Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just a short note to all of our readers to extend the best wishes of ERHC On The Move and Joe Shea to you for a happy, healthy, prosperous and safe New Year.

I have of course been following the sad path of ERHE as it has moved from $0.60 all the way back down to $0.11, where it seems - at least for now - to have finally found a bottom.

Is there hope for those of us with ERHE stock to make some money in 2009? It all depends on two things: whether we have any oil, and whether the price of oil continues to fall to historic lows in a Deprerssion-era scenario, or whether, as it has been accustomed to doing, rises as world economies back away from the precipice and begin to improve.

I think anyone can earn 20% or more on this stock in a few months. That would presumne you buy it now at $0.11, and hope that the Adan Abraham finally sails to the Gulf of Guineau for us.

I think it will also make money if Sao Tome & Principe decides to accept the lone, albeit free, explorer that is truly interested in its reserves - and has been since about 1996 - or successfully forecloses on our rights in the Sao Tome Exclusive Economic Zone by winning at arbitration.

The problem is, how much demand can there be for an oil company that has no oil to sell? And the answer to this question is what limits the upside of ERHE for the time being.

I suspect that we will see $0.14 before March 30, and that will be our forecast 20% gain. Selling it at that point may net you a few bucks if you have several hundred thousand shares - if you had 300,000 and got them at $0.11 for $33,000, and sold them for $0.14 or $42,000, it's good short-term money. But there may be much better buys out there, like Citigroup, Intel and others that might do far better (or far worse) at their current fire-sale prices.

Many investors have taken ERHE fgor a long, sweet ride, sucking in latecomers as the price collapsed, spitting them out as it rose. That tradition will undoubtedly coninue.

The hidden hand of Justice, i.e., the ongoing Justice Dept. Federal Grand Jury investigation of various bribery charges against ERHE, is always there to take back whatever better circumstances in the Gulf of Guinea may give.

While it surely appears that this investigation has been nixed, quite obviously the Department under Bush remains sufficiently dishonest to continue to do the bidding of Big Oil and withhold closure on the probe, knowing full well that doing so creates pressure on ERHE's principal, Sir Emeka Offor, to sell his holdings cheaply. The investigation, of course, has gone and is going absolutely nowhere, as we have told you from the beginning of it.

We are not impressed or overly concerned about corporate personnel changes. It doesn't appear that the personnel do anything, anyway, given that everything related to us remains in Limbo as well.

So my recommendation? Buy several hundred thousand shares, cash out by the end of March or even January, if you get your 20% - and wait for the next retreat.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Nigeria's Strong, President Says

In ceremonies to mark the coutry's 48th anniversary of independence from Britain, Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua said the African continent's largest producer of oil and gas remains "on a strong footing" and would continue to see double-digit growth with modest inflation, Bloomberg News reported.

Stability is perhaps Nigeria's most precious commodity on a continent wracked by brutal and bloody civil wars, vast famines and the worst of the AIDS epidemic. So far, the new president has managed to rein in the growing MEND guerilla movement that threatened just a month ago to stop all oil shipments from refineries in Bayelsa and Rivers states and had earnestly gone about doing so. Now they say they will honor a unilateral cease-fire.

The remarkable turnaround is rare for Nigeria, where feuding states and a bloody civil war nearly two decades ago left many fragile relationships for the federal government to repair. That proved difficult in the administrations of two presidents that followed, the first the victim of a coup by the second, who surprised many when he completed his permitted terms and voluntarily relinquished power. The previous administration was unable to mend the rift with the MEND guerillas.

Here is the story:

Nigeria's Yar'Adua Says That Economy Is Strong, Growing at 6.9%

By Paul Okolo

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria's economy is "on a strong footing" and growing at an average 6.9 percent, owing to the government's sound policies, President Umaru Yar'Adua said.

The inflation rate in Africa's most populous country is below 10 percent and the naira currency is strengthening against major world currencies, Yar'Adua said in an e-mailed statement from his office in Abuja today to mark the country's 48th independence anniversary.

"This is a consequence of our policies aimed at maintaining relative stability and predictability" in the economy, the president said in the statement.

The west African country of more than 140 million people is in its ninth year of unbroken civil rule, the longest period since independence from Britain in 1960. Until 1999, the country was controlled for nearly three decades by corrupt military dictatorships.

Yar'Adua, 57, took office in May 2007 after winning a presidential ballot held a month earlier which local and foreign observers said was ``flawed'' by electoral malpractice and violence.

The president, who's been criticized for being too slow in acting to address the nation's problems, said his government would ``rapidly'' rebuild the country's poor infrastructure in a bid to transform it into one of the world's largest economies in 2020. Part of the plan includes allowing investors to build and operate some important roads and the rail system, he said.

Nigeria has Africa's biggest hydrocarbon reserves, with more than 30 billion barrels of crude and 187 trillion cubic feet of gas. The country, which Bloomberg data shows was the continent's top oil exporter in July and August, is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Doubts About ERHC Rights Raised In Nigeria

Saying several officials had been quoted in the Nigerian press as saying ERHC Energy had lost some of its rights "by its own accord" in the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone, the company's spokesm,an, Dan Keeney, issued a press release asking for clarification of the comments concerning Blocks 5 and 6 of the JDZ.

The two blocks had not been very high on anyone's list for prospectivity until oil officials whose names have been forgotten made their comments to media at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council, possibly in July, according to a regular and reliable poster on the Investor's Hub EWRHC Energy board:

During JMC meet in Sao Tome (July?), Midtieroil, STP media quoted named STP officials as saying the JDA would not reconsider ERHC for blocks 5/6 as the company had given up its rights to them of its own accord. They were quoted as thanking Nigeria for supporting STP's stance on subject. Never saw anything on the matter from NG side.

Here is the ERHC Energy Sept. 8 release on the topic, which openly risks raising the issue at a higher level:

ERHC Energy Inc. Seeks Clarification From Joint Ministerial Councilof the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone

Sep 8, 2008 16:04:15 (ET)

HOUSTON, TX, Sep 08, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- ERHC Energy Inc. (ERHE, Trade ), a publicly traded American company with oil and gas assets in the highly prospective Gulf of Guinea off the coast of central West Africa, is seeking the reaffirmation of government officials regarding the Company's rights in Joint Development Zone (JDZ) Blocks 5 and 6. In May 2005, the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority (JDA) confirmed ERHC Energy's 15 percent interest in the Blocks.

ERHC is committed to exploiting its rights and meeting its contractual obligations in the JDZ. The Company wants to eliminate uncertainty stemming from recent press reports in which members of the JMC were quoted. The reports raised questions about the status of ERHC rights in JDZ Blocks 5 and 6.

Letters sent by ERHC Energy Chief Operating Officer Peter Ntephe to the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe JDZ and to the JDA, which manages the JDZ, assert the company's intent and commitment to exploit its rights in JDZ Blocks 5 and 6.

"We have the utmost respect and regard for the JMC and JDA, and we hope that media reports questioning our rights in JDZ Blocks 5 and 6 are erroneous, in which case we respectfully apologize for raising the issue," said Mr. Ntephe.

The letters also declare that if ERHC's rights in JDZ Blocks 5 and 6 are tampered with or compromised, the Company will take all necessary legal steps to protect its corporate interest.

ERHC Energy has interests in six of the nine Blocks in the offshore JDZ between Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome & Principe. The Company has additional interests in the territorial waters of Democratic Republic of Sao Tome & Principe known as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

3rd Q Results Are In; Webcast Available

As ERHC Energy falls once again, the company has released its 3rd Quarter financial results. The company spent almost $3.4 million and increased its net loss as interest income fell.

