Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Block 2 PSC To Be Signed Wednesday, Daukoru Tells Reuters

Dr. Edmund Daukoru, Nigeria's oil minister and current President of OPEC, told the Reuters news agency tonight in Abuja that Block 2 of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone will be signed with operators ERHC Energy and Sinopec tomorrow, the agency reported.

This development ought to again boost ERHC Energy's share price, which enjoyed a $0.09 rise on Tuesday. Although that doesn't sound like much, one geologist who communicates with us frequently was offering himself a toast this evening after a gain of $250,000, including nearly $50,000 today.

Just for the record, here's how ERHC Energy (OTC BB symbol: ERHE) ended up on this historic day: The last sale, at 4:00:50pm ET, was at $0.92, so we closed up $0.10, and the Bid stood at $0.912 and the Ask at $0.92. The previous day's closing price for ERHE was $0.82, and it opened today at $0.845. The high of the day was $0.948 and the low was $0.82, during that dismal morning hour when there was no news and it felt to some like bad news. Volume for the day was not as high as might have been expected, with 8,416,538 shares changing hands. The only remarkable aspect of the trading that I can find is that the buying and selling was at a 4.6:3.3 ratio, with 4,633,971 Buys and $3,347,214 Sells. Yesterday's Unidentified trades (trades in between the Bid and Ask) topped 1.6 million - an extraordinary number, believe me - and today's were extremely high a third of that, some 435,351 shares. There were a total of 1,571 trades, including three relatively small ones totaling 39,356 shares after the 4pm ET bell, all Buys that lowered the closing price from $0.921 to $0.92. The last trade in regular market hours was a 10,000-share Buy on an uptick from $0.912 at $0.921, and was preceded by two 5,000-share Sells at $0.912. On the Sell side, at the close there were 34 market makers offering shares in a range from UBSS at $0.92 to FSWC at $5.00. On the Buy side, VIEW was on top at $0.912, and SBSH was at the bottom at $0.01. Lot size was 2,500.

Longtime investor stockhocker, who had to sell due to the Katrina tragedy in which he lost his home, today jumped back in with 50,000 new shares and says he will be buying from now on when he can afford it.

Here is his hilarious note to the inveterate basher Mongo, who for years assiduously sought out every conceivable negative about this stock, as
well-enumerated in stockhocker's checklist below:
Posted by: stockhocker
In reply to: claudealain who wrote msg# 32025 Date:3/14/2006 5:40:13 PM
Post #of 32185

Does Mongo have any arrows left?

Rights - check (validated)
Lawsuits - check (settled)
Awards - check (approved)
JOA/PSC - check (signed)
Financing - check (cash from JOA's)
Sigbon $$$ - check (free)
Sharecount - check (found, all $222 worth)
No Oil - check (with Chevron)
Revenue - check (not yet, but I'll be waiting on mine, in form of dividend)

For the record, I added 50k today and will continue buying what I can afford.

And what of us? Our gain for the day was about $2,300, and we had to sell our position because we had purchased 30,000 shares on margin yesterday for $0.803 in the late afternoon and failed to sell them by the bell, prompting a Fed Call. We sold them at $0.88, and hope that after the commotion dies down we might be able to repurchase some at a reasonable price.

Here is the Reuters story:

Reuters Update
UPDATE 1-Nigeria, Sao Tome sign long-delayed oil deals
Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:34pm ET
By Tom Ashby

ABUJA, March 14 (Reuters) - Nigeria and Sao Tome on Tuesday signed production sharing contracts with oil companies on two of the deep-water exploration blocks the two countries jointly administer in the Gulf of Guinea, after months of delays.

Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer, and the tiny twin island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, which has not yet started producing oil, have a joint development zone in one of the world's exploration hotspots.

The Joint Development Authority (JDA) signed a production sharing contract for block 3 with a consortium led by U.S. independent Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC.N: Quote, Profile, Research). The signature bonus for the block is $40 million.

Anadarko has a 51 percent stake in the block and is the operator. Other stakeholders are Houston-based ERHC (ERHE.OB: Quote, Profile, Research) and Canada-based Addax who together have 25 percent, DNO (DNO.OL: Quote, Profile, Research) and Energy Equity Resources (EER) of Norway with 10 percent, and smaller partners Ophir of South Africa and Broadlink of Nigeria with 4 percent.

The JDA also signed a production sharing contract for block 4 with a consortium headed by ERHC and Addax, who together have 60 percent of the block and are the operators. The signature bonus is $90 million.

Others with stakes in block 4 are Nigerian firms Conoil (NTOL.LG: Quote, Profile, Research), with 20 percent, and Godsonic, with 5 percent. Hercules, controlled by Canada-based Centurion, has 10 percent while smaller Nigerian company Overt has 5 percent.

The JDA had been due to sign a production sharing contract for block 4 on Feb. 24 but the signing fell through at the last moment in what Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Edmund Daukoru called a "very embarrassing" episode.

The failed signing came just over two weeks after U.S. firm Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) withdrew from two of the Nigeria-Sao Tome blocks after failing to agree terms with its partner, ERHC.

ERHC, which is controlled by private Nigerian firm Chrome, has since gained approval from the JDA to bring in Chinese refiner Sinopec (SNP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) (0386.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) as its new partner in block 2.

Daukoru said the production sharing contract for block 2 would be signed on Wednesday.

Blocks 3 and 4, along with three others, were awarded last May after a turbulent five-month delay plagued by disagreements between the countries and accusations of corruption.

The JDA had previously signed a production sharing contract for block 1 in the joint development zone with a consortium led by U.S. energy giant Chevron (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research). The drilling of the first well on that block was completed a week ago but the results are still a closely-guarded secret.

"So far drilling is progressing steadily with indications of activity in the well of a positive sort. We are awaiting a discovery very soon," Daukoru said during the signing.

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