, predicting that awards are up to two days away.

Update, 3:05pm EDT, 4/26/05: The share price and Bid is at the low of the day, $0.83, as the Ask sticks with $0.84. Nine minutes till party time.

Update, 3:00pm EDT, 4/26/05: With a string of Buys totaling 40,350 at 2:44, the Buys moved further ahead of Sells, 1,373,585 to 1,152,592 and the unidentified unchanged at 52,800. That action is not reflected in the 3:00pm EDT share price of $0.835, $0.001 below the Bid, while the Ask stands still at $0.84 on volume of 2,650,500 shares.

Update, 2:58pm EDT, 4/26/05 Bid has moved up $0.001 to $0.836, and the Ask is at $0.84. Volume is still 2,625,500 shares, up 200 in the past six minutes.

Update, 2:52pm EDT, 4/26/05 The Bid is again at $0.835 and the Ask at $0.84. while volume has climbed to 2,625,300 shares. 3:15 grows nearer.

Update, 2:48pm EDT, 4/26/05 A lot of sales are taking the price down, but Buys have now leapt 150,000 shares ahead of Sells as of 2:33pm EDT, with Buys at 1,333,236 and Sells at 1,149,592, and 52,800 unidentified. That's the largest margin of Buys over Sells of the day. There were 516 trades as of 2:38pm EDT.

Update, 2:47pm EDT, 4/26/05 We're off $0.035 at $0.84. The Ask is sticking at $0.85, while the Bid has fallen to $0.835. Volume is 2,579,000 shares.

Update, 2:41pm EST, 4/26/05 The price has clawed back to $0.85 on 2,541,100 shares as the 3:15 surge approaches, but the Ask has fallen back to $0.84, probably as day traders try to hit the trains early. We expect the last 45 minutes to be hot and heavy today, because somewhere out there, someone knows all the answers... .

Update, 2:40pm, 4/26/05 The Bid is slowly moving up, from $0.83 to $0.8310 to $0.832 to $0.833 to $0.835 in the space of half a minute.

Update, 2:34pm EST, 4/26/05 Unaccountably, the Bid has fallen to $0.83, the current price, and the Ask to $0.85, as volume leaps to 2,535,600.

Update, 2:32pm EST, 4/26/05 The price has now improved to $0.87, while the Bid is $0.86 and volume has reached 2,461,600 shares. With 474 trades at 2:17, Buys outnumber Sells by 1,157,085 to 1,059,972, a substantial improvement over this morning but denoting an ambivalent market that is sadly reflected in the meandering price.

Update, 2:01pm EST, 4/26/05 Going into the last two hours without news, we nonetheless expect a significant price improvement as ERHC Energy's preferential rights are guaranteed and we know they will be awarded within a day or two. The price now stands at $0.86, the Bid at $0.845, and the Ask at $0.86. Volume is 2,240,300 shares.

Update, 1:51pm EST, 4/26/05 The price has improved to $0.86, the Ask, while the Bid is at $0.85. 2,232,800 shares have traded today.

Update, 1:45pm EST, 4/26/05 Investors are biting their nails as they wait for news and the share price floats aimlessly around. Fortunately, my daughter is a cosmetologist.

Update, 1:45pm EST, 4/26/05 The price is back at $0.85 and the Ask back to $0.86, with volume at 2,225,500.

Update, 1:37pm, 4/26/05 The price is $0.845, the Ask, as volume hits 2,166,900. The Bid is still $0.84. As if 15 minutes ago, though, buyers continued to lead sellers, although by a slim margin. With 440 trades at 1:24pm EST, Buys were 1,037,835 shares and Sells were 1,016,807 shares, with 35,800 shares unidentified. That followed 11 straight Sells totaling 28,040 shares.

Update, 1:30pm EST, 4/26/05 We're now at $0.84, the low share price of the day, and that's the Bid while the Ask is at $0.845. Volume so far is 2,116,400 shares. Indications are that buyers are having difficulty getting these cheap shares.

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Daddi17, who runs the useful PalTalk chat group and ERHC Website, has bravely posted some possible numbers as an outcome of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority Round 2 block awards, which could come within the hour or tomorrow morning. I say "bravely" because as readers of this blog know, predictions can turn people mighty vile when they go wrong.

