Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mark St. Amour Offers Upbeat News From Nigeria

It hasn't lifted ERHE's share price yet - we've fallen to $0.32, where texasspeculatior entered four years ago, he said - but Mark. St. Amour revived investors' spirits today with the news of an upcoming Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority meeting in mid-December to finalize operating budgets proposed by concessionaires in the Joint Development Zone.

Those ought to reflect a drilling cost for operations that Mark believes (too optimistically, I think) will begin in February or March. ERHC Energy's partner, Addax Petroleum, had "conservatively" forecast a 2008 start in our Blocks 2, 3 and 4, Mark's JDZ source told him, and a Summer 2007 start appears more likely, the source said. Mark's post also carries hints that drilling rigs may be available earlier, and if that is the case, it ought to provide at least a five-cent boost to the current $0.32 share price.

There is a downside to this news, though. That is that we seem to be headed for a return to the $0.28 - $0.295 level where I purchased about 90,000 new shares in December 2005. I would like to see that entry point again, and despite Mark's good news, I think we will. The other shoe has yet to fall - i.e., we do not know with certainty whether there will be an indictment in the FCPA probe - and that has a powerful depressant effect on our share price. In my dreams, I can even imagine a momentary opportunity as low as $0.22.>br>
The important thing about Mark's post is that it brings not only optimism but some (albeit vague) factual data to answer our queastions, and that has been lacking from the mix for a rather long time. Good work, Mark.

Here's his post, straight from Nashville:

Sorry this took so long. Looks to be well worth the wait. I had questioned/doubted Spec29's BD rig rumor but looks like he may be correct.

I spoke with my JDA source. He said all block consortia are meeting next week and week after (next 10-15 days) to finalize 2007 Budgets. I asked him about drilling and he commented drilling will begin in 2007 (Blocks 2,3,4). I asked him how certain he was of this and asked him if this was just hopeful thinking. He basically stopped me in my tracks and said he was 100% certain drilling would begin in 2007. This also includes CVX drilling another well in Block 1 in 2007. His point was that the operators have a lot of pressure to meet their minimum commitments for drilling. I pointed out that Addax has been saying 2008 for start of drilling. He pointed out they have to be very conservative in their comments/presentations, which makes perfect sense. Addax did say however that if a "rig of opportunity" became available it could be 2007. I asked about timeline (1st,2nd,3rd,4th QTR 2007?). He said he could not be specific but he was certain drilling would begin in 2007 and very likely first 1/2 of 2007. He told me to call back in mid-Dec after meetings have been concluded and he will be able to give me specifics. It was very interesting he mentioned the BD Rig that Spec29 has been talking about. I asked where he heard this info and he told me he heard from people very close to the companies. He said he was hearing the same thing about BD drilling early 2007 but would not comment on Exact date or which block. He says this has to be "formally submitted" before he can further comment on this. This should all happen within next 10-15 days.

Ok, now all the bashers can come out and say I am lying. What you can do is call for yourself. The numbers are on the JDA website. Also, I asked my JDA source numerous times how certain he was of drilling in 2007. Almost to the point of being offensive. He was adamant that drilling will begin in 2007. In his tone he acted as if it was almost common knowledge and that I should have already known this.

IMO, I think we see drilling in JDZ Feb-March. Just my opinion based on my call and other sources.

Sorry if this update seems a little hard to follow. I am busy with work and have to hop back to it.

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

ERHC Disappoints, But VION Pick Soars

I guess I have the right to brag a little about this column's recommendation of VION, a small pharmaceutical company whose stock a few months ago had fallen to a very affordable $1.01. I told folks I thought it was a great price, and bought 4,800 shares myself. In the lamented good ol' days, I might have plunged for a bigger chunk, as I felt strongly about it, but alas, my foolish dalliance with high-intensity day-trading - I spent $5,000,000 in March alone - cost me dearly.

Well, my financial ship has righted, but I made the mistake of selling the Vion around $1.09 to help a friend save his store on his promise to pay me back the following week. I should have known better, but I didn't want him to lose his store, and he and his wife are personal friends, but the repayment has stretched now to more than three months and he still owes me all but $700 of the entire principal, and I probably will have to go to court.
VION, in the meantime, has climbed to $1.84, although it's fallen back to $1.78 this morning. I think it has a little ways to go, though. That 84 percent profit is the kind of money we ought to have been enjoying in our investment in ERHC Energy, and while that will probably come, we have waited a very, very long time. This was Chevron and Exxon Mobil's design, I believe, when as I also allege, they used their political influence to snag the company in a phony foreign corruption probe they also fomented.

