Wednesday, May 31, 2006

ERHE Investor To Appear On CNBC's Jim Kramer Show

A well-liked regular poster on I-Hub who goes by the nickname jdubs will appear on the popular CNBC show "Mad Money" with host Jim Kramer next week, he said.

The topic of the discussion beteen jdubs and Kramer is expected to be Chevron's battle with China for oil resources, particularly in West Africa, and more particularly in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone, where ERHC Energy is a large equity-holder with China's number two explorer, Sinopec, in Blocks 2 and 3, and with Addax Petroleum in Block 4.

Chevron has said it does not know whether a recent find it made in Block 1 is "copmmercially viable," but publications from the Wall Street Journal on have said the discovery is a billion-barrel find.

By apparently concealing the true nature of the find from the Nigerian and Sao Tomean authorities, Chevron may reduce the potential price it and others would pay
for Blocks 7, 8 and 9,, which have yet to be licensed.

Sinopec is far more likely to be honest and forthcoming about any finds it makes - as a Chinese government company it has a different publicity agenda - and could win over Nigeria-DSRTP authorities by going public with any finds in Block 2, which are expected this year.

Sinopec would also be free to talk about any "straddle" of the midline between Block 1 and 2, a topic that has been widely discussed on I-Hub. The straddle is said to be significcant, and would mean that bother Sinopec and ERHC start earning royalties from the oil under treaty provisions before they have even drilled a well. Chevron would extract the oil from ther reservoir that straddles the midline and charge theexpense and income to the Block 2 partners.

The poster was expected to be on today, as we earlier reported, but a CNBC producer called with a last-miunute change, jdubs told ERHC On The Move:
Just a note to make sure you caught the change in schedule concerning my call in on the Cramer Mad Money show.

His producer, Ben Rippey and I spoke at lunchtime today via phone and he told me that they would rather use me for a show on oil and gas and that this afternoon's show was on emerging markets.

I told him that I've already told my friends and family I'd be on and he said that it'd likely be next week now. (Which is good, so I can collect my thoughts.)

ERHC Energy CEO Walter Brandhuber said in a recent email that the company will be profiled on CNBC in June or July as it mounts a European "road show" to attract investors.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Chevron Press Release Says Company Discovered Hyrdrocarbons On Obo-1

In a press release just faxed to us from Sao Tome and not yet available on Dow Jones, Chevron says it's hit oil on Block 1 but it won't say how much - except that it's "at least" 150 feet of net pay in multiple reservoirs - or even if it's a commercial discovery.

Here is the press release sent to us from the Gabinete Petroleo (Petroleum Office) of Sao Tome and Principe minutes ago:

Press Release

Obo-1 Well Encounters Hydrocarbons in Nigeria/Sao Tome & Principe Development Zone's Block 1

May 26, 2006: The Nigeria - Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority, Chevron and its co-venturers Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria-Sao Tome (One) Limited, and Dangote Energy Equity Resources, have encountered hydrocarbons in the Obo-1 exploration well in Block 1 of the Nigeria - Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone.

The Obo-1 well logged a cumulative total of at least 150 feet (45 meteres) of net hydrocarbon pay in multiple reservoirs and provided important reservoir rock and liquid samples, which need to be avaluated and integrated into the interpretation of the Obo Area to determine the next step of the apprioasal process. At this stage, it is premature to determine whether or not Chevron and its co-venturers have made a commercial discovery.

The Obo-1 well us located in 1,720 meters of water (5,640 feet) and the drilling operation was completed in 63 days on March 15th, 2006.

The JDZ Block-1 is located approximately 190 miles (300 kilometers) north of the city of Sao Tome and approximately 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Chevron JDZ Limited has a 51 percent equity share in the block while Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria-Sao Tome (One) Limited, and Dangote Energy Equity Resources have the remaining 40 and 9 percent equity, respectively.

General Manager, Government & Public Affairs

Here is Reuters' coverage of the discovery:

REUTERS UPDATE 1-Hydrocarbon found in Nigeria/Sao Tome well-Chevron [GBWLSCR]

(Updates with quote and background)

LAGOS, May 26 (Reuters) - The first well to be drilled in the offshore area shared by Nigeria and Sao Tome has found hydrocarbons, but it is premature to say if the discovery is commercial, U.S. energy giant Chevron said on Friday.

The Obo-1 well found a cumulative total of at least 150 feet (45 m) of net hydrocarbons in multiple reservoirs which must now be evaluated to determine the next stage of the appraisal process, the company said in a statement.

"It is premature to determine whether or not the Chevron and its co-venturers have made a commercial discovery," the statement said.

Chevron holds 51 percent of the contract in block 1 in the Nigeria/Sao Tome Joint Development Zone, while ExxonMobil has 40 percent and a local partner Dangote Energy Equity Resources has the rest.

The results of this well have been eagerly awaited because it is the first to be drilled in the deep water area which is thought to contain billions of barrels of oil. Any commercial discovery in the area will be momentous for Sao Tome and Principe, a tiny impoverished island nation in the Gulf of Guinea which lives mostly from fishing.

Chevron did not say whether the hydrocarbons it found were oil or gas.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

CVX To Announce Block 1 Find 'Today Or Tomorrow,' JDA Source Tells Poster

A source at the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority has told I-Hub poster Mark St. Amour that Chevron will announce "today or tomorrow" what is believed to be a very large find on its Block 1 concession in the Joint Development Zone of the Gulf of Guinea.

There has been a great deal of speculation that the find straddles the midline of Block 1 and Block 2, leading to the possibility that ERHC Ener4gy could begin to enjoy royalties with Addax and Sinopec. its partners in Block 2, without ever having to sink a well.

Here is the post from Mark, whose birthday is today. Happy Birthday, Mark!<br>
Posted by: markgovols
In reply to: None Date:5/24/2006 8:23:28 AM
Post #of 54949



A caveat: Nine times out of 10, JDA sources are wrong; however, the same rumor - with the same date offered - did come from Afren's investor relations department last week, according to posts on the message boards.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Extra 'E' To Be Removed Tomorrow Monrnng, OTC Bulletin Board Says;Gains Anticipated If ERHC Press Release Is Issued

The OTC Bulletin Board - the official voice of that market - said today that ERHEE will lose the final "E" after it filed its 10-Q around 7:30 last Friday night, too late to have it removed today.

The 10-Q is like to run the stock of ERHC Energy into one of the top gainers of the day, especially if it is complemented by a press release from the company.

The 10-Q shows First Quarter earnings of $45.3 million and debt of slightly more than $2 million, with earnings of $0.04 per share and stockholder's equity of $35 million - vast improvements over the previous quarter and year.

Here are some of the top gainers for today that we should join tomorrow:

Last Change % Change Volume Trades

Capital Beverage .2000 Up .1300 +185.71 175,000 33
Paivis Corp .0058 Up .0037 +176.19 620,837,866 3017
Zap.Com Corp .4000 Up .2200 +122.22 1,000 1
St Lawrence Sea 3.1500 Up 1.6000 +103.23 13,984 25
Bico .0002 Up .0001 +100.00 10,922,200 19
Lifespan .0400 Up .0200 +100.00 11,500 3
Sheffield Pharm .1000 Up .0400 +66.67 100 1
Direct Resp Finl .0350 Up .0130 +59.09 75,000 8
Integrated Media .8500 Up .3000 +54.55 12,234 11
National Hthcre .8500 Up .3000 +54.55 57,300 19

Source: Reuters Group PLC

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-23-06 1400ET

It's been a great week for ERHC On The Move, with readership hovering near 1,500 a day:

ERHC On The Move
Site Summary


Total 215,127
Average Per Day 1,578
Average Visit Length 2:18
Last Hour 102
Today 896
This Week 11,043


Total 296,219
Average Per Day 2,225
Average Per Visit 1.4
Last Hour 134
Today 1,235
This Week 15,574

Wall Street Journal Article's Error Spawns More Of The Same

An error in a Wall Street Journal commentary by Chip Cummings has spawned a second story that is critical of ERHC Energy but ignores the findings of a joint commission of senior cabinet ministers from Sao Tome and Nigeria that formally rejected the probe report upon which all three articles were based.

That finding is available at; look in the Press Releases and Publicity section for the Feb. 9, 2006 statement by the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Ministerial Commission.

Ken Silverstein's original article in 2003 led me to invest in ERHC, and I have gained some $57,000 in profits from various sales of the stock since then. I was also one of those who called him up a few days after the story came out, and he told me then that he thought the investment should make money. I was also one who later urged him to do a follow-up.

Here is the new story, said to say:

Paved With Good Intentions:
Oil, EHRC, and the Democratic Republic of Soã Tomé

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2006.
By Ken Silverstein.


Back in May 2003, I wrote a story for the Los Angeles Times about an unknown Texas firm called ERHC, which had obtained lucrative oil concessions in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe in West Africa. ERHC had zero revenue, one full-time employee, and a controversial Nigerian owner, but had mysteriously secured the rights to two offshore fields in São Tomé and a significant share in several other fields. I met several people affiliated with ERHC and liked them a lot — especially Noreen Wilson, a colorful character who had helped to put together the agreement with São Tomé — but the whole deal looked murky. (For example, the Nigerian owner of ERHC had secretly made a $100,000 campaign contribution to São Tomé's president). One oil expert I talked to at the time said ERHC's agreement amounted to “a raid on São Tomé's future national treasury.”

