Monday, February 27, 2006

Dow Jones Corrects Earlier Release, But New One Sets No Date For PSCs; A Note From Africa

Dow Jones corrected a story it wrote that omitted ERHC Energy from the Block 4 consortium but neither the old nor the corrected release follows the company's lead in announcing what it says is a March 14 date certain for the signing ceremony.

Meanwhile, a note from Africa says the essential issue at hand at Friday's failed signing ceremony was "due process" in Nigeria-DRSTP Joint Ministerial Council negotiations, and that in retrospect Sao Tome's assertion of its interests may have helped clear the air and ease negotiations in the future. It is Sao Tome that is due the apology, the note said. Both sides remain committed to signing the Block 4 pact, and ERHC/Addax is not an issue this time, it said.

Here is the Dow Jones article by Vincent Nwannma:

DJ New Date To Be Announced For Nigeria-Sao Tome Oil Pact

Dow Jones News Services

LAGOS (Dow Jones)--A new date will be announced for the signing of a production sharing contract on Block 4 of the Joint Development Zone being developed by Nigeria and its island neighbor, Sao Tome and Principe, the Joint Development Authority said Monday.

In a statement, the JDA said the signing was postponed from Friday "due to unforeseen administrative issues."

"We wish to assure all the stakeholders that these issues are not fundamental to the subsisting agreement, and spirited efforts are being made to resolve those issues preparatory to the signing of the PSC," the statement said.

Reports said the postponement followed the insistence by Sao Tome and Principe to study the PSC and Joint Operating Agreements before the documents are signed.

Nigeria and Sao Tome share the resources from the joint development zone to the ratio of 60:40.

Block 4 was awarded to a consortium that initially included Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. (NBL), during the 2004 licensing round. However, Noble later withdrew from the consortium and was replaced by Swiss energy company Addax Petroleum Corp. (AXC.T)

Other members of the consortium include Conoil, ERHC Energy (ERHE), and Godsonic Oil and Gas.

-By Vincent Nwanma, Dow Jones Newswires; �1-585-0849;

Corrected February 27, 2006 12:57 EST (17:57 GMT)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-27-06 1132ET

DJ CORRECT: ERHC Energy Is Member Of Consortium

Other members of the consortium include Conoil, ERHC Energy (ERHE), and Godsonic Oil and Gas.

("New Date To Be Announced For Nigeria-Sao Tome Oil Pact", timed at 1632 GMT, misstated the name of one of the companies in the consortium.)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-27-06 1256ET

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