A company Webcast remains available until Sept. 12, and a replay of the conference call is available for listeners today.

Here is the press release:

ERHC Energy Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results

Aug 12, 2008 06:00:26 (ET)

HOUSTON, TX, Aug 12, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- ERHC Energy Inc. (ERHE, Trade ), a publicly traded American company with oil and gas assets in the highly prospective Gulf of Guinea off the coast of central West Africa, today reported financial results for the third quarter ended June 30, 2008.

As of June 30, 2008, ERHC reported cash assets totaling approximately $32.4 million, compared to approximately $35.7 million one year ago.

During the three months ended June 30, 2008, ERHC's interest income totaled $225,070. ERHC's net loss totaled $604,173, compared with a net loss of $587,219 for the three months ended June 30, 2007. General and administrative expenses during the third quarter totaled $820,462, which was a down nearly 24 percent from the third quarter of 2007.

"The Company has been prudent in its spending and has consistently been able to reduce its quarterly expenses during the past two years," said Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer Peter Ntephe.

ERHC will hold a conference call at 8 a.m. Central Time today, August 12, 2008 to discuss third quarter financial results and Company operations. To participate, please dial 877-890-0968 (domestic) or 706-902-1710 (international) five to ten minutes before the call begins and reference the pass code 57619351. A simultaneous live Webcast of the call will be available over the Internet and will be accessible by going to and entering the Meeting ID: 7QC7M4 and Entry Code: 8JR#pbw.

A replay of the call will be available at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time through August 19, 2008 by dialing 800-642-1687 (domestic) or 706-645-9291 (international) and providing the following replay code: 57619351. In addition, the Webcast will be available for replay until September 12, 2008 by going to and entering the Meeting ID: 7QC7M4 and Entry Code: 8JR#pbw.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sinopec To Halt Oil Exports

Sinopec, ERHC Energy's partner in the Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Zone Blocks 2 and 3, has decided it will not export oil outside of China begginning in the third quarter, it announced yesterday. It is China's third-largest oil company, and the sixth-largest in the world.

The China Daily News said today that the decision was made this week as the world's most populous nation faced multiple challenges from a 7.9 earthquake on May 12 that may have killed 88,000 people, leaving 5 million people homeless.

"China's largest oil company, PetroChina, also said it would increase its refined oil production to ensure supply for reconstruction and the summer harvest," the newspaper reported. Petrochina is providing 20 percent of its refinery output to the hardest-hit cities in the quake-ravaged region.

Sinopec has made quake relief its first priority, the article said. Investors are left with some uncertainty how seriously - if at all - the decision will impact the exploration of Blocks 2 and 3.

Here is the article:

Sinopec to halt oil products exports, raise output
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-05-30 08:43

China's largest refiner Sinopec said it would increase its oil processing and halt oil products exports in the third quarter to ensure domestic supply.

"Sinopec will raise production, halt exports and adjust product structure to ensure domestic supply, especially for the reconstruction after the earthquake, the summer harvest and the Olympic Games," said Sinopec President Wang Tianpu.

Disaster relief is a top priority for Sinopec, according to the company. It will work in tandem with the government to keep the prices of oil products in quake-hit regions stable.

The company had made emergency deliveries of gasoline and diesel to earthquake-hit regions. It also ordered several of its refineries to raise output in response to the disaster.

China's largest oil company PetroChina also said it would increase its refined oil production to ensure supply for reconstruction and the summer harvest.

PetroChina has allocated 100,000 tons of refined oil in emergency supplies to Sichuan after the earthquake. By May 27, oil storage in Sichuan reached 252,000 tons, ensuring 16 days of supplies, the company said in a statement.

PetroChina will increase its oil supply to Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia by 20 percent for the summer harvest, the statement said.

Facing high crude prices in the international market, the government's control on domestic refined oil prices has caused big losses for the country's oil refiners. In the first quarter, Sinopec saw its net profit plunge 65.78 percent to 6.7 billion yuan.

This, happened even after the company got 12.3 billion yuan in government subsidies in March, of which 7.4 billion yuan was counted as first-quarter income.

PetroChina said its first-quarter profit fell 31.5 percent as refining losses and windfall taxes cut its earnings from record crude prices. Net income dropped to 28.9 billion yuan from 42.1 billion yuan a year earlier.

China exported 4.84 million tons of refined oil products in the first four months of this year, a decrease of 7.8 percent from a year earlier. In April, exports of refined oil products stood at 1.23 million tons, according to Customs figures.

From January to April, the country imported 12.68 million tons of refined oil products, up 9.2 percent, show Customs figures.

Monday, May 05, 2008

An Enterprising Move On The Corporate Development End

ERHC Energy has acquired a well-qualified VP for Corporate Development who will search for new ways to extend the company's holding, assets base and profits in coming years. It's a positive step in the current trading environment, but ERHE shares responded anemically after the appointment was made on April 30.

Here is the press release:

ERHC Energy Inc. Appoints Vice President Corporate Development

Apr 30, 2008 16:00:40 (ET)

HOUSTON, TX, Apr 30, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- ERHC Energy Inc. (ERHE, Trade ), a Houston-based company with valuable oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Guinea, today announced appointment of David Bovell to the position of Vice President Corporate Development. Mr. Bovell begins his duties with ERHC Energy immediately.

Mr. Bovell brings more than 25 years experience in corporate finance to ERHC Energy. He most recently served as managing director of Green Corporate Finance Ltd. and as director of Equity Partners for Emerging Markets. He was previously Finance Director for Antonov plc, where he initiated the company's listing on the Alternative Investments Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.

In the newly created position of Vice President Corporate Development, Mr. Bovell will oversee planning and implementation of strategies for corporate growth. Responsibilities will include the identification of appropriate opportunities for corporate mergers and acquisitions by ERHC. Mr. Bovell will also pursue future corporate finance options, including stock-exchange listings.

"We are pleased to have David join us and anticipate he will be pivotal in designing and implementing a focused growth strategy for ERHC Energy," said Peter Ntephe, acting Chief Executive Officer for ERHC. "We sought a person who could accelerate our examination of various strategic opportunities to enhance shareholder value, including expanding the Company's assets through acquisitions and exploring various stock exchange listing alternatives."

Mr. Bovell's expertise is corporate finance for small and medium cap companies, with an emphasis in strategy formulation, business planning, fund raising, stock exchange listings initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another Day, Another $0.06

Shares of ERHC Energy dropped sharply again on Wednesday after the uninspiring shareholders' meeting. ERHE was down 5 cents, or 13 percent, for the second straight day.

The chart-readers say resistance at $0.39 may keep us at the current level, but I'm hoping - sorry to say it - we will see a return to the $0.20 era, where I'd like to replenish my hoard of shares.

How likely is that? Less so every day we get closer to identifying a drillship and setting to work. It's only because we thought we had one on the way to the Gulf of Guineau already that we rose to $0.60.

One event that might get me those cheap shares is an indictment, but as I have warned before, if one comes down, the sudden collapse of the share price is likely to be followed by an almost-as-sudden rebound the same day and over two or three following days. People who can play both ways that day may do extremely well for themselves, but it is difficult if not impossible to find short shares at some brokerages (like E*Trade) for this stock.