The story was published on a Saturday, and I smugly sat back and waited for the fallout, imagining that the taint of scandal surrounding the deal would provoke popular outrage and possibly even an investigation. I had only to wait until Monday, but the impact of the story wasn't quite what I'd imagined. In place of outrage there was exuberance; the story spread across the Internet, prompting stock speculators to snatch up ERHC shares in hopes of cashing in on São Tomé's misfortune. The company's stock price more than doubled overnight, and I fielded at least a score of phone calls from individual investors and even a few money managers asking if I thought ERHC was a solid investment.

The low point came when I was called by a big institutional investor in an American company that had oil rights in Togo. Though he didn't put it this way, he had called to say that if I thought ERHC had screwed São Tomé, I should see what his company had done to Togo. It was clearly his fond hope that I would write a story detailing the whole sordid affair, and thereby trigger a similar run on his firm's share price.

So it was with some delayed gratification that I read earlier this month that ERHC had filed an 8-K form with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that “a search warrant issued by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, was executed on [the company] for various records including, among other matters, documents related to correspondence with foreign governmental officials or entities in São Tomé and Nigeria.”

The search was apparently in response to a request for an investigation submitted by São Tomé's current Attorney General to the SEC and the Justice Department. The Attorney General's office had produced a report that “singled out ERHC for special scrutiny,” according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. The report, according to the Journal's story, “doesn't identify concrete evidence of wrongdoing,” but, it says, “there is the suggestion that ERHC and its [Nigerian parent company] may have made improper payments to government officials or provided benefits to their families in order to secure the assistance of such officials in continuing the contract.”

The news about the search of its offices caused ERHC's stock price to plunge, but it's still trading at about 50 cents a share, far above the rate it was going for at the time of my story. Meanwhile, I still periodically get emails from company investors asking me to please—pretty please—do a new story that follows up on how ERHC finagled its way into such a sweet deal in São Tomé.

* * *

Monday, May 22, 2006

ERHC files 10-Q, Earns $0.04 Per Share On $45.3 Million in Revenues; Company Studies New Acquisitions

ERHC Energy, Inc. has released it quarterly earnings report, showing unprecedented earnings of $0.04 per share and revenues of $45,384,000 - and shareholder equity of more than $35 million and less than $2.8 million in debt.

In the filing, the company also removed its troublesome "going concern" clause:

As described in Note 4 to the financial statements, during the quarter ended March 31, 2006, the Company received cash proceeds of $45,900,000 from the sale of participation interests in Blocks 2, 3 and 4 of the JDZ. Management believes that these proceeds will sustain the Company's operations for the foreseeable future and that they mitigate any going concern issues raised at September 30, 2005.

The company also revealed that it is looking for other opportunities in the supply and trading end of the industry, In the typically restrained language of the filing, officials said "The Company is currently exploring opportunities in other areas of the energy industry with emphasis in supply and trading."

The amounts below appear with a line through them due to the "E" that has been placed on the symbol by the SEC due to the late filing. The "E" will be removed by Wednesday.

ERHEE shares immediately soared 9.6 percent to $0.67 in light trading.

March 31, September 30,
2006 2005
------------------- ------------------


Current assets:
Cash $ 45,384,771 $ 988,490

Prepaid expenses and other 134,625 32,093
----------------- ----------------

Total current assets 45,519,396 1,020,583

DRSTP concession fee 2,839,500 5,679,000

Furniture and equipment, net 16,076 20,627

Deferred tax asset 960,000 -
------------------- ------------------

Total assets $ 49,334,972 $ 6,720,210
=================== ==================


Current liabilities:

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 8,255,965 $ 195,823

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities, related party 2,175,125 2,064,675

Income taxes payable 3,300,000 -

Asset retirement obligation 485,000 485,000

Current portion of convertible debt 33,513 33,513
------------------- ------------------

Total current liabilities 14,249,603 2,779,011
------------------- ------------------

Commitments and contingencies:

Shareholders' equity:
Preferred stock, par value $0.0001; authorized

10,000,000; none issued and outstanding - -
Common stock, par value $0.0001; authorized 950,000,000
shares; issued and outstanding 710,912,226 71,091 71,091

Additional paid-in capital 89,589,309 83,584,956
Accumulated deficit (54,575,031 ) (79,407,711 )

Deferred compensation - (307,137 )
------------------- ------------------

Total shareholders' equity 35,085,369 3,941,199
------------------- ------------------

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 49,334,972 $ 6,720,210
=================== ==================

Shell Won't Pay $1.5 Billion Fine Until Appeal Concludes

The Royal Dutch Shell Corp. says it won't pay a $1.5 billion fine by the deadline today as ordered by the Federal High Court of Nigeria until its appeal of the fine has been concluded, it said in a statement relayed to Dow Jones.

The company also said that if it must pay after the appeal, it will rely on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., its majority partner in Nigeria, and two other companies, France's Total and Italy's Agip, which have a stake in its SPDC operations there, to pay their share of the fine for polluting the Niger Delta.

The company's last-ditch appeal comes after it said vandals and Ijaw militants are responsible for most of the pollution caused by leaking gas and oil pipelines. Both regularly bomb and otherwise break the pipelines. In one such incident a week ago, about 200 people were burned to death when a gasoline line broken by vandals exploded as villagers and vandals tried to collect the gasoline.

Here is the Dow Jones story:

Shell Won't Pay Nigeria Damages Pending Appeal - Spokesman
By Spencer Swartz and Vincent Nwanma
(This story was originally published Sunday.)

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) isn't going to meet a Nigerian court-ordered deadline of Monday and pay $1.5 billion in environmental compensation damages to local communities because of the company's appeal on the long-simmering matter, a Shell spokesman in Nigeria said Sunday.

Anglo-Dutch Shell has appealed a decision handed down Friday by the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the main oil city in Nigeria, that ordered the company to pay money to ethnic Ijaw communities in the Niger Delta.

"We are not paying any money yet due to our appeal," the spokesman, speaking on behalf of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, told Dow Jones.

A Shell spokeswoman in London reiterated that the company had appealed Friday's court decision.

The SPDC is a joint-venture with state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., which has a 55% stake in the company.

Shell is the operator of the SPDC and has a 30% interest in the company. French oil giant Total SA (TOT) holds a 10% stake, while the remaining 5% is held by Agip SpA (AGI.YY), a unit of Italian energy giant Eni SpA (E).

Ijaw communities that dominate the delta, an impoverished England-sized area with a population of around 20 million, have long accused Shell of permitting oil spills that have polluted waters and killed vegetation and fish in the area.

Shell, the biggest Western oil company operating in Nigeria, has rejected this and said many past oil spills in the delta, dotted with swamps and rivers, have been caused by illegal bunkering in which vandals puncture pipelines to steal oil that they later sell.

The bunkering trade is often operated with the tacit support of some local politicians and, at times, with help from members of the Nigerian Navy.

Oil bunkering is estimated to have caused Nigeria to lose up to 300,000 barrels a day of oil, at peak moments, and millions of dollars in government

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Friday ordered Shell to deposit the money into an escrow account with the Central Bank of Nigeria by noon local time on Monday.

Shell already has appealed a ruling in February that upheld a Nigerian parliamentary resolution from three years ago that said Shell should pay money to Ijaw communities in Bayelsa State, one of three main oil-producing states in the delta.

Shell has argued that the Nigerian government should be liable for the bulk of any eventual payment if the companies end up losing the case because of the government's majority-stake in the Shell Petroleum Development Co.

The other companies in the SPDC venture should pay according to their stakes in the company, Shell has said, if they lose the case.

Militant groups, led by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, have attacked oil and gas facilities in the delta over the past six months that have cut almost a quarter of Nigeria's typical daily output. Most of the attacked facilities belong to Shell.

MEND has demanded a $1.5 billion payment from Shell in environmental compensation.

MEND, an unknown coalition of groups several months ago that quickly gained stature among delta locals because of its firepower and relative cohesion, is also demanding more control over oil resources and the release of two Ijaw leaders imprisoned on money-laundering and treason charges.

-By Spencer Swartz in London and Vincent Nwanma in Lagos, Dow Jones
Newswires; 44 (0) 207-842-9357;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires
05-22-06 0405ET

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Jefferson Video May Reveal 'Crooked Graft;' Other Cases Hinted

My grandfather, John S. Shea, defeated a fellow named Christy Sullivan for Sheriff of New York in 1909, marking the first time a Republican won in Manhattan since Reconstruction, and the last since my Uncle Billy won a judgeship in 1954.

And it was Christy Sullivan who famously defined "honest graft" and "crooked graft," a historical anecdote for which I am indebted to my former boss, HHS Deputy Director Al DelliBovi of Queens, now president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

"Honest graft," Sullivan said, was graft where the taker performed the task he had been paid for; "crooked graft" was graft where the taker did not keep his side of the corrupt bargain.

Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana appears to have taken some crooked graft, according to a long article out today that describes a video in which Rep. Jefferson promises to pay a high Nigerian official some part of a cash $100,000 bribe he is seen accepting.

