With 1 million shares of ERHC Energy (OTC BB symbol: ERHE) trading in the first 13 minutes of the day and volume at 10:20 a.m. over 3,300,000 shares - almost all of them buys - before the first hour has elapsed, there is growing assurance that not only will the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Ministerial Council meet on Monday and Tuesday but that Production Sharing Contracts for all five blocks in the oil-rich Joint Development Zone will be signed before the end of February.
An I-Hub poster, Mark St. Amour, said he was told by Joint Development Authority officials this morning that the rumored Feb. 6th and 7th dates have been confirmed, and that PSCs would be completed within a month.
Although the JDA sources are always wrong except once every Licensing Round, this is likely to be the "once" as it follows a meeting on Monday evening and Tuesday between Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Sao Tome and Principe President Fradique de Menezes, who by treaty have between them have the authroity to clear the decks of any disputes that may have blocked PSCs to date.
Following that meeting, which was reported in another global exclusive by ERHC On The Move thanks to poster Mutwadadi, ERHC's share price began a dramatic rise from around $0.335 to the present $0.46. It traded once at $0.50 this morning and had already passed 4.17 million shares at 11:30 a.m., heading towards what appears to be a recent-record day of positive volume.
Without hard news to rely on, the sharp upward movement of the stock - more than 30 percent in the past two days - also indicates that sources in Nigeria have concluded that Block 4 belongs to ERHC Energy and now its partner Addax Petroleum, who won it on May 31, 2005. It also helps enormously that we have operatorship of Block 2, as well, and a healthy portion of Block 3.
At 10:30 a.m., more than 3.5 million shares - 10 times the number traded one day late last week - had changed hands, with about 1.919 million Buys and 1.618 million Sells, and the price was slightly below the $0.50 high so far today. At 10:44 a.m. the Ask was $0.49 and the bid $0.475, also slightly under its high of $0.49.
Without a doubt, these are exciting times for ERHC investors, and my own portfolio is $15,000 in the green since we re-purchased at $0.2922.
With a little luck, we should be sailing free and clear any day now on our way to a share price that is truly representative of the vast reserves of oil represented by our equity in all five blocks.