I saw several posters were calling others to account for their rosy and false (or at least very flawed) predictions about the outcome of the shareholders meeting. I think that's a healthy turn of events. But I fear some of those calling the kettle black were calling it white themselves just a few weeks ago.

One note on the session: Michael Madigan's remarks to a questioner about statutory limits on the federal crimes alleged against management did not do a lot to clarify the issue. He said he thought the statutory limit had already been exceeded, but offered no backup for that position. If there is a statutory limit, however, the DOJ has a laundry list of various crimes at a wide variety of times they might employ to bring the charges without fear of statutory limits.

His most compelling comment, however, was the one we've been stating for more than a year: there is no evidence available to the Justice Dept. to bring an indictment in the first place.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Annual Meeting: Good News, Bad News, And A 13% Price Drop

As I anticipated in an earlier post here, there was no good news coming out of the ERHC Energy annual shareholders meeting except that our Acting CEO Nicolae Luca is leaving and that company Secretary Peter Ntephe, with us since 2001, will take his place in the same transient capacity.

There was some unnerving news, though: it seem our drillship, the Aban Abraham, is still in drydock and not expected to arrive in the Gulkf of Guineau anytimes soon. The company is still looking for a "ship of opportunity," as VP Jim Leadbetter put it, which is a nice way of saying we are in a life-or-death struggle with other drillers to get a ship together that can deliver some of that $120-a-barrel oil that lies in the Block 4 prospect.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Howard Jeter reiterated the remarks of several speakers when he said that finding a permanent CEO is management'sfirst priority, and added that once this is accomplished the board may expand by two or three members.

Attorney Michael Madigan. who is representing us in the SEC/DOJ investigation of the company's dealing with foreign leaders, stated pretty unequivocally that while the government can't be hurried, there is no evidence against the company tgo prosecute it at trial. Madigan seemed confident that no indictment would ever occur, but I did not hear him say that, if he did, as I didn't get into the live broadcast until 5:15PM ET.

And, of course, I have been telling readers the samer thing for about a year. It seems like they could have done the same, really.

The lack of news may have been reflected in the lack of support ERHE received on the OTC Bulletin Board, where trading was only a little above average at 745,889, but traders took the share price down 13.21%, or 7 cents.

It might be wise for investors to go back through ther posts on the message boards elsewhere and search out those posters who implied or predicted good news coming from the annual meeting. Those are the folks whose advice you need to avoid.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Cancer Cures Are A Dime A Dozen

Did anyone see the Leslie Stahl piece Sunday nioght after the Master's about a man's homemade garage-workshop cure for cancer? John Kanzius proved that heating tumors tagged with liquid metals like gold nanoparticles can utterly destroy cancer in rats in a heartbeat.

But don't get excited. It's another real cure that will go nowhere.

I recently tried to get the St. Pete Times to write about the long, if not infinite. delay between discovery of a promising cure and human trials. They seem unwilling to touch it. I watched this business about gold nanoparticles and I say to myself, any cure anyone finds better be expensive as hell or the cancer Establishment will shut it down in a heartbeat.

"60 Minutes" is so vacuous sometimes, particularly with respect to the surrounding issues, that I wonder if they are just stupid over there, or what? Four years "to start" human trials - while millions upon millions who would gladly try it die. Human papilloma virus (HPV) was also effective in killing tumors when injected into glial blastomas - but trials are 10 years away. Up in Montreal, the Children's Hospital found a way to cure diabetes overnight by injecting capsicum into the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas and found that insulin started flowing normally within 24 hours. But human studies need $5 million to get started. A British study showed that a person was completely cured within minutes of Alzheimer's after a drug for spinal repair (I forget the name) was injected into the spine. It was taken up to the brain and instantly dissolved the plaque that causes Alzheimer's, and the human patient began functioning normally right away.

You can go on and on, and what it boils down to is that hospitals, doctors, medical schools and insurance companies can't afford cures.

The economic losses due to a simple diabetes cure would be on the order of $18 billion alone. Curing cancer simply and cheaply would cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

That's why there are no cures - and it's why patients have no real advocates in Congress or anywhere. Only dedicated physicians who work largely alone and unfunded are making progress, it seems.

Who is the brave and daring dead man who'll take the medical industry on? When will "60 Minutes" get a clue?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good News

There's a message barely spoken in the statement of a high-ranking Justice Dept. official associated with the Rep. William Jefferson bribery case and the decision by the US Supreme Court Friday not to hear an appeal by the DOJ of a denial by an appellate court of the Department's right to raid Jefferson's congressional offices.

The word is "potential," as in the DOJ feels the Supreme Court made it difficult or impossible to pursue other potential bribery and corruption cases that may have had an association with Jefferson, Africa, and - we suggest - Nigeria in particular.

In other words, ladies and gentleman, case closed. At least that's the way it looked, and it appears that's the way investors took it when they pushed the price of ERHE as much as 4 cents higher on Friday, and left it up $0.03 at the end of the day.

I want to write more about this, but tax day is upon us and I'm awfully short of time. I'll try to get back to it promptly, but for now, that's my read: The DOJ has found in the Jefferson case a way to rid themselves of the embarrassment of the ERHE situation.

Hoo boy!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Big Moves

Up again, down again, up again - the daily leaps and stumbles of ERHE are hard to predict and perhaps harder still to understand.

One certainty is that the penny-stock newsletters have been successively weighing in ever since we started our move up from around $0.25. Today's tipster, which rated a blurb on my E*Trade news engine, helped push the stock from $0.42 to $0.48 today (it's down at $0.45 as I post at 2:10PM ET Friday).

As long as the stock keeps performing like that, it's a certainty that the tipsters will keep pumping - that is, until they start dumping, which is less common now that the SEC has published the Threshhold list of short stocks.

Do the moves have any specific, substantial news behind them? 'Fraid not.

But there is always one piece of news that ought to be driving this stock higher every day, guided by caution since the jury is still out, literally, on the FBI and SEC bribery allegations - and that is that within four or five months or seven or eight months, Addax, Sinopec and the drillship Aban Abraham are going to start exploring on Block 4, and that's all she wrote.

There is a virtual certainty the Gulf of Guinea concession where we hold a 26 percent interest is brimming with black gold.

I was struck by the fact that posters didn't know who Mary Kay Dimke is. She's the U.S. Attorney to whom the FBI/SEC investigation of alleged foreign bribery is assigned, and who is making her case as we speak in front of Federal Grand Jury in Houston. The fact that she stopped by to check some information from 2006 was more than interesting to me; I felt as though the time of decision on whether to hand down indictments is near.

Of course, if you do sell your stock and I buy it, you can blame me, yourself or her; as I've said for the past few weeks, anyone selling now is just inviting themselves to get aced out of very large gains.

Hang on, as always. If the indictments do come down, those, too, will pass. ERHC Energy is going to be a winner, I believe, no matter what.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

From The 'Nuff Said Dept.

ERHC On The Move
By Location > Visit Detail
Visit 388,030
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IP Address 149.101.1.# (US Dept of Justice)
ISP US Dept of Justice
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : District of Columbia
City : Washington
Lat/Long : 38.9097, -77.0231 (Map)

Language English (U.S.)
Operating System Microsoft WinXP
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Monitor Resolution : 1280 x 1024
Color Depth : 32 bits

Time of Visit Mar 31 2008 2:08:51 pm
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Referring URL dimke
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Visit Entry Page http://erhc.blogspot...6_06_01_archive.html
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Out Click
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Visit Number 388,030


Monday, March 31, 2008

ERHE Set To Open At $0.59

ERHE is set to open $0.07 higher than it closed on Friday, an unprecedented kind of leap for this stock and and yet another indication it is headed for the stratosphere.