The zinger is, as we learn later in the story, the high official - Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar, chief rival of President Olusegun Obasanjo for an unprecedented (and currently unconstitutional) third term as Nigeria's president - never got the money, The FBI found all but $10,000 of it in Jefferson's freezer (it was cold cash, we presume), somewhere amid the hickory-smoked hams.

Jefferson assured the FBI informant in their coded conversations that he paid the money to the Nigerian official, even though the money was still in Jefferson's possession when agents searched his home Aug. 3.

It is a matter of some irony that the female executive who wore the wire that trapped Jefferson was someone who told the FBI she had been ripped off by Jefferson and a pal of his in another transaction. The payback for crooked graft can be sweet:

The document includes excerpts of conversations between Jefferson and an unidentified business executive from northern Virginia. She agreed to wear a wire after she approached the FBI with complaints that Jefferson and an associate had ripped her off in a business deal.

It would be interesting, indeed, if that woman turned out to be someone we know.

But what is important to shareholders of ERHC Energy, and possibly to those of GEECF as well, is "seven other schemes" the story tells us were investigated by the FBI in which Jefferson is also said to have taken bribes.

The affidavit also spells out "seven other schemes" in which Jefferson was involved; nearly all were blacked out in the document.

Payments to Abubakar, or attempts to pay him, or being the source for some of the money that was to have been paid to him, conceivably could be the cause for the search warrant that that was served on ERHC Energy headquarters on May 4. No one know for sure, and it may be some time before we learn any further details of the probe of Jefferson or the details of the search warrant.

What is known is that periodically, ERHC Energy CEO Sir Emeka Offor has been described as a friend of Abubakar, and Abubakar has been described as an investor in ERHC Energy. However, whether that is the case or not - especially concerning the investment - is unknown.

The company has said it had no dealings whatever with Nigerian officials during the time it sought equity in blocks of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Joint Development Zone that now appear to be fabulously rich in oil resources. The possibility would seem to remain that it had dealings through an intermediary, Rep. Jefferson, but no evidence at all has emerged to lend support to such speculation by ERHC critics and others.

Here is the AP story by Matthew Barakat from today, which unaccountably reverses Abubakar's name:

Filing: Tape Shows Lawmaker Taking Money
Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 50 minutes ago

A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Agents later found the cash hidden in his freezer.

At one audiotaped meeting, Rep. William Jefferson (news, bio, voting record), D-La., chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company's deal for work in Africa.

As Jefferson and the informant passed notes about what percentage the lawmaker's family might receive, the congressman "began laughing and said, 'All these damn notes we're writing to each other as if we're talking, as if the FBI is watching,'" according to the affidavit.

Jefferson, who represents New Orleans, has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.

As for the $100,000, the government says Jefferson got the money in a leather briefcase last July 30 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington. The plan was for the lawmaker to use the cash to bribe a high-ranking Nigerian official — the name is blacked out in the court document — to ensure the success of a business deal in that country, the affidavit said.

All but $10,000 was recovered on Aug. 3 when the FBI searched Jefferson's home in Washington. The money was stuffed in his freezer, wrapped in $10,000 packs and concealed in food containers and aluminum foil.

Two of Jefferson's associates have pleaded guilty to bribery-related charges in federal court in Alexandria. One, businessman Vernon Jackson of Louisville, Ky., admitted paying more than $400,000 in bribes to the lawmaker in exchange for his help securing business deals for Jackson's telecommunications company in Nigeria and other African countries.

The new details about the case emerged after federal agents searched Jefferson's congressional office on Capitol Hill Saturday night and Sunday. The nearly 100-page affidavit for a search warrant, made public Sunday with large portions blacked out, spells out much of the evidence so far.

The document includes excerpts of conversations between Jefferson and an unidentified business executive from northern Virginia. She agreed to wear a wire after she approached the FBI with complaints that Jefferson and an associate had ripped her off in a business deal.

Jefferson's lawyer, Robert Trout, contended that the prosecutors' disclosure was "part of a public relations agenda and an attempt to embarrass Congressman Jefferson. The affidavit itself is just one side of the story which has not been tested in court," Trout said in a statement.

The affidavit says Jefferson is caught on videotape at the Ritz-Carlton as he takes a reddish-brown briefcase from the trunk of the informant's car, slips it into a cloth bag, puts the bag into his 1990 Lincoln Town Car and drives away.

The $100 bills in the suitcase had the same serial numbers as those found in Jefferson's freezer.

While the name of the intended recipient of the $100,000 is blacked out, other details in the affidavit indicate he is Abubakar Atiku, Nigeria's vice president. He owns a home in Potomac, Md., that authorities have searched as part of the Jefferson investigation.

Jefferson assured the FBI informant in their coded conversations that he paid the money to the Nigerian official, even though the money was still in Jefferson's possession when agents searched his home Aug. 3.

On Aug. 1, two days after Jefferson picked up the $100,000, the informant called Jefferson to ask about the status of "the package."

Jefferson responded: "I gave him the African art that you gave me and he was very pleased."

When Jefferson and the informant had dinner at a Washington restaurant on May 12, 2005, the FBI was listening, too. Jefferson indicates he will need an increased stake in the profits of one deal, the affidavit said. Instead of the 7 percent stake originally agreed upon, he writes "18-20" on a piece of paper and passes it to the informant.

That is when negotiations move ahead and notes go back and forth, ending with Jefferson's laughter about the FBI watching it all.

Throughout the conversations, Jefferson makes attempts to deflect direct connections to any bribes.

He tells the informant at one point that money should be paid to businesses operated by his children. "I make a deal for my children. It wouldn't be me," Jefferson said, according to the affidavit.

In a different conversation, Jefferson seeks to distance himself from bribes that must be paid to Nigerian government officials to facilitate transactions.

"If he's gotta pay Minister X, we don't want to know. It's not our deal," Jefferson told the witness, according to the affidavit. "We're not paying Minister X a damn thing. That's all, you know, international fraud crap. We're not doing that. We're not doing any of that that gets us (unintelligible)."

The affidavit also spells out "seven other schemes" in which Jefferson was involved; nearly all were blacked out in the document.

The Jefferson investigation has provided fodder for Republicans who have suffered black eyes in the investigations of current and former GOP lawmakers, including Tom DeLay and Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Jefferson, who has pledged not to resign from Congress in the face of the bribery investigation, speculated about his political future in one of the recorded conversations.

When the informant asked Jefferson about his political plans, he responded: "I'm gonna get your deal out of the way ... and I probably won't last long after that."

Friday, May 19, 2006

Poster On I-Hub Gets Explanation From ERHC Of 10-Q Delay

Art2004, a regular poster on I-Hub, says he got a call back from "Frank," an employee of ERHC Energy, explaining the delay in filing the company's 10-Q and assuring him - he's a Miami Beach psychologist - that it will be filed today.

We can't help but feel their call to Art was prodded in some small part by our "Conspiracy Theories" post. Here is Art's message to I-Hub:

Posted by: Art2004
In reply to: None Date:5/19/2006 1:12:38 PM
Post #of 54004


The delay is due to reconciling the large influx of money to the company as the result of the PSC signings with previous expenses and losses that the company had occured over the past few months.

As a result, the office is working with both the old auditors and the new auditors of ERHC to fulfill all the accountants concerns that all the expenses are fully accounted for and then related to the new monies.

Frank has been on the phone with them all day today and during the week.

He states that the deadline for the extended filing is this afternoon and they are working to file by the end of the afternoon. He does expect the 10 Q to be filed this afternoon..

He agrees that investors are concerned about the delay and he is cooperative about this explanation being posted.

RE: the Update from CEO Brandhuber. Both he and Frank do want to post an update on the website very soon. They are concerned with keeping the investors well informed and "happy". As soon as they are confident that all the events in the proposed update will be accurate, the update will be posted on the website.

This is a subject that both have discussed with each other and it will be done soon.

So a reaonable explanation does exist for all the investors, both optimists and critics.

Three Conspiracy Theories About Our 10-Q

The absent 10-Q that was supposed to be filed last week, and then filed within five calendar days ending Wednesday, is provoking an enormous amount of speculation on the message boards devoted to ERHC Energy. Here are some conspiracy theories that might apply:

Conspiracy Theory No. 1: The expenses related to winning the JDZ equity in Blocks 2, 3 and 4 were improperly documented, or not documented at all, and our new high-profile auditors, Malone & Bailey of Houston, will not allow them. The expenses were so high, though - like the $300,000 for travel declared a few years ago - that the absence of documentation could not be overlooked. In Africa, though, record-keeping is notoriously sloppy, and a lot of transactions are accomplished in cash on the African equivalent of a handshake. When expenses start to mount up into the million-dollar range, company officials don't want to have to pay them our of their own pocket when auditors won't approve them, so they stand still and fight about it for weeks until one side or the other gives in.
Probability rating of this conspracy being true: 95%

Conspiracy Theory No. 2: The service of a search warrant has resulted in many documents that are vital to the 10-Q being removed by the U.S. Marshal's office for inspection by Dept. of Justice lawyers and the FBI. Meanwhile, the company is in a holding pattern, trying to pacify investors as it demands copies of the seized material in order to make the filing.
Probability rating of this conspracy being true: 60%

Conspiracy Theory No. 3: It turns out, after all, that company officials are trying to keep the price down so that they can mount a substantial buy-back of shares, so that when the coil is tightened to the nth degree by the delay they can release their 10-Q and press release showing them debt-free with $45 million in the bank, so the profits on the newly acquired 2,000,000 shares as they soar to $1.10 or more will be close to $1,000,000 in a single day.
Probability rating of this conspracy being true: 25%

Please share your own conspiracy theories with us

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hello Frank, So Long Jane

Here's the latest on the 10-Q from a respected source of mine, a geologist who knows what's up:

I just called the company and was told by a very pleasant receptionist at the Houston office (she was hired 2 days ago), that she has been told that the filing is to be out tomorrow. Also, I was told that Jane was let go because of numerous complaints about her telephone communications demeanor. I was told that Frank and Walter would be there all day working...