Here's Daddi17's best guesses, in the order ERHC made its preferential choices:

By: dadd17
26 Apr 2005, 01:04 PM EDT
Msg. 29546 of 29554

Jump to msg. #

Just reading numbers

Block 5
ICC-OEOC Consortium 40% - Operator
Sahara Energy Fields 35%
ERHC Energy 15%
Indie 10%

Block 6
Filtim Huzod Oil & Gas 65% Operator
ERHC Energy 15%
Indie 10%
Indie 10%

Block 2
Devon/Pioneer/ERHC 65% Operator ERHC with 30%
Foby Engineering 25%
Indie 10%

Block 3
Devon/Pioneer/ERHC 55% Operator ERHC with 20%
Andarko 35%
Indie 10%

Block 4
Noble-ERHC 55% Operator Noble with 30% to ERHC's 25%
Andarko 35%
Indie 10%

I hope he's right!

Update, 1:15pm, 4/26/05 The price is $0.85, the Bid $0.847, and the Ask $0.85, with some 2,039,100 shares trading hands. No news yet from the JMC. Investors should be aware of a pattern that has persisted in ERHE trading, and that is that the price always seems to fall shortly before good news. That may have something to do with market makers covering their short positions, or anxiety among investors, but the history of the stock suggests that such falls are standard before news that blows the price through the roof. Today's very modest profit taking hardly qualifies as a fall, but it may be setting the floor for in concrete for our impending takeoff to the $1 stratosphere.

THANK YOU, INVESTOR NO. 100,000! We're in a mood of joyous celebration as we thank all the visitors to ERHC On The Move that have made this site a great success. I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you for your support, your readership and all the many kind things you have said about us. We are now the second Search Result for "erhc" on Google, and after the company itself the primary source of information for Web visitors on ERHC Energy.

Here are the statistics (Date, Visitors, Clicks, % Clicks/Visitors, Cost Per 1,000 Impressions, and Income) we downloaded just about 10 minutes ago:

Monday, April 25, 2005 2,454 98 4.0% $11.65 $28.58
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 1,337 114 8.5% $34.13 $45.63
Totals 100,036 1,514 1.5% $4.02 $401.71
Averages 1,205 18 $4.84

Update, 12:50pm EST, 4/26/05: With volume at 1,957,300, speculation about the timing of the awards is dominating the Raging Bull ERHE message board. The latest from Sam Dimka gives nothing away, but rockreation made an excellent point: that awards are likely today simply because it will be difficult to schedule Joint Ministerial Council member-ministers for another, now-unscheduled day. If we were in Abuja, we could wait and see if the presidential limousine was leaving the palace headed towards the JMC meeting. The bid is lower at $0.859 and the Ask is, too, at $0.865. The last price was $0.865.

Update, 12:44pm EST, 4/26/05: We're 64 visitors away from Mr or Mrs. 100,000!

Update, 12:36pm EST, 4/26/05: The price is weakening to $0.865, and the Ask to $0.865 with the Bid at $0.855. Volume is at 1,944,900 shares.

Update, 12:33pm EST, 4/26/05: By 12:14, with 385 trades recorded, Buys are now outpacing Sells by 947,015 to 929,757, with 35,800 unidentified. That's a strong improvement, and there has been a very long string of buys developing. with 19 Buys to 10 Sells in the first 15 minutes of the noon hour. There may be news ahead, judging from those numbers.

Update, 12:25pm EST, 4/26/05: We are 185 visitors away from Number 100,000!

Update, 12:25pm EST, 4/26/05:The price is at $0.87 and the Bid is at $0.855, as a gap opens up between those hedging against a delay and those hoping for good news. 1,938,300 shares have traded.

Update, 12:21pm EST, 4/26/05: An update has come in from Raging Bull poster orangeandwhite0:


Just got off the phone with Sam Dimka. He was in a hurry so didn't have time to talk. He said JMC is still in session. I asked him if meetings were going well and he said they were indeed going well. Expect news at anytime folks.

Update, 12:15pm EST, 4/26/05: Lower now at $0.87, the Bid, with the Ask at $0.875. 1,920,100 shares have changed hands.

Update, 12:13pm EST, 4/26/05: Trading slows as the wait for news grows anxious. 15 minutes ago, at 11:55, the sellers still dominated, with Buys totaling 812,325 and Sells of 896,544 shares, and still 35,800 undidentifiable. As of 11:50, there have now been 366 trades, meaning that there were 55 in the space of the one intervening hour since our last Buys/Sells update at 10:50am.

