With little hard news but much enthusiasm, ERHC Energy (OTC BB symbol: ERHE) investors pushed us back above $0.40 for the first time since a now-discredited report on alleged irregularities in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone block awards was released and dropped the share p[rice $0.15 almost overnight.
Today's volume hit 1.5 million shares before 1 p.m.
Most of the price rise is probably attributable to the meeting - first reported here last night - between Sao Tome leader Fradique de Menezes and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo, two men who developed a closer working relationship when Obasanjo helped 2003 coup de Menezes end a very scary week.
It may also have helped that a meeting between ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and President Obasanjo, reported this morning in the Guardian of Nigeria, made no mention whatever of the JDZ amid a long list of plans that flesh out a five-year, $10.1 billion Exxon spending spree in Nigeria.
Perhaps encouraging investors, too, was the contrast between the performance of ERHC's partner in Block 2, Pioneer Natural Resources, and that of ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco. The latter two struggled to stay out of the red today, while Pioneer was up $1.27 at 1:15 p.m. EST while Exxon was off $0.05.
At 1 p,m, EST, ERHC's share price was standing at $0.409, up $0.039 on volume of 1,536,200 shares. The Bid was also at the day's high, $0.405, with the Ask at $0.409.
The price has recovered ground several times during the day's trading, a good sign that investors are inclined to move it to higher ground before the expected Feb. 6th and 7th or 9th and 10th Joint Ministerial Council meeting, where it is hoped both countries will finalize Production Sharing Contracts for the five blocks awarded on May 31, 2005. ERHC Energy has susbtantial equity in all five blocks.