Meanwhile, the Washington Post Website headlines the opening of a House Ethics Committee hearingon three Congressmen including Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat whose bribery charges led to an indictment last week.

Investigative reporters looking into that case have contacted ERHC On The Move in recent months for information about the man who may be America's largest shareholder of ERHC Energy, oilman Phil Nugent of Houston. His accountant, Norma Reynolds, is moderator of the ERHC Energy board on Investor's Hub.

Update, 3:15pm ET, 5/19/06: Here is a story by one of those investigative reports that was just published today:

House probe of Jefferson unlikely to move swiftly...
Ethics committee usually waits for legal process to play out first

Friday, May 19, 2006
By Bruce Alpert
Washington bureau

WASHINGTON -- If precedent prevails, the House ethics committee investigations into bribery allegations announced this week against Reps. William Jefferson and Bob Ney will be delayed until the federal criminal probes of the two congressmen are completed.

But experts on congressional ethics also say that even if Jefferson, an eight-term New Orleans Democrat, and Ney, a six-term Ohio Republican, are ultimately cleared of criminal wrongdoing, they still could face serious sanctions from the House.

"There is a contrast between behavior that is unethical and behavior that is illegal," said Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and an expert on Congress.

The ethics committee, formally known as the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, broke a 16-month partisan impasse Wednesday night by announcing four actions, including the separate probes of Jefferson and Ney. The panel gave no timeline for the investigations, and experts on congressional ethics procedures don't expect quick action.

"I wouldn't anticipate a lot of activity immediately because the committee generally awaits the outcome of a federal criminal case before taking any action," said Stan Brand, chief counsel to the House of Representatives from 1976 to 1983.

Susan Tolchin, a public policy professor and co-author of the book "Glass Houses: Congressional Ethics and the Politics of Venom," agreed, although she said the pressure on Congress to address ethics complaints is now so intense that the panel might at least begin preliminary inquiries before the Justice Department probes run their course.

But it is extremely unlikely that the panel would make any formal recommendations until the legal process plays out, she said.

Jefferson vows innocence

Jefferson, who has proclaimed his innocence and said he would not resign his seat in Congress or plead guilty to a crime he says he didn't commit, is continuing his congressional activities despite the criminal probe and ethics committee review. On Thursday he criticized a Republican budget and spoke on the House floor about the federal government's plans to cut off temporary housing assistance to hurricane evacuees on May 31.

In their announcement Wednesday, ethics committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and the panel's top Democrat, Howard Berman of California, said a four-member investigative subcommittee will determine whether Jefferson violated the House's Code of Official Conduct or any law or regulation. They said the investigation would concentrate on whether Jefferson or his relatives received cash, stock shares, a share of future profits, employment or travel benefits to advance a telecommunications deal in Africa.

Hastings and Berman said the committee probe will concentrate on Jefferson's relationship with Brett Pfeffer, a former aide to the congressman, and Vernon Jackson, CEO of iGate Inc., both of whom have pleaded guilty to bribery in what the government says was a scheme to get Jefferson's help in landing telecommunications contracts for iGate. The ethics committee leaders said the panel also would examine Jefferson's connections to Lori Mody, a Virginia multimillionaire who invested in iGate's African projects but later soured on the deal and agreed to record conversations with the congressman, according to court documents.

Jefferson has not been charged with a crime and has said he never asked for anything to perform his official congressional duties. It appears he is building a possible defense that the business ventures were private matters outside his official duties as a congressman. That, however, could raise issues related to House rules prohibiting members of Congress from receiving outside income or gifts.

Tolchin said that even if Jefferson's argument prevails in court, the ethics committee still could find his behavior violated the House's conduct code and recommend some kind of reprimand.

Range of penalties

The panel can recommend anything from a verbal reprimand for unethical conduct to fines or expulsion. In 1997, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., was hit with a $300,000 fine, and after Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, was convicted of bribery and racketeering in 2002, the ethics panel recommended his expulsion and the full House concurred.

Groups that had been asking the ethics committee to investigate Jefferson and Ney, the Ohio congressman accused of doing favors for convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff in return for travel and other gifts, had mixed reactions to Wednesday's announcement.

"It seems they awakened from their 16-month sleep to find that some of their members are being investigated and that it's about time for them to do a little bit of this themselves," said Massie Ritsch, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics.

But Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said it is likely the panel will do nothing, following the rationale that it would be unwise to interfere with a federal criminal probe. "I suspect it will amount to nothing, but at least after two years of doing nothing, they can announce that they are finally doing something," Sloan said.

To oversee the investigation, Hastings and Berman named Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Pa., and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio. Hart, now in her third term, sponsored the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which declares that any federal crime of violence against a pregnant woman may be charged as two separate crimes. Tubbs Jones, now in her fourth term, serves with Jefferson on the Congressional Black Caucus and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Bruce Alpert can be reached at or (202) 383-7861.

An Unwelcome E-Ticket Ride

Signaling yet another unwanted "buying opportunity," ERHC Energy shares will see their symbol change from ERHE to ERHEE to indicate the company has failed to file its quarterly report on time.

After 30 days, the company can be delisted from the Over The Counter and Pink Sheets.

One consequence is that brokerages like E*Trade show no information beyond yesterday's closing price for ERHE even on Level II platforms like my Power E*Trade, but that is easily fixed by using the symbol ERHEE. (ADVFN, which is only $5.99 a month, also shows every trade in real time for ERHEE.)

Update, 3:25pm ET: With volume still low at 625,871 a three-cent gap has developed. The Bid stands at $0.58 and the Ask at $0.61.

The extra "E" can be removed in as little as one day after filing occurs.

Update, 12:53pm ET: Volume is about 550,000, and Bid and Ask are $0.58 x $0.60, with last two trades being Buys at $0.60. The last was the 111th trade.

Update, 11:43am ET: Volume is about 450,000 and the current price is $0.60 x $0.61, and small Buys and Sells continue to move the Bid and Ask in both directions. The last price was $0.60.

Update, 10:41am ET: ADVFN shows relatively light trading with ERHE up $0.01 at $0.635 on 344,000 shares of volume at 10:41am ET. There was an opening surge to $0.64, until now most of the trading day the Buys and Sells have been evenly balanced.

Our speculation is that the new auditors, Malone & Bailey, have had difficulty resolving issues concerning corporate governance that would allow it to certify the company as in compliance with new requirements created by certain provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act regarding audit functions and the independence of directors, particularly when it comes to recent expenses related to the company's hard-won equity in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone.

Inadequate documentation for those expenses would ultimately create a standoff between auditors and company officials that - unless one side backs down - could ultimately lead to a parting of ways with our new auditors.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

No 10Q Yet

As of 2:45am ET Wednesday morning, there's still no 10Q filed with the SEC.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Big Moves: ERHE Climbs As Much as $0.15 in Pre-10Q Trading; "Everything Is For Sale,' Brandhuber Says; CNBC Profile Coming In June

Although it's fallen back to $0.585 five minutes from the bell, just an hour ago ERHC Energy shares were trading at $0.71 after climbing $0.15, or more than 26%, during the day.

The trading has been spurred by the imminent filing of an SEC 10Q that will show the company being nearly debt-free and with $45.5 million in revenues last month against what should be a negligible amount - $1 million to $2 million - of expenses.

The average daily volume mark has still not been reached as of this writing at 3:32pm ET, which means that retail buying should spike again tomorrow when the new numbers are announced. Volume at 3:40pm ET is 2,607.721.

There has also been a flurry of news via email from ERHC CEO Walter Brandhuber to several different posters. The key one was a brief response to one poster who asked about the possibility of ERHC Energy chairman Sir Emeka Offor selling the company, to which Brandhuber replied, in effect, "Everything is for sale at the right price," adding that the current share price is far too low to consider any sale right now.

The new CEO also said that a CNBC profile of the company will appear in the coming months.

Exxon Strikes Oil In Nigerian Deepwater Well

ExxonMobil said today that is struck 300 net pay feet of oil in a 16,000-foot well in Block OML216.

The well is about 60 miles from ERHC Energy's equity in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone, where the water depth is about thousands of feet shallower.

Here is the Dow Jones report:

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) drilled an oil discovery well 70 miles offshore Nigeria to a depth of 16,831 feet and encountered more than 300 net feet of oil.

The project is called the Uge-1 discovery well, and is the first discovery on oil prospecting license 214, in which Exxon has a 20% working interest.

Studies are underway to evaluate the well.

Other working-interest owners are Chevron Corp. (CVX) at 20%, ConocoPhillips (COP) at 20%, Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) at 20%, Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. at 15% and Sasol Ltd. (SSL) at 5%.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. is the concessionaire.