Update, 12:08am EST, 4/26/05: The price and Ask have improved to $0.875, while the Bid has improved to $0.87. Volume has hit 1,855,900 shares at a brisk pace.

Update, 12:02am EST, 4/26/05: At the noon hour, ERHE traders aren't very hungry for anything but news, news, news. Awards could well come within the hour, but we'll have to wait for word from Abuja-based journalists at Reuters and Dow Jones before we know anything. Mmeanwhile, the share price remains at $0.87, the Ask, while the Bid is still fixed at $0.865, and volume hits 1,816,000 shares.

Update, 11:56am EST, 4/26/05: The price is $0.87 on 1,744,500 shares traded, with the Ask still at $0.87 and the Bid $0.865.

Update, 11:55am EST, 4/26/05: We're 361 visitors away from 100,000...

Update, 11:50am EST, 4/26/05: We are just 482 visitors away from number 100,000 at ERHC On The Move. That should happen about noon, so let's hope the magic number coincides with awards! The price has improved to $0.87, the Ask, and the Bid is at $0.865, while 1,705,300 shares have traded.

Update, 11:40am EST, 4/26/05: Trading is in suspense for the moment as they wait for news from Abuja. There were no trades in the last 7 minutes.

Update, 11:32am EST, 4/26/05: Two hours into the day, ERHE is trading at the Ask of $0.86, with the Bid at $0.855, and volume has climbed to 1,689,900 shares.

Update, 11:27am EST, 4/26/05: VectorVest, the automated stock valuation program, has set the current value (before awards) of ERHE at $1.06, and says that while it is below average as to safety, it is undervalued and is rated a Buy. The company says this morning:

>Value: Value is a measure of a stock's current worth. ERHE has a current Value of $1.06 per share. Therefore, it is undervalued compared to its Price of $0.88 per share. Value is computed from forecasted earnings per share, forecasted earnings growth, profitability, interest, and inflation rates. Value increases when earnings, earnings growth rate and profitability increase, and when interest and inflation rates decrease. VectorVest advocates the purchase of undervalued stocks. At some point in time, a stock's Price and Value always will converge.

Update, 11:20am EST, 4/26/05: Traders should be aware that with the substantial completion of yesterday's work, the Joint Ministerial Council may be set to make awards and would likely announce them at about 12pm EST, which is just 40 minutes away. If awards come today, the share price will likely cross $1, and perhaps hit $1.15. No Dow Jones update by 1pm would indicate that no awards were made today. However, there is nothing to bar a late announcement, or an early one tomorrow.

Update, 11:15am EST, 4/26/05: With 1,635,400 shares traded, we're off $0.02 at $0.855, the Bid, and the Ask has settled at $0.86.

Update, 11:10am EST, 4/26/05: With 1,604,400 shares traded, the price stands at $0.86, the Ask, while the Bid is at $0.855.

Update, 10:50am EST, 4/26/05: The first 311 trades, completed by 10:50am, show that Sells are outpacing Buys this morning by 782,024 to 723,775, with 35,800 shares unidentified.

Update, 10:44am EST, 4/26/05: The Bid has sprung back to $0.865 and the Ask to $0.87 on 1,487,500 shares of volume. The price is $0.87.

Update, 10:33am EST, 4/26/05: The Bid is at $0.84 and the price at $0.845, the Ask, on 1,293,100 shares of volume. Looks like traders are taking profits. The morning pullback has become siomething we're accustomed to. It should be over by 11am EST.

Update, 10:30am EST, 4/26/05: The Bid falls to $0.845, the Ask to $0.85, on 1,182,200 shares of volume.

Update, 10:29am EST, 4/26/05: After the first hour, the volume has climbed to 1,161,200 while the price hits $0.85, the Bid, and Ask sits at $0.855.

Update, 10:27am EST, 4/26/05: Oops! The price has fallen to $0.855, the Bid, while the Ask is at its low of the day, $0.86. Volume is 1,118,600 shares.

Update, 10:23am EST, 4/26/05: Traders are reluctant to test a new low for the day and Buyers are slow to bid higher than $0.88 or $0.89 as we wait for awards in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone. While volume is very high, there's no sense of adventure out there. The Bid is now $0.87 and the Ask $0.875, while the price is at $0.87, the day's low.

Update, 10:17am EST, 4/26/05: 47 minutes into the trading day, 1,027,200 shares have traded and the price is at $0.88, with the Bid at $0.87. The Ask is at $0.88.