Three purchases of 7,500 shares went off at $0.54 and then $0.59 in the early extended hours trading.

Now, a total of 20,000 shares have traded at this price.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Comments. Anyone?

With time, wounds heal. The rotten spam produced by the former moderator of the Investor's Hub message board is behind me now, and I have reopened the board here to comments for the first time in a couple of years. Just click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of the post to begin the registration process.

I can't say I haven't learned a few things. To comment, you must register and become a member of the blog, just as you would at Investor's Hub. In addition, we have an addition level of screening; posts must be approved by me before they are can be read by others.

I will not approve spammed comments, libelous stuff, undue criticism or bad language. You are welcome to criticize or praise ERHC Energy, its officers, directors and shareholders, and I just ask that you do so in a tone of constructive fairness. A failure to be fair won't get your post canned, though; it will just persuade me and other readers the poster is not a reliable voice.

It just occurred to me that I haven't checked the mailbox where those posts go, so I'd better do so now.

Meanwhile, there are many of you I look forward to hearing from, and I hope you'll soon be writing to us. This past week, on three days we had more than 500 readers, and I wouldn't be surprised if that number didn't increasae with the share price!

See you soon: Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Who Reads This Blog, Anyway?

One answer to that question is "Folks in Houston, folks at the beach, and folks in Canada," at least based on a cursory glance at the origins of our last 100 visitors.

Here's the list: Can you pick out your hometown?

United States Buffalo, New York
United States
United States
United States Bradenton, Florida
United States Tulsa, Oklahoma
United States Cape Coral, Florida
United States Pensacola, Florida
United States Newhall, California
United States Los Angeles, California
Canada Ottawa, Ontario
United States Victoria, Texas
United States Cordova, Tennessee
United States Abbeville, Louisiana
United States Sherman Oaks, California
United States Absecon, New Jersey
Canada Brampton, Ontario
United States Atlanta, Georgia
United States Houston, Texas
United States Anchorage, Alaska
United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Canada Ottawa, Ontario
Canada Vancouver, British Columbia
United States Houston, Texas
United States Port Allen, Louisiana
United States Carson City, Nevada
United States Overland Park, Kansas
United States Opelousas, Louisiana
United States
United States Austell, Georgia
United States Fernandina Beach, Florida
United States Huntington Beach, California
United States Boynton Beach, Florida
United States Houston, Texas
United States Flower Mound, Texas
United States Cheyenne, Wyoming
United States Caledonia, Michigan
United States Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States New York
United States Little Rock, Arkansas
United States Colorado Springs, Colorado
United States Tampa, Florida
United States Houston, Texas
United States Flemington, New Jersey
United States New Orleans, Louisiana
United States Wilton, Connecticut
United States Los Angeles, California
United States Huntsville, Texas
United States La Mirada, California
United States Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States Houston, Texas
United States New York
United States Las Vegas, Nevada
United States Burnsville, Minnesota
New Zealand Levin
United States
United States Portland, Oregon
United States
United States Moss Point, Mississippi
United States Los Angeles, California
Germany Barsinghausen, Niedersachsen
Canada Montreal, Quebec
United States West New York, New Jersey
United States Wayne, Pennsylvania
United States Johnson City, New York
United States Redondo Beach, California
United States Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States Lafayette, Louisiana
Nigeria Kano
United States San Francisco, California
United States University Park, Pennsylvania
United States Arlington, Texas
United States Shawnee, Kansas
United States Los Angeles, California
United States Leona, Texas
Germany Barsinghausen, Niedersachsen
United States Galveston, Texas
United States Winter Park, Florida
United States Houston, Texas
United States Plano, Texas
United States Chicago, Illinois
United States
United States Houston, Texas
United States West Palm Beach, Florida
United States Brentwood, New York
United States Boca Raton, Florida
United States Boca Raton, Florida
United States Bloomington, Indiana
United States Hacienda Heights, California
United States Boca Raton, Florida
United States Springdale, Arkansas
United States Riverside, Rhode Island
United States Kirkland, Washington
United States Galveston, Texas
United States Metropolis, Illinois
United States Great Bend, Kansas
United States Washington, District of Columbia
United States Quincy, Massachusetts
United States Bradenton, Florida
United States La Habra, California

Friday, March 28, 2008

What A Wonderful Week It Was

Well, we're up 100 percent in the past week, surpassing the expectations of even the most ardent and vocal longs. Why did it happen, and what does it mean?

First, it means that Sir Emeka Offor can exercise his option to buy 1,000,000 shares at $0.25 he`was granted last year and make $270,000 doing so at Friday's closing price. That ought to put him a good mood next week. Then there's 5,250,000 shares that were issued to Feltang International for its help in securing the Sinopec tie-up after we'd lost several of our earlier drilling partners. That's $2,730,000 for them, whoever they are. And SEO's net worth, based on 303,000,000 shares, rose $82,000,000.

Beyond that, hundreds of shareholders suddenly found themselves once again in the black. That would have been $22,000 and change - not a bad haul for one week - had I stayed in, but I sold all but 100 shares at my wife's urging at $0.29. I've been talking to her about that.

But to me, the most important accomplishment of this wonderful week for investors was the cushion we've given ourselves against any indictments that may come down from the Federal Grand Jury in Houston that is looking into bribery claims proffered by the Attorney General of Sao Tome & Principe, the love child of R. Dobie Langenkamp and George Soros, the billionaire formerly allied with our onetime partner, Pioneer Natural Resources, and God knows who else.

If the indictments come down now, they would surely drive the price down, too - but maybe just to $0.25 or so, and that fall would probably be followed by a very quick rebound. I don't see how even a conviction could do lasting harm, unless they allowed a character clause in the JDZ agreement (and there is one) to be exercised, so that our concession rights return to the JDZ for resale.

But as there is evidently (!) no evidence for a conviction, and probably not even for an indictment. or even the protracted investigation that began a year ago Tuesday with the raid on our Houston offices, I expect the SEC to seek a fine in the $300,000 range that would not require an admission of guilt. I think ERHC, even if innocent of the charges, wouild probably accept that to make it all go away before drilling.

My hunch is that if the indictments come down at all, it will be soon. I'm not sure what the term of the jury is, but if it is the standard year, they will happen soon if at all. We need to call the U.S. District Clerk of the Court next week and see what's shaking with that.

In fact, it's possible that our attorneys have learned on the QT that indictments are unlikely and signaled the company. The company couldn't say that in a press release until it's officially cleared or indicted, and I'm not sure how word would spread to other shareholders who want to see the price rise. It could, though, I suppose.

But let's do some guessing. I can't see the steady march from $0.22 to to $0.52 occurring as it has without a powerful driver. I did give it a good write-up in The American Reporter, and some very, very wealthy and powerful people do read our paper around the world, not only from Europe but places like Iran, Syria, China and Russia, where people likely to know about the paper are also likely to be well-heeled.

On top of that, I have made some pretty strong points in recent weeks that riled a lot of investors who misread it, as when I said it was time to sell your shares - if you want to get screwed in a hurry out of a much better price. That seemed to have the effect of locking down the share price around $0.22 for a week or so, so it didn't fall back to $0.18 or $0.19 as it had repeatedly done for months and months earlier. This bloh currently averages 410 readers per day, according to Site Meter.