-John Seward; 201-938-5400;

10Q At End Of The Day, ERHC Says

In a phone call to ERHC Energy, ERHC On The Move was told that the company's late 10Q may be filed at the end of the day.

"We are hoping to file it at the end of the day, sir," a Nigerian man who answered the phone at the company's headquarters in Houston said at 10:15am ET this morning.

Monday, May 15, 2006

10Q To Be Filed Monday, Poster Says, But No Such Luck - Yet

Poster Mark St. Amour of the I-Hub message boards said Monday that in a phone call to ERHC Energy headquarters in Houston he was assured by someone named Franklin who answered the phone there that the company's briefly-delayed 10Q filing with the SEC will be filed today.

But by 9:21am ET Tuesday, the filing was still not available on the SEC's Website.

Franklin is probably one of the members of the Board of Directors who is a CPA:

Mr. Franklin Ihekwoaba was appointed the Vice President (Finance) of the Company, in which capacity he becomes the chief financial and principal accounting officer as well as the treasurer of the Company.

Here is Mark's post:

Posted by: markgovols
In reply to: None Date:5/15/2006 4:43:00 PM
Post #of 52351

I just called ERHE offices in Houston. 10Q will be out today. Also, I asked if Mr. Brandhuber will be addressing shareholders concerns over the downturn in sp. He said that yes Mr. Brandhuber will be releasing something in the very short term. Call ERHE to verify.

Take my posts for what they are worth. Better yet do your due dilligence. Long and Strong ERHE.

Mwanwhile, indications are that the $45.5 million payment to ERHC Energy from Sinopec and Addax Petroleum will be included in the current quarter's filing, an event that could lift ERHC's share price above its dismal finish at $0.56 today. Volume was 5,616,131 shares and our market cap has fallen to $398 million.

5,000 Guardsmen To Mexican Border, CNN Says

CNN's Pentagon correspondent said minutes ago that the news agency has learned President George W. Bush will deploy some 5,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border of the United States to support Border Patrol efforts against illegal immigration.

Earlier, reports from several news agencies indicated thwet troops will not be involved in arresting, detaining, transporting or housing illegals captured under the U.S. Border Patrol's interdiction effort, which resulted in more than 250,000 arrests last year.

It remains unclear whether Mexico will also send troops to the border to support its citizens as they attempt to cross the frontier. In a 30-minute phone call last night, President Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox discussed the Presdent's plan to deploy the National Guard, and President Fox reportedly expressed his concern about it.

California's Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has also asked the President not to deply the troops, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter and Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel and other have also expressed reservations about the plan due to what they say is an overstretched National Guard. Meanwhile, the President's approval rating has fallen below 30 percent for the first time in his presidency, but mnay White House insiders expect his speech tonight will lend a strong boost to the falling approval numbers.

The President speaks to the nation at 8pm ET tonight, and has asked for time from all three networks. It will be carried live in Oprah's time slot on NBC and also on CNN, Fox News and other stations. Commentator Lou Dobbs, who has singelhandedly turned the issue into a national emergency, also plans a special report on CNN at 8:30pm ET.

Niger Delta In Chaos, TIME Says

The nation's leading newsweekly, TIME Magazine, has produced a searing examination of the chaos in the Niger Delta that is available on its Website today.

The magazine says "The latest attacks appear to have been driven more by frustration and an ideology of armed resistance than by thoughts of criminal gain, - a broad hint, perhaps, that civil war is already underway in a nation which barely survived the Biafran civil war that ended in the early 1990's.

Again, since ERHC Energy's equity in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone Blocks 2, 3 and 4 is 150 miles from shore, the threats to oil resources in the Niger Delta will worry investors in majors like Shell, Exxon, Total, Final and others more than ERHC.

Here is the TIME story:

Nigeria's Deadly Days

The country's poverty-stricken, oil-rich south is accustomed to vandalism and pipeline explosions, but a new threat is raising the stakes. Inside the Delta's insurgency


Teeming with bird and marine life, giant ferns and towering mangrove plants whose roots straddle land and water like the legs of lumbering animals, the creeks and swamps of the Niger Delta lie over one of the biggest reserves of oil on the planet: 34 billion bbl. of black gold. The region, a watery maze flung across 50,000 sq km in southern Nigeria, is also home to some of Africa's poorest people, and some of its worst environmental destruction. There are villages without power, water, health clinics or schools; pipelines that scar the earth; oil slicks that shimmer on rivers; flares that blaze bright and loud, burning off the gas that gushes to the surface along with the sweet crude. So poor are most who live in the Delta that some are prepared to risk their lives for a bucketful of fuel. Last week, more than 150 people died when an oil pipeline on the outskirts of Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos, west of the Delta, exploded in a massive fireball. The inferno left dozens of bodies charred beyond recognition. Police say that the explosion was most likely caused by vandalism. The pipeline, which ran under a beach, had been uncovered. Small holes had been drilled in it through which thieves could tap off fuel. The leaking pipeline had attracted local villagers who were filling containers when it blew. Nigeria's Red Cross said that the explosion ignited hundreds of cans full of fuel.

Yet incidents like last week's tragedy are not the greatest danger to Nigeria's oil industry. Nigerians have long vandalized pipelines, and some of the operations are organized and professional. In the Delta, gangs of bandits have prowled the brackish swamps for years, stealing oil, harassing oil workers and making millions of dollars. But over the past few months an even deadlier threat has emerged. Frustrated that they remain poor after decades of oil production, locals have begun attacking foreign oil companies, their workers and the Nigerian soldiers who protect them — not, as in the past, for money, but as part of an armed campaign. Unless there is change, they say, there will be war. The government and oil companies "don't listen to words," Delta militia member Richard, 27, told Time three weeks ago, the dull roar of a gas flare in the background. "So perhaps they will understand the language of the gun."

The nascent insurgency has made Nigeria's oil fields among the most dangerous in the world — and helped push global oil prices past $72 bbl. Nigeria was meant to be part of the solution to the insatiable demands for more oil from the U.S. and fast-growing China and India. When the country returned to civilian rule under President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, it was pumping around 1.8 million bbl. a day. Daily capacity had expanded to 2.5 million bbl. before the recent attacks; Nigeria is now the sixth biggest oil exporter in the world. Western oil companies, eager for a supply from outside the Middle East, want to increase production from Africa.

On a visit to Nigeria three weeks ago, Chinese President Hu Jintao signed deals to increase Chinese exploration and production. But Nigeria's role as a stable producer has taken a hammering of late. Militant attacks have cut production by 20%, hitting companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, and costing the oil majors and Nigeria hundreds of millions of dollars. "There used to be clashes and other problems, but in the past five or six months things have gotten much more serious," says Manouchehr Takin, senior analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies, a London-based consultancy. While it's impossible to work out exactly how much that contributes to rising oil prices compared to the crisis over Iran and increasing demand, Takin says production losses in the Delta are "a major factor" in the high price of gas.

The militants' campaign kicked off on Jan. 11 when three speedboats packed with gun-toting men attacked a Nigerian navy boat and a vessel leased by Shell. No one was killed. But the attackers, who said they were part of a new group called the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (mend), kidnapped four foreign contractors. Since then the group, which numbers just a few hundred people, according to a local human-rights campaigner and militant members, has kidnapped at least eight more foreign oil workers and attacked several oil installations, killing some 14 Nigerian soldiers posted to guard them. In the past month, militants have also exploded two car bombs as "warnings" of coming chaos. When I set off with three guides in a cigar-shaped fiberglass boat into the swamps last month, a Nigerian naval officer aboard a warship in the port city of Warri warned me not to go on. "Even we don't go there," he said, motioning along the Warri River. Then he slowly drew a finger across his throat.

Downriver, it's easy to see the cause of this deadly hostility. Since the 1950s, when oil was first found in recoverable quantities, the Delta and the waters off Nigeria's coast in the Gulf of Guinea have made the country and oil majors such as Chevron, Agip, ExxonMobil and Shell hundreds of billions of dollars. Nigeria currently earns more than $3 billion a month from oil — which accounts for some 95% of its export earnings and 40% of its gdp. But the vast majority of the people of the Delta still live in severe and visible poverty.

One of the first activists to speak out against this imbalance was businessman, TV writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, from the Ogoni region, east of Nigeria's oil capital Port Harcourt. Saro-Wiwa preached nonviolence, but Nigeria's then military government charged him with having "counseled and procured" the murder of four Ogoni elders, and in 1995 hanged him, to international condemnation. Despite the return to democracy and government promises to improve the lives of Delta dwellers, little has changed. Today in Oporoza — the traditional center of the Gbaramatu kingdom in whose backwaters, locals say, mend has its bases — villagers gather in a meeting hall and list their grievances. "Poverty is the major problem we are facing here," says Odiki Miebi, a local chief.

True, some of the houses in the village are built of brick and concrete — much more substantial dwellings than the flimsy reed huts that are home to many people in the region. And there is a school, though it has been seriously vandalized, its rooms emptied of furniture donated by Shell. But the village, about 90 minutes from Warri by fast speedboat, is hardly thriving. A water tank installed about a decade ago doesn't work, forcing people to scoop their water from a muddy hole. Worst of all, complains Macaulay Elekute, another elder, there are no local jobs.