Update, 10:12am EST, 4/26/05: 1 million shares have traded! Price is $0.885.

Update, 10:11am EST, 4/26/05: The share price returns to $0.885, the Ask, and the Bid stays at $0.88, on 939,066 shares of volume.

Update, 10:09am EST, 4/26/05: The bid has improved to $0.88 and the Ask to $0.885 on 899,066 shares of volume. The price is $0.875, however.

Update, 10:07am EST, 4/26/05: The price is $0.88 with volume at 879,066.

Update, 10:05am EST, 4/26/05: The Bid is at $0.875 and the Ask at $0.88 as volume reaches 818,766.

Update, 10am EST, 4/26/05: Volume has reached 764,586, witht the price and Bid at $0.873 and the Ask at $0.88.

Update, 9:55am EST, 4/26/05: The share price has reached $0.885 on volume of 703,396.

Update, 9:53am EST, 4/26/05: We're back to an Ask of $0.89 and Bid of $0.885, on 660,996 shares traded.

Update, 9:50am EST, 4/26/05: The price has climbed back to $0.887, and the Ask to $0.89. while the Bid stays at $0.88. Volume is 604,597.

Update, 9:47am EST, 4/26/05: The price is now $0.885, the Ask, while the bid remains at $0.88, on 506,847 shares of volume.

Update, 9:45am EST, 4/26/05: Now 15 minutes into the day, the Bid is higher at $0.88 and the Ask higher at $0.885, on 483,847 shares of volume.

Update, 9:43am EST, 4/26/05: The Bid has risen to $0.873, and the Ask to $0.875, on 422,100 shares.

Update, 9:42am EST, 4/26/05: The Bid has dropped to $0.872, and the Ask to $0.874, on 382,100 shares.

Update, 9:40am EST, 4/26/05: The price is $0.875 10 minutes into the day, with the Bid still $0.875 and the Ask $0.88. 360,065 shares have traded.

Update, 9:38am EST, 4/26/05: The Ask has dropped to $0.88, while the Bid remains set at $0.875, yesterday's close. Volume has slowed to 325,085.

Update, 9:35am EST, 4/26/05: The Ask has dropped to $0.887, and the Bid has stayed at $0.875. 321,565 shares have traded in the first five minutes.

Update, 9:32am EST, 4/26/05: 300,000 shares traded in the first two minutes, and the price is $0.88, with the Bid set at $0.875 and the Ask at $0.88.

JDZ Issues 2 Press Releases on Payment And PSC In Block 1

The Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority, which rarely communicates more than once a month, has issued two press releases today, indicating that the Joint Ministerial Council is hard at work resolving issues and preparing the way for awards. Both releases were dated Monday.

The main release states that the companies have finally paid the bonus.

The slow payments have been a source of anger and concern for Sao Tome and Principe, which was forced to borrow money from Nigeria to keep going, and will watch most of the first dollars it will earn from petroleum - some $49 million - fly out the window for debt repayment, debt service, and other pre-ordained commitments.

For ERHC Energy, Inc., investors, however, the releases are great news as they signal that Sao Tome is not an obstacle to awards and that a Production Sharing Contract modeled on that in Block 1 may be ready for signature very shortly after the awards in Round 2 are announced. At this pace, that could come before the end of the day.

Here is the first, on the long-awaited payment of $123 million as a signature bonus from Block 1 winners ChevronTexaco, the operator, and minority stakeholders ExxonMobil, Energy Equity Resources and, presumably, its new partner, Afren:


Following the signing of the first Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for Block One of the Nigeria- Sao Tome and Principe JDZ, the consortium below:

ChevronTexaco - 51% (Operator)
ExxonMobil - 40%
Dangote Energy Equity Resources - 9%

have effected payments of the Signature Bonus of $123 million USD only.

This notice is in line with Clause 30, specifically 30.1(a) on Transparency in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) signed between the JDA and the three companies. It mandates the JDA to report on its website within (10) days of receipt of the report of payment from CONTRACTOR parties.
It is also on conformity with the provisions of the Abuja Declaration on
Transparency signed in Abuja in June 2004.
Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe
Joint Development Authority

25th April 2005

Here is the second one, which deals with the conteroversial "transparency" clause that requires all payments to the Joint Development Authority and both nations to be made out in the open where everyone can see them. ExxonMobil, which has been involved in a huge bribery scandal in neighborind oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, wassaid to have balked at this clause. ExxonMobil eventually walked away from two 25 percent preferential rights in the Joint Development Zone Round 2, but has reserved the same rights for later rounds.


