The oil deposits in the Gulf of Guineau were awarded to the company in 2005 during the second licensing round of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone, a region of the Gulf of Guineau that is expected to produce as many as 14 billion barrels of oil for the lucky explorer who strikes it rich there.
Chevron's first test well hit a deposit of roughly 1 billion barrels, according to the Wall Street Journal, but Chevron walked away from the wealth after failing to budge Nigerian officials in its fight to capture rights held by ERHC.
Chevron wanted to develop the entire JDZ field with ExxonMobil, thus saving substantially on forward costs, but I suspect they could not afford ERHC Energy's buyout price and could not get politicians from either Sao Tome or Nigeria to force the tiny firm to give up its rights, despite help from the U.S. Government and a thinly-veiled attack authored by an oil company ally and released through the Attorney General of Sao Tome and Principe. The tiny island chain is a former Portuguese colony in the Gulf of Guineau that shares development rights in the Gulf with Nigerial it also owns its own Exclusive Economic Zone, where ERHC also has rights to explore.
Both the Nigerian and Sao Tomean governments have rejected and disparaged the Sao Tome report, and SEC and FBI officials caught up in Chevron's web spent hundreds of thousands of dollars exploring its spurious charges but never managed to find evidence the company did anything illegal. Finally, its Block 1 partner ExxonMobil sold out.
That left Chevronin charge of Block 1 with several new, smaller partners, and ERHC, with Addax Petroleum and Chinese oil giant Sinopec in the driver's seat for the Blocks 2, 3 and 4, which are expected to be the most lucrative of all.
Here is the latest from the company:
ERHC Energy Announces Annual Shareholders' Meeting Date
Nov 20, 2007 16:43:14 (ET)
HOUSTON, TX, Nov 20, 2007 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- ERHC Energy (ERHE, Trade ), an independent oil and gas exploration and production company with significant assets in the Gulf of Guinea, has announced that it will hold its next annual shareholders' meeting on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 in Houston, Texas. Shareholders of record as of March 14, 2008 are eligible to vote at the meeting.
Shareholders of record will receive formal notice of the meeting and an invitation to attend via a Proxy Statement that will contain the time and venue of the meeting.
The address to shareholders by the President/Chief Executive Officer of the Company will review the Company's performance and prospects. Shareholders will have the opportunity to elect directors and affirm the appointment of the Company's independent auditors. The meeting will also be accessible in listen-only mode, by telephone and through the Internet, to the Corporation's shareholders and all other interested parties. The discussion may include forward-looking information. Access instructions will be announced prior to the meeting.
"We look forward to this opportunity to meet personally with shareholders and discuss our various initiatives and accomplishments," said Acting Chief Executive Officer Nicolae Luca.
ERHC has interests in Blocks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 in the offshore Joint Development Zone (JDZ) between Nigeria and the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe. ERHC has additional interests in the territorial waters of Sao Tome and Principe, known as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).