Violence in the Delta is nothing new. Tribal conflict has plagued the region for years. Well-armed and organized gangs have been present almost as long as the oil companies, making tens of millions of dollars in "bunkering" operations in which oil is illegally siphoned off (and causing, oil companies have long maintained, most of the local environmental damage as a result). The gangsters have also extorted money by kidnapping oil workers and supplying "security" services in exchange for not attacking installations. In some ways, the situation has been exacerbated since Nigeria's return to civilian rule. According to local lawyers and international human-rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and the London-based Stakeholder Democracy Network, ruling-party politicians have armed local youths — many of them gang members — to ensure that votes go their way. Weapons flooded the region before the 2003 poll, which in many parts of the Delta was less an election than an armed contest. Commonwealth observers found that in the Rivers state and other areas there was "serious violence, intimidation and vote rigging." Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, one of the youth leaders armed by politicians, later turned on Nigeria's security forces and engaged them in gun battles in the streets of Port Harcourt. After Dokubo-Asari called for the breakup of Nigeria last year he was arrested for treason — a charge he denies. Some of his followers are also mend members, according to activists in Port Harcourt and Onengiya Erekosima, spokesman for the political wing of Dokubo-Asari's organization.

The latest wave of attacks, though, is different. The government dismisses mend and similar groups as the same criminal gangs responsible for bunkering and past attacks — and there is undoubtedly some crossover of membership. The region is awash with unemployed men; weapons are easy to find, either left over from the 2003 election or smuggled in by boat from neighboring countries. But the latest attacks appear to have been driven more by frustration and an ideology of armed resistance than by thoughts of criminal gain. While it is "very difficult to draw a line between the criminals and the so-called liberators," according to Anyakwee Nsirimovu, a human-rights lawyer in Port Harcourt, "You do now have groups that articulate certain policies and ideas and principles." Those principles — the oil belongs to us; give us development and compensation or get out — have been cemented by the Nigerian government's handling of the crisis. Dokubo-Asari was little known when he began, say activists in Port Harcourt. But when he turned on the government he became a self-styled liberation leader. By jailing him, the government risks making him the martyr he says he is. mend has demanded his release.

A new ideological coloring to the attacks has been backed by increasingly sophisticated tactics. A car bomb just over two weeks ago, at an oil-truck stop in Warri, was activated by a cell phone and came just days after China's Hu met with Nigeria's leaders. The bomb was "the final warning" before fresh attacks on oil workers, storage facilities, bridges, offices and other "soft, oil-industry targets," a mend official wrote in an e-mail to news organizations. But it was also, the e-mail said, a message to "the Chinese government and its oil companies to steer well clear of the Niger Delta. The Chinese government by investing in stolen crude places its citizens in our line of fire."

Western companies have grown used to working with the threat of attack. But the dangers are increasing. U.S. oil executive Ricky Wiginton, 51, was shot dead in Port Harcourt by assailants riding a motorbike as he drove to work at drilling-equipment maker Baker Hughes last week, and a day later three oil workers with Italian oil contractor Saipem were kidnapped in the same city but later released. mend says it was not responsible for either act, but whoever is doing the killing has spooked the oil companies. Shell, which is by the far the largest operator in Nigeria, has been forced to evacuate staff and scale back operations in the past few months. Time asked representatives of a number of oil companies to comment for this story, but all declined interviews. In an e-mailed statement, a Chevron spokesman said, "We take the security of our people and facilities seriously, and for obvious reasons cannot discuss the measures we implement to mitigate these risks." A Shell spokeswoman pointed to the company's 2004 report entitled People and the Environment, which details the steps the company is taking to clean up environmental damage, train local employees in the Delta, build schools and health centers for local communities, and end the wasteful and destructive "flaring" of gas, as Nigeria's government requires it to do by 2008. But a letter in the report from Shell's local managing director Basil Omiyi conceded that the people of the Niger Delta "see few of the benefits" from oil.

Nigeria's federal government has been promising to help the Delta for decades. But government bodies have come and gone with little progress. The latest, the Niger Delta Development Commission (nddc), was set up in 2000 to coordinate development activities in the region. Funded by the oil companies, which are required to give 3% of their local budgets to the nddc, and by Nigeria's federal government, the Commission has about $235 million to spend every year. "That is peanuts compared to the problems of the area," says the nddc's head of corporate affairs, Anietie Usen. Projects are often delayed, he says, because the federal government is slow to cough up its share. Grandiose announcements, such as the unveiling by Obasanjo last month of plans to construct a $1.8 billion highway through the region and create 20,000 new jobs in the military, police and state oil companies, do little to appease feelings of neglect. "We have not received money from the federal government since last September. It makes things very difficult," Usen told Time last month. Many see the nddc as mere window dressing. In March, a bomb was thrown into the car park of its Port Harcourt office, and plastic explosives were later smuggled into the building in an apparent attempt to blow it up.

Corruption doesn't help. A Nigerian government audit of the oil industry last month showed discrepancies worth hundreds of millions of dollars between what oil companies say they paid the government and what authorities say they received. The federal government says it is tightening up its oversight. And there's the problem of what state governments do with the money they receive from Abuja. Thanks to high oil prices, Rivers, one of the biggest oil-producing states, has seen its revenues increase. But many schools still don't have furniture and roads are crumbling. Rivers' Information Commissioner Magnus Abe says that "there are lots of things we are doing" to develop the state. "Things are changing — whether rapidly depends on how you look at it." A copy of the 2006 state budget obtained by Time shows Government House overheads increasing from $38.6 million in 2005 to $81.1 million this year, while spending on salaries for state employees went up by less than the rate of inflation. Last year the state government bought two corporate jets (it says one of them is an air ambulance available for rent). Abe says that "it's not nice to suggest" Rivers may be spending too much in certain areas. "I don't think we can fight poverty by going back to live in caves," he says. "We need aircraft for a variety of reasons."

It would help matters if there was an effective opposition to enforce accountability. But in Rivers, Obasanjo's ruling People's Democratic Party fills every seat at both state and local level. Many frustrated citizens see next year's elections as a chance to get rid of the party. But the poll could prove bloody. Human-rights lawyer Nsirimovu says opposition groups have realized "that AK-47s are a necessary ingredient in elections in the Niger Delta," and will try to arm their own supporters in an attempt to counter ruling-party intimidation. "Then things will get really ugly."

mend, too, is looking toward the election. A militant from the group who spoke with Time on condition of anonymity said that it would fight efforts by supporters of Obasanjo to change the constitution to allow the President to run for a third term — moves that last week looked as if they may be blocked by Nigerian lawmakers. But even if the war that Dokubo-Asari and others have threatened never comes to pass, the violence could get bad enough to force oil companies to close down more of their land-based installations and concentrate production offshore.

The militants' campaign has widespread local support. One of the most popular new songs in the Delta describes a police raid on a house. A young man tells the police that he won't go with them to the station and warns: "If you fire [shoot at] me, I fire you." "There is overwhelming community sympathy for what they are doing," says Ledum Mitee, a human-rights campaigner in Port Harcourt, who describes the Delta's problems as "a crisis of frustration," which he hopes can be solved without violence. "[The militants] are seen as people who can stand up to the oppressors."

Mitee heads the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (mosop), the group founded by Saro-Wiwa. In January, he was asked to negotiate the release of the first hostages taken by mend. When Mitee arrived at the camp where the hostages were being held, he was shocked. "I consider myself a person who can speak on these issues — our problems and protests," he says. "But getting there and seeing 200 to 300 young men in uniforms, machines guns, rocket launchers and ammunition" — Mitee moves his hands through the air in front of him making the shape of a heaping mound of ordnance — "I said, 'God, so we have come to this.'"

Printed on Monday, May 15, 2006

Brandhuber Says ERHC Received $45.5 Million Payment

In an email to an investor posting on I-Hub, ERHC Energy CEO Walter Brandhuber formally acknowledged the company's receipt of $45.5 nillion from Addax Petroleum and Sinopec for portions of our equity in Blocks 2, 3 and 4.

Update: ERHC, with no debt and $45.5 million in the bank, became a $0.51 stock today as it fell more than 16 cents before recovering to $0.57 at 1:51pm ET today on 3,838,139 shares of volume. How many $0.57 stocks are debt-free and have that kind of money laying around?

Here is the email exchanged posted by silverbelle, a new poster on the board:

Dear Mr. Brandhuber:

I hope you can spare a few minutes to answer a question from a stockholder of many shares.

Can you confirm that the $45+ million was received from our partners in regards to the JDZ blocks 2, 3 and 4 signing?

Thank you for your time in advance.


Dear ----

We received $45.5 million from Addax Petroleum and SINOPEC under the terms of the Participation Agreements for Blocks 2,3,and 4.

Walter Brandhuber
ERHC Energy Inc.

Global Selloff Feared Today

A foundation-shaking selloff of stocks around the globe is feared by some analysts, although not by Goldman Sachs or the International Monetary Fund, London's Daily Telegraph reports this morning.

ERHC Energy (OTC BB symbol: ERHE) frequently runs counter to such trends, but not always.

Here is the Telegraph's story:

Markets braced for the worst

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Filed: 15/05/2006)

Global markets are bracing for turmoil today after an ominous slide in the US dollar and a slump in equity and bond prices late last week sent tremors through the global financial system, evoking memories of the 1987 crash.