Then came balance_builder's report on the whiteboard that seemed to show the outlines of a future deal. Both the p.r. man who writes for ERHC Energy, Dan Keeney, and the company in the CEO's Update tried to knock the rumor cold, but the excitement was then exacerbated by an Addax presentation that seems to show a vast amount of oil waiting for us in Block 4. The whiteboard was an iomportant catalyst, as was the seismic from Addax of the Kina formation under Block 4 of the Nigeria-Sao Tome & Pirncipe Joint Development Zone..

Finally, the company repeated its guidance that there would likely be drilling in the fourth quarter of 2008, which - especially from the viewpoint of people who have held the stock for five years or more - is not very long to wait.

Well, that's the big picture. Drilling is a few months ahead, the seismics look terrific, the indictments haven't come and now the penny traders are pouring in over the transom. Can we go to $1.00?


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Luca Updates Shareholders: Drilling In 2008

Acting ERHC Energy CEO Nicolae Luca has released another of the company's useful monthly updates, this one closer to spelling out the drilling date for Block 4, where the company has a 26.7% interest - "as early as the last quarter of 2008" - and also called attention to the Addax presentation that seems to promise huge quantitites of oil in Block 4 and other concessions:

The images showcase what geologists and engineers, using advanced technologies, have determined lies beneath 5,000 feet of water and sand on the bottom of the Gulf of Guinea.

The company again debunked the "whiteboard" rumors, declaring the photos (see below)merely reflective of ERHC's general plans and not of any specific deal:

ERHC Energy has not signed any letters of intent (LOIs), memoranda of understanding, undertakings or any other form of legal obligation related to any information or transaction that might appear to be depicted in the photograph.

PR Man Dan Keeney was even more precise earlier in the week (see post below).

The date for Block 2 was simply 2009, with no quarter asked or given, and for Block 2 as simply "2009."

The company also disclosed that it turned down a proposal to byuy an unstated interestin a Vietnames mining operation, and that it is still looking for such opportunities.

Here is the update, just released:

Interim CEO Updates ERHC Energy Inc. Shareholders

HOUSTON, TX, Mar 27, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- The following update on Company activities was issued by Nicolae Luca, interim chief executive officer of ERHC Energy Inc. (OTCBB: ERHE), on Thursday, March 27, 2008.
"To ERHC Shareholders:

"I am pleased once again to provide an update on the recent progress of ERHC Energy Inc.

"Our team continues to make progress toward exploration of some of our assets in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of West Africa. ERHC Energy's assets in the Gulf of Guinea include interests in the deepwater Joint Development Zone (JDZ) as well as interests in the territorial waters of Sao Tome and Principe known as the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). To date, attention has been focused on JDZ Blocks 2, 3 and 4.

"JDZ Block 4 is most likely to be the first of our exploratory drilling locations. ERHC has a 26.7 percent (1) participating interest in JDZ Block 4. Our technical partner, Addax Petroleum, an experienced exploration and production company with significant interests throughout the JDZ, is the operator of JDZ Block 4. Addax executives have indicated that drilling could commence as early as the fourth quarter of this year. The Joint Development Authority (JDA), which was set up by the governments of Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe to administer the JDZ, has approved the first drilling location, the Kina Prospect.

"Initial exploration of JDZ Block 2, in which ERHC Energy has a 22 percent participating interest, is currently expected to commence in 2009. Sinopec Corp. is the operator of JDZ Block 2. As we have stated previously, Sinopec and Addax Petroleum jointly contracted the Aban Abraham deepwater drillship, which continues to undergo refurbishment in Singapore. Discussions continue regarding the specific drilling location in JDZ Block 2.

"In JDZ Block 3, in which ERHC Energy has a 10 percent participating interest, the JDA has approved the first well location at what is known as the Lemba Prospect. Anadarko is the operator of JDZ Block 3 and has not disclosed a potential timeline for exploration.

"If you have not recently visited the ERHC Web site, I encourage you to review the latest seismic images that have been disclosed by our technical partner, Addax Petroleum, at The images showcase what geologists and engineers, using advanced technologies, have determined lies beneath 5,000 feet of water and sand on the bottom of the Gulf of Guinea.

"ERHC remains interested in diversifying its asset and investment portfolio. As reported several months ago, ERHC's board of directors approved the reformulation of ERHC's business plan and expansion of strategic focus in August 2007. Greater flexibility was therefore granted to the Company's leadership, letting us explore opportunities beyond the Gulf of Guinea. Most recently, after due consideration and technical appraisal of a proposal to acquire a significant stake in a company pursuing mining investments in South East Asia, ERHC decided not to pursue the proposal. Going forward, ERHC will continue to consider opportunities in mining and minerals in addition to possible acquisitions in oil and gas.

"Plans are taking shape for ERHC Energy's annual shareholders' meeting on April 22, 2008. The requisite notice of meeting and proxy statement were filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 17, 2008. The documentation has been mailed to all shareholders of record as of that date. The meeting will be held at the Renaissance Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas. We hope to see you there.

"ERHC Energy's annual report for 2007 has been completed and is also being sent to shareholders of record as of March 17, 2008. The annual report extends the Company's theme, 'Deep Opportunity.' The annual report continues our telling of the ERHC story and we encourage you to pass it along to others.

"Speaking of telling the ERHC story, the ERHC Energy staffers were doing a lot of that at Nigeria Oil & Gas 2008, a major conference and exhibition in Abuja, Nigeria where ERHC had a significant presence as sponsor and exhibitor. Some photographs from the event have been posted on our Web site and if you have not already seen them, please do so. According to conference organizers, the event attracted nearly 4,400 visitors, approximately 1,100 conference delegates and more than 100 journalists. It was an enormous success. Stories featuring ERHC Energy have already appeared in a number of trade publications.

"And finally, we have received a number of questions from shareholders regarding the significance of a photograph used in various marketing materials and posted online in February. As we have consistently stated, ERHC's management continues to explore options, proposals and prospects that might advance the interests of the Company and our shareholders. It is important to note, however, that ERHC Energy has not signed any letters of intent (LOIs), memoranda of understanding, undertakings or any other form of legal obligation related to any information or transaction that might appear to be depicted in the photograph. In the event that the ERHC leadership signs or enters into any LOIs or agreements related or giving rise to any material transaction, we will publicly disclose that information by the requisite means of dissemination.

"On behalf of the entire ERHC Energy family, thank you for your ongoing trust and support."

Sincerely, Nicolae Luca
Acting Chief Executive Officer

What A Dope!

Investors who never cared much for me, anyway, have the right to gloat this week. I sold 81,000 shares at $0.29, aceing myself out of more than $8,000 in gains since then. The stock hit $41 today.

Why is the runup happening? I like to think it's because of the write-up I gave the stock in The American Reporter, my online newspaper, on the Monday morning when it looked like Bear Stearns Cos. was going to crash and take the financial world down with it.

If investors wanted advice, I told them, I'd recommend ERHE despite some issues concerning the SEC and FBI.

And I pointed out that the biggest of all oil and gold speculators - the "commercials" - have amassed the largest short position in history on both those commodities.

So what happened? Well, the same day that appeared, gold hit an all-time high of $1,032 per ounce, and oil was at $111, I think. Immediately thereafter, though, gold sufffered its greatest one-day drop - about $75 an ounce - and oil also fell sharply.

ERHE, however, has risen more than 50%.