The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for Block One which was signed between the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority (JDA) on 1st February 2005 in Sao Tome and whose effective date was signed in Abuja, Nigeria on 22nd March, 2005 between the JDA and the consortium below:

ChevronTexaco - 51%
ExxonMobil - 40%
Dangote Energy Equity Resources - 9%

have in line with the Abuja Declaration on Transparency and Accountability adopted a clause on Transparency to guide the conduct of Exploration and Production activities in the JDZ.

Specifically, clause 30.1(a) of the PSC stipulates that: Each CONTRACTOR Party shall report to the JDA the amount of signature bonus it paid to the JDA under Clause 2.1 and the JDA shall publish said reports on its website within ten (10) working days of receipt of such report. The JDA shall include such amount in the amount of aggregated Signature Bonus payments it receives from all sources in respect of the JDZ during the relevant reporting period and then publish such aggregate amount on its website.

Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe
Joint Development Authority

25th April 2005

Another Day To Remember

Tuesday, April 26, will either be the day ERHC Energy learns of its awards in the Joint Development Zone of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority Gulf of Guinea 2004 licensing round (whew!), or the day before it learns of those awards, or two days before them. In any case, today shapes up as another day to remember, with investors on edge amid the promise of big gains.

Yesterday's action was incredible. There were huge blocks of stock poised to sell for profit-taking at the open, yet the first trades gapped up to $0.84 and when the sell orders hit, they were overwhelmed by buying that drove the price to $0.90 in the first five minutes of trading, albeit for only one small trade. Nonetheless, of the first 1.6 million shares traded, almost half were sells.

As the day wore on, however, the pattern changed. The number of trades was almost double last Friday's, while the volume was not substantially higher. By the end of the day Monday, there were some 1,020 trades (including two Form T trade Buys totaling 7.500 shares after hours), with 2,347,097 Buys and 1,594,770 Sells, and a huge 370,910 unidentified (all very early in the trading day). The last two Form T trades were at $0.87, so the day ended on a downtick.

The last 13 minutes saw 24 Buys versus 17 Sells, with the Buys totaling 86,380 shares and the Sells totaling 105,000 shares. The preponderance of positive trades suggests to us that the buying will continue early this morning, while there undoubtedly be some investors who sell - and will lose over the day and the long term.

Many investors are prepared to see $0.90 in early trading today, and hope the $1 finish line is crossed before the close. That appears to be reasonable only if awards are announced sometime around noon. Volume should reach 5 million today with or without awards in anticipation of them.

The lack of an announcement could cause some selling the afternoon. We expect a more modest gain, perhaps of $0.05, if no awards are announced, as we think investors remain wary of delays and don't enjoy the nail-biting they can bring.

Undoubtedly, the stunning announcement of the appointment of the last US Ambassadoer to Nigeria and a Stanford-educated former head of the NNPC as new directors was the catalyst that overcame the profit-takers early in the morning Monday. While we still feel the euphoria of that great news, awards now come center-stage and take the focus.

There was no coverage in any of the 14 Nigerian publications we follow daily of the awards process; whoever's in charge of group-think over there has a firm hand on things. There were also no updates from JDA spokesman Sam Dimka posted anywhere. The silence is welcome, however, because there is only one piece of news we want to hear.

We're very grateful to the 2,454 visitors who stopped by ERHC On The Move yesterday and for the 98 ad-clicks you registered for income of $28.58. We deeply appreciate your support in keeping this blog alive.

Patience is again the key today; the award will arrive, although I do not expect them until the 28th, which is what the two much-maligned (by me and many others) Punch reporters predicted back in late March. It now looks like they must have had some basis for that date, and I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

We are not going to leave our desk today, just in case the awards do come, and because the action will be terrific; follow our trading updates throughout the day for all the latest.

Disclosure: The author holds 123,040 shares of ERHE purchased at an average of $0.4394, and benefits materially from any increase in share price.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Trading Updates: Fast, Furious Action As ERHE Climbs; Short-Sellers Crushed By An 8% Gain As US Ambassador' Named To ERHC Energy's Board Of Directors

Hon. Howard Franklin Jeter
Former U.S. Ambassador Howard Jeter today joined the Board of Directors of ERHC Energy, Inc. (ERHE) as a non-executive director on the eve of awards from the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone. Jeter is the immediate past US envoy to Nigeria and formerly served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, State Department Director for West Africa, President Clinton's Special Envoy for Liberia, and Ambassador to Botswana. Also joining the board today is the former Managing Director for Exploration and Production of the Nigerian National Petroleum Co., the U.S.-educated Dr. Andrew C. Uzoigwe.