The plan was to cause our investors to suffer interminable delays while our money was frittered away on high-powered lawyers and complex international legal issues. This is an excellent plan, and it is working like a charm. There has been no crime committed, but ERHC Energy remains in a state of suspended animation while that fact is being established by a very dilatory U.S. Attorney in Washington - not Houston, where the case should have been initiated.

What does this mean for invesgtiors?

Well, in my opinion, even the U.S. Attorney at some point has to face the absence of probative facts and accept a "no bill" before the federal grand jury that is presumably hearing some aspect of this case. US Atty. Mary K. Dimke is fortunate, though, that media reports - and nothing else - have very imperfectly linked the issue to the William Jefferson case, where it had no role and no exposure beyond a yellow press clipping found in a file bearing Jefferson's name in ERHC Energy's offices during the armed raid by an FBI SWAT team that scared our three employees - our poor secretary, former CFO and ex-CEO Walter Brandhuber - half to death. Now we have only two employees to scare.

Meanwhile, though, I have spent three hours in face-to-face conversation with someone who is extremely familiar with the woman who wore the wire in the Jefferson case. That has left me fully briefed on elements of that case, and I can guarantee you the information supplied by my new acquaintance will dramatically undercut the Jefferson probe as well. As that case is eroded, and the U.S. Attorney faces a major embarrassment, the ties to ERHC Energy will evaporate as they ought to; they were never more than a guilt-by-association rap against two long-ago proponents of ERHC who had already moved on to the big and lucrative GEECF scam.

Chevron and ExxonMobil, acting - we believe - through the former Chief Counsel for the Senate Energy Committee, Judy Pensabene - whose husband Greg (last time we checked) is chief lobbyist for Anadarko and a strong Democratic Party contributor (and former Clinon Administration Energy Dept. official), ERHC's rival for the priceless Block 3 and Block 4 rights we won in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone (where the Chevron and ExxonMobil venture has already found at least a billion barrels of oil, partly under our Block 2 rights) will likely come up with some scheme to either extend the probe or concoct evidence through their maze of intermediaries.

But ERHC Energy's day will inevitablty come, because it is fundamentally innocent of anything but being Nigerian, which by itself is apparently a federal crime these days. That's why those long-term investors who are not in and out daily seeking small gains are likely to prosper mightily by the time it all winds to an end. Our company will not give up its rights or sell them off short of a massive offer, and Chevron and ExxonMobil will lose out when one of the world's richest oil deposits is ultimately located in Blocks 2 and 4.

By the way, look for ExxonMobil to go to $69 ex-dividend. Some folks have all the luck.

Disclosure: I own no shares of ERHE or VION, and a trustee controls the 1,500-odd shares of Chevron held by our family trust.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ali Memon Registers 1.27 Million Shares For Sale

Ali Memon, the congenial, low-key former president of ERHC Energy and onetime head of Marathon oil operations in Africa, has registered his intent to sell some 1,272,727 formerly restricted shares he obtained as compensation during his term as ERHC's operational head twice removed, and the share price slipped briefly to $0.35 as the news spread.

The move was not necessarily made for any other reason than that it is Memon's first opportunity to register the shares as required by the Securities Exchange Commission.

But the prospect of a possible indictment from the ongoing FBI investigation of ERHC's dealings with Sao Tome and Nigerian officials, or a fine arising from the SEC's current Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Zone, probably unsettled investors who were buoyed just last week by a $0.03 gain in the share price to $0.39 from lingering lows of $0.34.

As we see it, though, the filing is immaterial. Some posters have suggesed the former CEO was moved to register the sale by coming good news about a possible buyout from Sinopec, or any number of other rumors that have surfaced on I-Hub in recent months. None have panned out, however, and we feel significant movement is unlikely to come until the FBI and SEC issues are resolved.

Indeed, when that may happen is the most salient question facing prospective investors, who are advised once again to be watchful and cautious. We do believe the share price will make a comeback at least to the $0.50 level before the year is out, and we believe that resurgence will be attributable to good news about the probes. Those, we feel certain, are politically motivated and unlikely to prosper. In the meantime, we remain out of the stock, although we hope to make an entry at the @0.34 level or lower in coming weeks.

Here is the essence of the Memon registration document:Br>

TITLE: Shareholder