Do as I say, not as I do. And congratulations to all those myriad investors who stuck with the stock through thick, thin and profit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm Out - At Least For Now

I liquidated all but 100 shares of my 81,625-share position today at an average of $0.29, earning around $3,200 on an investment made in about six buys between last June and early March. I suspect I'll be back in again before long. I continue to believe in this stock, but I need some money to live on, too, and it freed up four times the proceeds for margin buys.

Bear Stearns, anyone?

'Whiteboard' Niotes Were Staged, Meaningless, ERHC's PR Man Says

Dan Keeney, the much-improved public relations man for ERHC Energy, tried to pop the balloon of interest that has seized Investor's Hub ever since an investior gave Balance Builder a few blow-ups of a photograph showing apparent deal-making in the works at a recent Nigeria Oil & Gas conference. Speculation has been that the various notes on the whiteboard show ERHC's desire to attract investment, form a new entity on the TYoronto Stock Exchange and acquire new properties in the Nigerian Gulf of Guinea.

That;s pure imagination, says Kenney, responding to one investor named Dr. J.:

Dear Dr. J

I’ll tell you want I’ve told others: Shareholders are certainly welcome to apply whatever amount of significance to anything they please, but as is the case with most photos included in marketing materials, this came from a photo shoot and all the elements, including what was on the flip chart, were created and staged for the purposes of this shot. The person “presenting” is the company’s administrative assistant, Sarah Kanorwala. I can assure you that she is acting and that all elements of this shot were created for the shot. In other photos from this shoot, the company’s receptionist, Carol, is among those participating in the “meeting.” It was all created for the shoot and to create interesting visual elements for the photo, nothing more than that.

Well, at least we know who the beautiful brunette is!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wow! Great Detective Work Illuminates ERHC's Buyout / Acquisition Plan

An extraordinary revelation on Good Friday by Investor's Hub moderator balance_builder has the whole board talking - and all of us scratching our heads as we try to make sense of a white board presentation, apparently from a road trip or the Nigerian Oil & Gas Conference last Fall. Click on any of the photos below to enlarge them.

First, here's the link to the Flash video in question, with balance_builder's instructions on how to isolate and zoom the whiteboard:

Click on the flash video presentation (link below) that ERHC aired at the 2/08 Nigeria Oil and Gas conference.

While reviewing the video you will need to freeze it at the point where you see the very pretty brunette standing at the white board with marker in hand.

How to Freeze Video to show desired slide:
As video slides progress, left hand click then right hand click. This will bring up a list of commands. Put your cursor on "back" and when the purty bruness comes up click on "back". You will now be froze onto the desired slide. From there, you can zoom in and out to read ERHC's "white board".

Here's the photo, part 1:

The discussion of Addax and other players and their percentagers in the various blocks of the Joint Development Zone seems to lead into a discussion of investing in ERHC Energy or "portfolio exchange," which means exchanging stocks in one prtfolio for stock in another, and then goes on to discuss a new entity, possibly on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The word "Brenner" apparently refers to athe Brenner investment advisory group whose presenter, the pretty brunette, may be financial analyst Erlinda Arriola of El Paso.

Here's second short of the picture, focusing on the right side:

The same people who have been trying to keep the share price down by pooh-poohing talk of a buyout are angry with balance_builder for revealing the pictures, saying he may botch up some deal the company has in the works.

The only issue I have with that is that any secret deal would involve getting our shares on the cheap, as has been the case for almost a year. As soon as word leaks out on Monday morning that some sort of deal is actively being contemplated, I bet the price will rise. Remember, this is a three-day weekend... . (For new readers, this infamous phrase was coined by me a couple of years ago when I noticed that many of the major developments with ERHC Energy were announced at the tail end of a three-day weekend, which may have given some investors an opportunity to trade ERHE on German exchanges, for instance, while US exchanges were closed. I was much derided until, of course, the award of the block percentages to ERHE came at the end of a three-day weekend.

Here's a shot including the lovely presenter:

And finally, below you'll find a final shot that some poster did to transmute the content of the board into normal type. The choice of words represents a general consensus about what the words and phrases in the photographs actually areas opposed to what, in sum, they mean::

Again, this one interprets the whiteboard content:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

ERHC Goes All YouTube

Well, that's surely an exaggeration, but the debut performance of Technical VP James Ledbetter on an Internet video about the company's Gulf of Guinea prospects got largely negative reviews for performance but excellent reviews for knowledge, which probably suits Ledbetter fine.

Generally, investors thought he looked nervous (by contrast, watch me debate two Republican strategists on Iranian television on the afternoon of March 4; not a tremor in sight!).

Seriously, Jim, you were just fine. Here's the link:

Anticipation Builds

ERHC Energy has formally noticed its Annual Shareholder Meeting, and there's lots of talk on Investor's Hub about going or not going and especially the content of a proposed shareholder motion from the floor at the April 22 meeting. Suspecting that it is a motion to sell the company, the price of our shares has been moving fitfully in a modestly upward direction.

The kinds of gains we have seen in recent weeks, in which the share price has marched from $0.18 to $0.25 today, are not usually supported in the summer months and investors may find that is the case again this year. However, there is a very substantial difference between this and other years, and that is the possibility that we will drill for oil with our partners Addax and Sinopec sometime in the late Fall. That would be wonderful, and I think people are wisely declining to sell their cheap shares and forgo those profits that could result in October.

I am hard-pressed to hang in to my shares with all the other bills that pile up, but I resisted the temptation to sell them all today in hopes i can make a little money somewhere else and buy them back at the same price next week. Better to wait, I decided, even though I can't imagine that the FBI and SEC investigations should extend much longer before a grand jury in Houston decides whether or not to hand down indictments.

As I've said repeatedly (and besides having won a Supreme Court case, Shea v. Reno, I've spent a lot of time writing about and covering the courts, and learned a thing or two from my Uncle Billy, who was state court judge in New York for 21 years, I don't believe they have the evidence to do anything but strongarm us out of a $300,000 fine, if that.

Well, here's the first two pages of the SEC filing, which also seeks the re-election of existing directors:


5444 Westheimer Road, Suite 1440,
Houston, Texas 77056

March 17, 2008

To the Holders of Shares of Common Stock:

You are cordially invited to attend the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of ERHC Energy Inc. (the “Company”), which will be held at 3:00 p.m. on April 22, 2008 at The Renaissance Houston Hotel, 6 Greenway Plaza East, Houston, Texas 77046.

Information about the Annual Meeting, including matters on which shareholders will act, may be found in the Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement accompanying this letter. We look forward to greeting in person as many of our shareholders as possible.

We request that you mark, sign, date, and mail the enclosed proxy card promptly.

Prompt return of your voted proxy will reduce the cost of further mailings. You may revoke your voted proxy in the manner described in the accompanying Proxy Statement at any time prior to its exercise at the meeting, or you may vote in person if you attend the meeting. Returning the proxy does NOT deprive you of your right to attend the Annual Meeting. If you decide to attend the Annual Meeting and wish to change your proxy vote, you may do so automatically by voting in person at the meeting.

We look forward to greeting you at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders on April 22, 2008.

Sincerely yours,


/s/ Peter Ntephe

Corporate Secretary



5444 Westheimer Road, Suite 1440,
Houston, Texas 77056


April 22, 2008

To the Holders of Shares of Common Stock:

Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of ERHC Energy Inc. (the “Company”), will be held:


3:00 p.m on Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The Renaissance Houston Hotel
6 Greenway Plaza East
Houston, Texas 77046


(1) To elect Three Directors, each to serve for the term expiring in 2009 or until their successor is elected and qualified;
(2) To consider and vote upon a shareholder proposal, if properly presented; and
(3) To Act upon any other matters that may properly come before the meeting.