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We're closed! ERHE closed at $0.875 today, up $0.06 cents and a gain for ERHC On The Move of $7,382.40. The Bid at the close was $0.87, and the Ask $0.875. The HOD was $0.90, a sort of Promised Land for ERHC investors. The low was $0.815, after a $0.84 open. Final volume was 4,302,777 shares, a gain of 7.36 percent on the day. Thank you, and welcome aboard, Ambassador Jeter and Dr. Uzoigwe!

Update, 3:59pm EST, 4/16/05: We're once more at $0.88 going into the last two minutes of the regular trading day, up $0.06 on 4,276,600 shares.

Update, 3:57pm EST, 4/16/05: We're at $0.875, and the Ask is $0.88, while the Bid is better at $0.875. Volume has risen by over 200,000 shares in recent minutes to 4,222,100.

Update, 3:39pm EST, 4/16/05: Day traders are closing out at end of day, dropping the price to $0.865, while the Ask is lower at $0.87. However, judging by past, upward moves may still lie ahead, although they may not carry us to $.90 as hoped. Volume has closed in on 4 million shares, at 4,002,000. That's better than last Friday, when we had other great news..

Update, 3:33pm EST, 4/16/05: The price is at $0.875. and the Ask at the $0.88. The Bid stayed at $0.875. Volume is 3,929,000 shares.

Update, 3:30pm EST, 4/16/05: The Ask has dropped back to $0.88, and the Bid to $0.875. We suspect it's temporary. Volume is at 3,917,000 shares and the price is $0.875.

Update, 3:25pm EST, 4/16/05: The Ask has gone to $0.89, as volume pushes past 3.9 million.

Update, 3:25pm EST, 4/16/05: Shareholders are hanging on to their stock and their gains, as the price returns to $0.885, the Ask, and the Bid reaches $0.88. Volume is 3,879,100; 136,000 shares have traded since 3:15.

Update, 3:17pm EST, 4/16/05: The price is steady at $0.88, the Bid, while the Ask is is $0.885 on 3,834,100 shares

Update, 3:14pm EST 4/25/05: As 3:15 approaches, the Bid is back to $0.875 and the Ask is once again at $0.88, with volume now topping 3,743,300 shares.

Update, 2:59pm EST 4/25/05: The price is slipping, with the Bid now $0.86 and the Ask $0.87 as volume reaches $3,679,900 shares. Just ahead: the 3:15 surge.

Update, 2:51pm EST 4/25/05: The price is back to $0.88. Volume is 3,624,400.

Update, 2:45pm EST 4/25/05: The price has slipped to $0.878, and the Bid is at $0.87. The Ask is lower at $0.88. Volume is 3,620,400 shares.

Update, 2:35pm EST 4/25/05: The share price is now $0.89, and the Bid $0.885. Volume is 3,544,100 shares, and the Ask is also $0.89. The ERHC On The Move portfolio is now at more thasn 100 percent of cost, with a profit of $55,258.12 after today's gain of $9,228.

Update, 2:28pm EST 4/25/05: We're now trading again at $0.885, the Ask, and the Bis is again at $0.88. Volume has surpassed 3,516,900 shares.

Update, 2:14pm EST 4/25/05: The share price is $0.8810. The Bid is now $0.876, and the Ask has retreated $0.004 to $0.8810. Volume is 3,466,600.

Update, 2:08pm EST 4/25/05: The bid is now over $0.88 at $0.881, while the Ask has gone to $0.885, the current share price. Volume is brisk at 3,463,700.

Update, 2:06pm EST 4/25/05: The Bid is back at $0.875 and the Ask and share price are at $0.88 as we grow closer to the 3:15 surge. Volume is a healthy 3,450,700.

Update, 1:46pm EST 4/25/05: At, $0.88, we're now trading at twice our ERHC On The Move buy-in price of $54,060, as our brokerage house points out:

ERHE Buy / Sell 0.88 0.06 7.98% $7,997.60 123,040 $0.4394 $54,027.73 99.59% $108,275.20 Edit

Update, 1:46pm EST 4/25/05: The Bid is back down to $0.87, and the Ask is again $0.88, while the price is $0.87. Volume is 3,414,100 shares. We expect to see the $0.90s for the first time since 9:35am this morning within the hour. The buyer at that price was a Raging Bull poster.