Emerging economies have led the sell-off as investors recoil from risky assets, pummelling stocks and bonds in Turkey, Hungary, Iceland and much of Latin America.
The currencies of Brazil, Mexico and South Africa all suffered their sharpest falls in two years as foreign funds rushed for the exits.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial index fell 262 points over Thursday and Friday to 11381, setting off contagion in Japan and Europe. The FTSE 100 had its worst drop in three years on Friday, falling 129.9 points, or 2.2pc, to 5912.1.

Analysts said there were now clear signs that monetary tightening by the world's central banks was starting to crimp growth. Lombard Street Research warned the US was now heading into outright recession, with China also facing a hard landing.

"Stock markets in the middle of 2006 are confronting a tight Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, sharply higher bond yields, and a downswing in potential profits," it said.

It raised the risk of "an impending financial crisis" caused by excess credit and leverage across the global economy. The group advised investors to liquidate stocks and move into cash yen until the storm has blown over.

The dollar has slumped 6pc against the euro and 8pc against the yen this year as the markets anticipate an end to interest-rate rises by the US Federal Reserve, switching attention back to America's debt mountain and current account deficit of 7pc of GDP.

Volkmar Hable, chairman of Samarium Technology, said the world was now on the brink of a dollar crisis.

"The crash in the autumn of 1987 started with a massive dollar and bond decline in the spring. We are experiencing exactly the same now," he said.

Ominously, bonds are no longer viewed as a safe haven, a sign of fear that inflation is gaining a foothold in the major economies.

Interest rates on 10-year Treasury bonds have jumped from 4.36pc to 5.19pc since February, in part because Asian investors are demanding a higher premium for holding risky dollar investments. The 10-year bond is the benchmark for economic activity in the US, setting corporate borrowing rates and the cost of most mortgages.

The bond slide is exacting a toll on the US property market, where the price of new homes has fallen for five consecutive months. A half-year inventory of unsold houses now hangs over the market.

Goldman Sachs, however, is sticking to its optimistic forecast, banking on a seamless "hand-over" from a slowing US economy to a re-awakening Europe and Japan, while China will continue to be an engine of global growth. The IMF is also bullish, forecasting roaring growth of 4.9pc in 2006, one of the highest rates in half a century.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Correction Of May 5 Dow Jones Story Asked

Tonight I sent the following letter to Jennifer Dauble (, an executive at Dow Jones, regarding the May 5 story the agency did on the search warrant served on ERHC Energy:

Dear Ms. Dauble:

In a recent story on ERHC Energy, your staff writer quoted a WSJ story correctly but that story failed to report a key element of the overall story, and as a result, our shares of this company have dropped more than 20 percent.

Chip Cummins failed to report in a March WSJ commentary that while, as he reported, the attorney general of Sao Tome and Principe issued a report asking for an investigation of ERHC by the DOJ, SEC, etc., he failed to report that the governments of both countries, in a Feb. 9 statement available at, had formally rejected the report.

The story of this report is fascinating. It was conducted by a man who has trained most of the top corporate counsel in the oil industry at the University of Tulsa School of Law. His name is R. Dobie Langenkamp, and if you check, you will find that he is a member of the Energy Law Institute advisory committee. That committee has more than 11 corporate counsel for our rivals for the oil-rich Blocks 2, 3 and 4 on its Executive Committee, and Langenkamp himself has ties to Judy Pensabene, who is the Chief Counsel for the Senate Energy Committee and is married to Greg Pensabene, the Executive VP for Governmental Relations and chief lobbyist for Anadarko Petroleum, our principal rival for Block 3.

Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce Committee's hearings on bribes paid to Equatorial Guinea officials by Exxon, Chevron, Devon, Noble and others -- all of those named here were either rivals or partners of ERHC as the blocks of the Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Zone were being awarded -- have been stalled for three years.

The timing of the search warrant served on ERHC is extremely suspicious, since it follows the discovery by Chevron/ExxonMobil in Block 1 of a reservoir I will estimate at 1.6 billion barrels, much of which is in ERHC Energy's Block 2. In short, they are trying to use the judiciary, as they used the Sao Tome AG, to get us out of the picture now that we have been awarded so much equity in the blocks they wanted so badly.

What I justifiably fear is that having Chip Cummins' story on hand, future writers about ERHC will repeat the same error, as this latest May 5 DJ story on ERHC did, failing to note the highly political nature of the Sao Tome AG's probe and its rejection by the highest officials of both countries for its finding that there is no evidence against ERHC and because there were substantial factual errors in the report. At least 2,000 investors have suffered substantial losses in ERHE shares as a result of Dow Jones' failure to include in both stories this one simple caveat: "The probe report was 'rejected in its entirety' by both governments on Feb. 8, 2006."

I hope you will not allow this erroneous reporting about ERHC Energy to persist, and to that end I have spoken to the author of the report, and his editor, Tony Snow, and his supervisor, who called me on behalf of Mr. Snow and hung up on me when I asked the spelling of her name.

Please do me the favor of advising me of any action that may be taken by Dow Jones to correct this serious and costly error.


Joe Shea
ERHC On The Move

May 14, 4006

Saturday, May 13, 2006

JDA Promises Announcement On Block 1 Discovery When Second Well Results Are In

In an article in Nigeria's Guardian, the leading daily newspaper, JDA spokesman Sam Dimka says the Joint Development Authority will make an announcement on any discovery in the Chevron-ExxonMobil Block 1 of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone as soon as results from a second well are complete.

Update: Mark St. Amour has written concernign his confusion over this story. He points out that the May 10 article from the Guardian syas nothing about a "second" well, and it in fact mentions "the first exploratory well."

Mark is certainly justified in his confusion, although I'm curious why he was never confused about dozens of other Dimka comments that failed to come true. He did say that he would contact the JDA tomorrow for the latest on this issue.

In any case, as I wrote back to Mark, Dimka is well aware that the first well was capped long ago, as Chevron announced, and therefore must be referring to the second well on May 10. I regret not pointing out the inconsistency earlier, and thank Mark for his correction.

The JDA, in another development, said it is awaiting the analysis of the result of the first exploratory well on block 1 in the JDZ.

"After that we will announce whether there was a discovery or not," said a spokesman for the authority, Mr. Sim Dimka.

The first well started just after Christmas and was completed in mid-February, while results were known around mid-March. If the same timetable prevails, the results from the second well ought to be known before the end of May. It is unclear whether Chevrion will share them with the JDA, however, in a highly specific format that reveals any straddle into Block 2, and many doubts remain on that issue.
Here is the entire Guardian article in which the Dimka promise appears. Investors should be aware that much of what Dimnka says often proves to have no foundation in fact, and in fact never happens:

Joint Development Zone nets N20b revenue

By Sulaimon Salau, with agency report

OPERATIONS from the Nigeria, Sao-Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone (JDZ) have yielded more monetary results, as a ransom of $145,649,647 (N20.4 billion) was received as payment for signature bonus on block two, three and four of the JDZ.

According to a statement issued by the Joint Development Authority, (JDA), which is mandated to develop and manage the affairs of the zone, "the amount was received from the contract parties on behalf of the state parties" on the zone.

Revenue from the resources, which is situated in the common maritime boundary of the two countries, according to the treaty, is shared in ratio 60:40 in favour of Nigeria.

The three blocks were in March signed in Abuja following a clarification of some contradictory issues on the project.

Operators of block two, three and four are, ERHC Energy Incorporation, Addax Petroleum Development Company and Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration and Production Corporation in Nigeria.

The JDA, in another development, said it is awaiting the analysis of the result of the first exploratory well on block 1 in the JDZ.

"After that we will announce whether there was a discovery or not," said a spokesman for the authority, Mr. Sim Dimka.

Chevron Corporation, operator of block 1, announced last month that the exploratory well was completed in March, noting that the Oboh-1 well is located in 1,720 meters of water.

Other operators in block 1 are Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria-Sao-Tome Limited, a unit of ExxonMobil and Dangote Energy Equity Resources.

Chevron has 51 per cent in the block, while Esso Exploration and Dangote Energy have 40 per cent and nine per cent respectively.

Besides, block two, three and four of the JDZ were among the five blocks offered by the JDA in the 2004 bid round, including blocks five and six.

The JDZ lies approximately 200 kilometres offshore Nigeria, and covers an area of 34,540 square kilometres in the rich Gulf of Guinea. It was established in 2001 following ratification of a formal bilateral treaty between Nigeria and Sao-Tome and Principe.

Here is the story on the completion of the first well that ran on April 4 in the Daily Independent. It cites a March 15 completion date:

Tuesday 4th, April 2006 HOME | Previous Page

Chevron Completes First Exploration Well In JDZ

Chevron Nigeria Limited has completed an exploration well in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) jointly owned by Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.

The oil bloc is reputed to hold about one billion barrels of oil and gas reserves.

A Chevron official said the company had started evaluating the results of the drilling completed last March 15.

Geological studies of the prospectivity of the bloc suggest it could hold even more oil and gas resources than the Akpo field in Nigerian waters to the north, thought to have recoverable hydrocarbon reserves of more than a billion barrels.

Chevron, which acquired rights to explore the bloc in October 2004, began drilling Obo-1, the location of the well, last January.