Holders of Record of Shares of Common Stock on the close of business on March 17, 2008, are entitled to vote at the meeting.


It is important that your shares be represented and voted at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Please MARK, SIGN, DATE, AND RETURN PROMPTLY the enclosed proxy card in the postage-paid envelope furnished for that purpose. You may revoke your voted proxy in the manner described in the accompanying proxy statement at any time prior to its exercise at the meeting, or you may vote in person if you attend the meeting.

By orders of the Board of Directors,

/s/ Peter Ntephe

Peter Ntephe

Corporate Secretary

Dated: March 17, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mysterious Dealings, Major Gains

ERHC Energy's largely unwanted reputation for mysterious dealings won another notch yesterday as the share price defied the "perfect economic storm" that hit U.S. markets Friday and rose 13% - as much as Lehman Bros. fell - and a huge trade of 357.000 shares hit the tape 14 minutes after the close and then - what else? - mytseriously disappeared.

I had purchased about 6,000 shares over the past 10 days as the price retreated slightly, picking up some as low as $0.205, and unexpectedly found myself in the black at the end of the day on my 81,000 shares.

It was one of those days when every single other one of the 35-odd very diverse stocks I monitor closely declines.

The only development of the day was talk of an announcement of the company's annual shareholder meeting, which has not been noted by a press release or an SEC filing yet. I'll be in Miami that day, unfortunately, but I doubt that significant news will come out of the meeting. It never has in the past.

Scuttlebutt on one board suggested that the 357,000-share trade was a purchase order that was then cancelled. Final volume on my ADVFN tally was about 566,000 shares, with 273,000 purchased, 272,000 sold and 44,000 indeterminate. The numbers, however, do not add up.

I warned recently that only those who are anxious to get cheated out of substantial gains should sell at this time, but that didn't stop a seller seconds before the final bell from selling 50,000 at $0.25; and 16 seconds after the bell, someone painted the tape to a $0.251 close with a 100-share purchase.

What are we to make of these events? Someone might have dared to enter the huge order - it apparently went in after 3 p.m. - in order to create the illusion of greater demand, and then cancelled it before execution could occur (at an average of $0.2381). But that $85,000 play looks pretty risky to me. If so, the player would have been whoever sold 50,000 at the close and cashed in on their daring move.

I had a similar thought when I reported that the $300 million in funding for the Kosmos drilling that will be done by the Aban Abraham might be in trouble due to the problems of Blackstone Capital Partners, with the possibility then arising that we could drill much earlier than expected. I was startled to see someone suddenly opost a note warning, oh, no, that can't happen, they don't have the equipment they need!

A few posters quickly responded that this suggestion was patently ridiculous because both of our Block 4 partners, Addax and Sinopec, have mountains of equipment all over the Gulf of Guinea region. That seemed like such a manufactured response that I felt that whoever is trying to keep the price down so Addax might mount a $1.6 billion buyout (the budget has increased about as much as our share price) is actively manipulating the board to allow the buyer to soak up hundreds of thousands of cheap shares while they are still available.

For my part, I think those shares are precious now more than ever. Investigations or not, indictments or not, ERHC's day is coming and I plan to be there.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Update On Aban Abraham; Kosmos Drilling Funder 'Staring Into Jaws Of Hell'

A poster on IHub has updated us with a graf from the Aban Abraham Website describing the activities of the ship, and suggesting an earlier drilling date than we have seen before, but the big news is the financial condition of the two venture capitalists that have offered a "provisional commitment" to Kosmos to fund their drilling offshore Ghana in West Africa. Spokesman for both companies have not returned calls about the funding commitment.

06/03/2007 - Aban Offshore Ltd’s subsidiary, Aban Abraham Pte Ltd has entered into a drilling contract with affiliates of Addax Petroleum Corporation of Canada and Sinopec for deployment of the Drillship Aban Abraham offshore West Africa. The contract will be performed in direct continuation of the contract announced earlier with Pioneer / Kosmos and is likely to commence after May 15, 2008.The contract is for 5 firm wells and 5 optional wells. The estimated duration of the contract is 300 days for the firm wells, which could go up to 600 days if the optional wells are declared. The revenue expected from the above contract would be USD 123 million which could increase to USD 246 million if all the optional wells are declared.

However, the same poster tells us the ship has a date with Kosmos Energy for six months - three solid, three conditional - offshore Ghana before our own contract is fulfilled. Of course, Kosmos has to show it has the money to pay for the ship, an issue which may become problematic. The company has been promised a $300 million private equity infusion from Warburg Pincus and Blackstone Capital Partners, both of which are subject to the vagaries of Wall Street - which is producing a lot of vagrants these days.

Kosmos has received provisional commitments of up to $300 million from management, Warburg Pincus, the global private equity firm, and Blackstone Capital Partners, an affiliate of The Blackstone Group, an international private investment bank, to pursue exploration ventures in West Africa.

Warburg has lost $33 million on its $300 million investment in MBIA, the troubled bond insurer, since it purchased the stock in mid-February, and at the time, declined to complete another $300-million in convertibles from MBIA. It still has lots of money, however. A company spokeswoman promised to return our call, but hasn't done so - never a good sign.

On Warburg's Website, Warburg does have a writeup about Kosmos, but there's no mention of the commitment:

Kosmos Energy, based in Dallas, Texas, is a privately-held international oil exploration and production company focused on emerging and frontier basins offshore West Africa. Kosmos is led by a seasoned management and technical team formerly with Triton Energy. This team has a proven track record of discovering and developing significant oil and gas reserves offshore West Africa and in other international basins. Warburg Pincus led the company’s initial equity financing in 2004. Since formation, Kosmos has secured deepwater licenses in Ghana, Benin, Morocco and Nigeria, as well as onshore licenses in Cameroon. Kosmos is currently prospecting in its initial core areas while evaluating additional opportunities.

Meanwhilwe, according to the Wall Street Journal, Blackstone is actually in the red after a fourth-quarter loss:

Private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP swung to a fourth-quarter loss on stock-compensation costs as the company cited "significant challenges" tied to declining equity and fixed-income markets and the credit crunch.

Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen A. Schwarzman offered little light in a gloomy forecast, saying that "difficult market conditions in the U.S. and Europe continue in 2008 and there is little visibility on when these conditions might improve."

And the New York Times reports today:

The private equity firm reported $128 million in net income excluding expenses tied to its initial public offering, an 86 percent decline from a year ago...

The Times also wrote:

Celebrated buyout firms like the Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, hailed only a year ago for their deal-making prowess, are seeing their profits collapse as the credit crisis spreads through the financial markets.

Investors fear that some of the companies that these firms bought on credit could, like millions of American homeowners, begin to buckle under their heavy debts now that a recession seems almost certain. The buyout lords themselves suddenly confront gaping multibillion-dollar losses on their investments.

On a day in which the stock market tumbled to its lowest point in two years and rumors flew that a major Wall Street firm might be in trouble, Blackstone said Monday that its profit had plunged. The firm said earnings tumbled 89 percent in the final three months of 2007 and warned that the deep freeze in the credit markets — and, by extension, in the private equity industry — was unlikely to thaw soon.

“They see the handwriting on the wall,” said Martin S. Fridson, a leading expert on junk bonds, said of buyout firms. “They’re staring into the jaws of hell.”