Update, 1:41pm EST 4/25/05: Word is that the ERHC Energy PalTalk board, which kicked us off for our early prediction of "great news," is experiencing a huge influx of talkers, with the room up to 41 people. Meanwhile, the PalTalk voice-video group ERHC On The Move is moribund, and we have had to cancel a planned interview with investor Phil Nugent. We may shut the site down soon. The ERHC On The Move blog has had 1,040 visitors so far today, however, and is going strong.

Update, 1:23pm EST 4/25/05: The price is $0.88, and the Bid is again at $0.87, and the Ask once more at $0.885. Volume is brisk at 3,285,700.

Update, 1:05pm EST 4/25/05: We're at $0.875 now, with the Bid at $0.861 and the Ask at $0.875. As we come out of the lunch hour, I expect some lassitude between 1pm and 3pm, and then a furious rise to $0.91 and above. Right now, volume stands at 3,231,800 shares, and we're currently up 7.37 percent on the day.

Update, 12:36pm EST 4/25/05: We ran into Java problems, but we're up and running again. The price now stands at $0.87, a $0.055 gain, with the Bid at $0.86 and the Ask at $0.87. Volume has reached 3,167,700 shares.

Update, 11:01am EST 4/25/05: At 10:40am EST, there were 532 trades - a huge number so early in the day - with 1,083,503 shares recorded as Buys, 915,984 as Sells, and a huge 304,594 unidentified as swing traders trade in and out at fractions of a cent. The expected selling has been substantially offset by the good news about Ambassador Howard Jeter's appointment to the ERHC Energy board, yielding a net volume of Buys if only by 100,000 shares or so. Short sellers may have been crushed by the good news. The price now stands at $0.865, the Bid at $0.86 and the Ask at $0.87.

Update, 10:54am EST 4/25/05: The price is $0.8625, the Bid $0.86, and the Ask $0.865 as volume reaches 2,356,500 shares.

Update, 10:49am EST 4/25/05: The share price is $0.87, and the Bid is $0.865, while the Ask is also at $0.87, and volume is at 2,334,400 shares.

Update, 10:48am EST 4/25/05: Japan has experienced its worst train wreck in 40 years as 50 people died and 400 were injured as a bullet train derailed and slammed into the parking garage of an apartment building.

Update, 10:41am EST 4/25/05: The price is at $0.855, the Bid at $0.86, and the Ask at $0.87, as volume hits 2,304,100 shares.

Update, 10:36am EST 4/25/05: The high of the day (HOD) has moved to $0.90, a milestone. Volume is 2,270,000 shares. The Bid is at $0.87 and the ask is $0.875.
The last price was $0.865.

Update, 10:30am EST 4/25/05: The share price is $0.88, an $0.0650 gain, and profits for the ERHC On The Move portfolio of 123,040 shares have surged to $54,027.73 as the Ask moves to $0.88. Volume is 2,185,900. The Bid lags far behind at $0.87.

Update, 10:19am EST 4/25/05: The Ask has moved up to $0.86 again, and so has the share price. The Bid is $0.855. Volume is 1,847,600.

Update, 10:15am EST 4/25/05: The share price is back to $0.849, and the Ask has recovered to $0.85 on 1,770,500 shares.

Update, 10:10am EST 4/25/05: The selling we told you to expect this morning has materialized and the share price has fallen to $0.825, $0.01 above the open, and that is the Ask price. At 10:13am EST, 1,758,000 shares have traded. The selling ought to last another 20 minutes, tops, I believe.

Update, 10am EST 4/25/05: The price is $0.8520 and the Ask is $0.8520 as volume hits 1,442,600 in the first 30 minutes.

Update, 9:51am EST 4/25/05: Volume crosses 1,078,000. Share price is $0.845, and the Ask is $0.85.

Update, 9:50am EST 4/25/05: Selling has occurred as traders take profits. The price is $0.845, and 967,053 shares have traded in the first 20 minutes.

Update, 9:42am EST 4/25/05: The price has climbed to $0.865 and the Ask to $0.86 on 810,918 shares.

Update, 9:37am EST 4/25.05: 228,133 shares traded in the first few minutes, and the share price is at $0.85, a $0.035 gain from Friday's close.