The company has a 51 per cent stake as operator of the acreage, which also has ExxonMobil with 40 per cent equity holding, while the rest is owned by Dangote Energy Equity Resources, a jointly owned Nigerian-British company.

The Chevron official, who saw the results of the Obo-1 well said: “It is an encouraging result. Everyone is pleased.”

He disclosed that Chevron and one of co-American partner, ExxonMobil, would meet today to plan their next moves, stressing that Chevron is yet to decide when it would drill more wells to determine its exact proven recovery reserve size.

He attributed the high cost of drilling operations in the field to the acute shortage of oilrigs off West Africa since it was discovered, saying this has made it extremely expensive to drill further short notice.

The partner companies, he said, would not be able to confirm the full extent of the discovery until they had drilled more wells, explaining that it took the drilling of four development wells to ascertain the full extent of the Akpo field.

Another source hinted that the consortium was still examining the data from the field and was unlikely to agree on how to release the result before the end of April.

Letters Reveal Uncertainty Among Investors

I've gotten a strong response from our readers to my offer to share my outlook for ERHC Energy, and I thought I would share them for two reasons: First, most asked the same questions, and second, it was thus more practical to answer them all at once.

Here are the letters so far:

A Good Crapshoot
Long ERHE .72 up to .83. I look at the situation as a good crap shoot. But what the hell do I know? It's trading lower than my purchase prices. The Justice Department at ERHC offices also causes me some concern.

Interested in your outlook on the stock? Answer. YES.

I am dropping you the note looking for purely speculative advice & knowing that you are not a registered investment adviser.

Near-Term Insight Needed

I'm taking you up on your offer on your opinion of the near term PPS prospects.

BTW : Enjoy your Blog, have done for a while. Am a shareholder.

Appreciate The Effort

I'm a long time follower of ERHE and I sure appreciate all the effort you put into this stock. I would be interested to know your outlook on this stock. Good Luck in this stock and any others you may be invested in.
Thanks in advance.

Major Shareholder Selling?

I hold a few thousand ERHE shares and appreciate the information posted on your blog ERHC on the Move. Thanks for sharing your due diligence with a wider audience.

What are you anticipating in the near to intermediate term for ERHC? At times there seems to be hints that our major shareholder is selling into any uptick in order to keep cash in his pocket and the price at these levels. Is this your take? Or is it perhaps the political volatility that makes it impossible for this to move forward?

Very interested in hearing your outlook.

Tip From Father-In-Law

As you mentioned, I was just wanting to see what your outlook was with this stock. My father-in-law told me about the stock about a year ago. I bought in at .40, and I am just wanting to know if you think I should hold on to it or get out now?

News From Doc?

I'm interested in reading your thoughts of what is happening with ERHC.

Anything new from Doc?

I think Langenkamp's wife is involved in the search warrant somehow...

Offor Could Sell Chrome

Regarding your "ERHC on the move blog", and your offer today, yes, I would greatly appreciate your outlook on the stock. What do you think the future holds for ERHC? I keep worrying that Emeka Offor might sell Chrome Oil and the little stockholders like myself, end up with nothing. What do you think?

ERHC's outlook, in my opinion, is dependent on several things: First, will an indictment result from the search warrant and investigation? Second, will Chevron or the JDA make a significant announcement regarding Block 1? Third, given all the circumstances we know about, is there a prospect for a near-term sale of part or all of the company?

As these separate issues unfold, the share price will respond accordingly. However, given the background of the search warrant, I strongly doubt that an indictment will follow.

Ironically, even though it was the search warrant story - mishandled, as we've pointed out, by Dow Jones - that took our share price down, the lack of an indictment is not by itself going to improve the share price unless the company announces it ibn the near term.

What the Justice Dept. hoped to accomplish with this search warrant was to lend some help to Chevron and ExxonMobil to prevent ERHC from gaining momentum as word of Chevron's Block 1 find spreads. Those companies will be far better off with a hobbled ERHC Energy than with an activist, demanding one.

Given the refusal of both Sao Tome and Nigeria to cooperate with the Sao Tome Attorney's General's probe and probably with this one, too, there is little likelihood of a conviction on any charge, but the investigation itself will satisfy the political favor demanded by CVX, XOM, Anadarko and probably others. So it's most useful to think of the search warrant as a wet blanket, one that will irritate us and itch for some time, but ultimately come to naught. It is amount to no more than just another abuse of judicial authority in an Administration where such abuse is commonplace.

But don't hold out too much hope for a grand announcement, complete with bands, trumpets and pennants waving in the air. Chevron will keep the results secret, even from shareholders, for the longest possible time - and that may be many years. What is important, though, is that the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority will want to make the extent of the Block 1 discovery widely known in order to sell Blocks 7 through 9 for a better price. In the event that Blocks 5 and 6 are never awarded but are rebid, the same will hold true. The problem is, of course, that the flow of information coming from the JDA is at least 95 percent wrong, and sometimes just plain false. It will not meet with the same credence that a report from Chevron would have.

As for a major shareholder selling into any momentum that happens, I think that is a clearly demonstrated fact. It will not always be determinative, however, and I think that while that shareholder might like to support the price and yet not be the one who has to increase it, events will overtake him as well.

If I were in at $0.40, I certainly would not get out. You are unlikely to see a single day when you are not in profit, unless an indictment falls our way. In that case, you might want to sell and recapture in the $0.28 range.

As for a buy-in or buy-out, I have come to the conclusion that our source Doc was talking through his hat on this topic. I think he conflated a number of well-known and a few obscure items and invented the "imminent" news of a buy-in or buyout to nurture his own trading position. His and Meridian's guidance in the future is likely to be worthless. It is my impression both these sources are graduates of the 419 advance fee scam school of business, which requires that writers know all or most of the publicly available details about their targets.

This does not mean, however, that Sir Emeka Offor might not alter his relationship with Chrome's holding entity, where he recently placed all his stock and set up in the Cayman Islands. That is a decision for him to make, and a key strategic one. In the event that only his shares were sold to a new entity or a major, however, if the price and some details of the sale became public, they would be likely to spike the price rather than instantly drop it. Since no investor will ever make money from dividends on this stock, I believe, it is incumbent on all investors to remain alert to sharp price movements and unexplained high volume events in order to maximize their returns through selling shares. Remember that the spike in such a case is likely to be quickly followed by a sharp downturn; there will only be a brief window of opportunity to take significant profits if this occurs.

So where does that leave us?

Sinking, for the time being. I have repeatedly urged readers to look at the historic patterns of trading in HYPD (now HDY) for guidance about our future share price.

That stock faced many of the same problems, underwent some of the same manipulation, and struggles today with some of the same burdens we do. Generally, that record suggests to me that our share price could fall as low as $0.44 even if an indictment is not handed down, and that it may trend that low anyway despite the Chevron Block 1 rumors.

However, a major catalyst for a share hike will be the 10-Q that shows the $45 million in payments from Addax Petroleum and Sinopec on our balance sheet. It will be that single announcement, I believe, that helps us break the $1 mark at last.

In the near term, absent an indictment, I don't think we will go lower than $0.55, but I think we will linger there a while if we have to wait for a second-quarter 10-Q to show the payments. This has historically been a stock that prefers to hang low for a long time before demonstrating explosive growth. For that reason, accumulation should occur with an eye on the 10Q, not an announcement by Chevron, and the top for that will probably be in the $1.10 range.

For what it's worth, I believe the Chevron find will eventually be identified as one of 1.6 billion barrels. While that's a lot of oil, it's only a fraction of what awaits us in Block 4, I think, and perhaps even in Block 5. For those who are accumulating for long-term growth, that kind of discovery will manifest in an improved share price in the $3 to $9 region several years from now.

No major is likely to buy us when the search warrant and the U.S, Justice Dept.'s faux investigation - the same kind done against Chevron, ExxonMobil, Anadarko, Devon Energy and Noble Energy in the Guinea investigation - is sill underway, although these giants may offer to form new entitites to partner with us on unfavorable terms.

As with TMY, FEEC, HDY and IVAN, the secret to building wealth with ERHC is to stay in it, accumulate at the best price, and wait, and wait, and wait. Your Roman Holiday will come.

Thanks for your letters, and I hope this response answers all of your questions. Remember, as our first letter-writer stated, I am not a registered investment advisor, and it is wise to do your own due diligence examination of the stock and all its complex circumstances. Good luck!

Update: I wanted to share one wonderful response to this column with our readers:

Hello Joe,

Your posting today is one of the most thoughtful writings on ERHE I have read in a long time. I congratulate you on a well balanced, well thought-out column.

Your BLOG has for many month been an interesting source of information. The ramblings on the boards are getting totally out of hand. There are too many nut cases who have to put their two cents worth of nonsense in writing. Add to that the politics of US oil companies, the Administration, and Nigeria as well as Sao Tome and it makes any soap opera pale.

Your advice to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait is sage advice. I have done this in many of my own investments. One example is INCO and it is paying off handsomely. I agree with you that a payoff can also happen with ERHE, but some of the predictions on the boards of a share price of $50 or more are just dreams in technicolor. Your comment about a $3 to $9 many years from now is the more likely scenario.

Joe, I very much appreciate today's posting in your BLOG and will save it to remind me and friends who also own some ERHE to stay sane.

Best regards from Canada,