It is a major turn of events for Blackstone and its chief executive, Stephen A. Schwarzman, who took the firm public last year at the height of the buyout binge. On paper, Mr. Schwarzman has personally lost $3.9 billion as the price of Blackstone’s stock sank.

Even so, Mr. Schwarzman is still worth billions, more than rich enough to pledge $100 million to the New York Public Library, as he plans to do Tuesday.

There remains the possibility that Kosmos could undwerwite the drilling itself after discovering a new well offshore Ghana, announced on February 25. It is partnered with Pioneer Natural Resources, George Soros' former pet project and our former partner, and presumably Pioneer could advance the money to Kosmos in excchange for rights, stock or a promissory note.

While we await word from either company on the status of the Kosmos commitment, we note parenthetically that Blackstone, like Warburg, has a longstanding relationship with Kosmos as an equity holder. However, the company Website does not list Kosmos among its "strategic" allies in the energy business. A Blackstone spokesman said he would investigate our qury about the commitment and get back to us in about an hour, but no word has come from him, either. Silence is often one way of breaking bad news.

Meanwhile, Warburg has already established a $300 million stake just 20 days ago in Cambrian Energy, a Canadian explorer:

CALGARY, Alberta, February 21, 2008 – Canbriam Energy, Inc. announced today that it entered into an equity financing arrangement of up to US$300 million from company management, Warburg Pincus, and ARC Financial Corp. to pursue the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and gas interests in certain onshore regions of Canada and the United States.

Canbriam Energy will explore for and develop oil and gas resources in selected hydrocarbon basins in North America. Initially, Canbriam Energy will concentrate on unconventional oil and gas opportunities in Western Alberta and Eastern British Columbia. Over time, the company will draw on the previous experience of its management team to target other unconventional opportunities where it believes significant value can be created through advanced drilling and production technologies.

Little about that situation suggests the venture money is anxious to take a flyer on offshore oil, but you never know. Blackstone stock, for instance, is trading at $14.04, just $0.22 off its 52-week low and way off its $38 52-week high.

What we can surmise fairly freely, however, is that if tight credit conditions continue to prevail, it may be that the two will take a pass on their "provisional" commitment and let the Aban Abraham come straight to papa - oops, I mean ERHC Energy, Addax and Sinopec. Let's just hope the cards fall our way.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Aban Abraham To Set Sail In March? That's What Nigeria's Punch Says

I take it was a hopeful grain of salt, as it's quite contrary to what we've heard from the company and from Addax, but according to Daily Punch, a leading Nigerian newspaper, the Aban Abraham drillship is setting sail this month for the Gulf of Huineau and our blocks in the JDZ.

And the source of this knopwledge? None other than our new Controller, Sylvan Odobolu, whom we all hope was either right or misquoted.

Apparently gambling on the latter, the share price moved up one cent today, giving me an $810 gain - I bought 5,3000 shares in the recent downdraft.

If a March sailing date means an April arrival and a June or July drilling schedule - and for oil selling for $105 a barrel, it's probably worth whatever someone would have to pay to get the ship going - the share price will movbe big time in the near term, which is quite unexpected.

What we have to do next is get Mr. Odobulu on the phone to confirm this news, and to get Addax to put out a release stating it. Then, baby, it's badda badda bing!

ERHC promises bright future for stakeholders
By Clara Nwachukwu
Published: Thursday, 6 Mar 2008
United States-based, ERHC Energy Incorporated has promised a bright future for its investors and other stakeholders, as its investments begin to yield fruits.

The Controller, ERHC, Mr. Sylvan Odobulu, who spoke with our correspondent on Wednesday, said the investment port folion of the company was quite big, adding that its operations were now being carried out in a more transparent manner.

He said the company had been involved in a lot of exploration activities on some of its oil blocks located in the Joint Development Zone, operated by the governments of Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.

According to Odobulu, ”We and our technical partners have been carrying out a lot of exploration, but we have not yet reached production.

”We have signed three production sharing contracts for JDZ blocks 2, 3, and 4 with the Joint Development Authority.”

He insisted that the blocks held huge prospects, adding that they would be developed according to plans, given the calibre of ERHC‘s technical and financial partners.

He said, ”For block 2, we have Asian giant, Sinopec, and they are carrying us through, as there are no expenses borne by ERHC until they recover costs and we share the profit.

For block 3, the operator is Anardako Woodland Texas, and for block 4, is Addax. They are all carrying us through all the expenses.”

He added that both Sinopec and Addax have found a drill ship, Abraham, for their respective blocks. He said the Abraham had been on a re-work and would sail to the JDZ this March.

He, however, said the company still had other PSCs, which had not yet been signed for blocks 5, 6 and 9, due to delays in sourcing for competent technical partners.

In spite of the initial protests against the company‘s investments in the JDZ, Odobulu, insisted, the ERHC had enjoyed tremendous public support, demonstrated by the number of visitors to its stand at the just-concluded Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference.

Although the company was participating for the first time, he said, it was one of the sponsors of the conference, and had attracted a lot of interests.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

ERHC Makes A Showing At Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference

The Company produced a modest photo album after its successful exhibition and sponsorship of the Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference last week in Abuja. The conference was at least partly responsible for a substantial recovery of the stock's share price, which went from $0.175 to $0.25 in a few days.
Mr. Ntephe and Mr. Odobulu

ERHC Energy's Peter Ntephe (left) and Sylvan Odobulu had a busy week telling ERHC's story and answering questions at Nigeria Oil & Gas 200.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What would Addax Buy From ERHC? A Sad Scenario

The news that Addax, our operating partner in several blocks of the Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone (JDZ) has squirre;ed away $1.5 billion for acquisitions has stirred anticipation that a $2 per share offer may be forthcoming from the Swiss drillers whose fortunes, for better or worse, have been allied with ours for more than a year.

That amount - $2 per share x 722,239,000 shares outstanding, conveniently adds up to $1,444,478,000, and leaves $55 million on the table for legal bills, accounting and ERHC debts.

And it seems a reasonable amount for a stock that is currently selling at $0.22, or $158,889,580 of market cap (although the last sale of 1,000 shares at $0.235 x $0.22 was a valiant effort to shore up prices that had fallen all day).

But as usual, I see things a little differently. My guess is that the reason we have no employees to speak of, even a permanent CEO, is that the company is meant to be sold and easily transferable to the buyer.

A buyer won't have a lot of pensions, salaries and severance obligations with a three-person staff, one of whom is part-time. Of course, the company doesn't have any physical operations, either - just signatures of the Joint Ministerial Council on a sheaf of paperwork granting us rights to billions of barrels of oil 10,000 feet under the sea. You could carry the whole company on a CD in a briefcase, because at the end of the day, that's all there is.

But the company is the end-product of the vision of just one man, Sir Emeka Offor, who is no longer controlling the company directly and is no longer on its board. He has transferred 303,000,000 of his shares, or 42% of our outstanding stock, to Chrome Energy LLC, a Cayman Islands bank account which, like the company, amounts to no more than a sheaf of stock and incorporation certificates in a safe deposit box.

If I were Sir Emeka Offor, though, being the one who has been pilloried, sued, accused, smeared, shamed, scarred, castigated, condemned and cheated - and congratulated, at least once - ad infinitum for the past 5 years, I might have other ideas for that $1.5 billion.

I might say to myself, well, let Addax pay me an approximation of what my shares are worth - $5 a share for the entire Chrome Energy LLC holding - and let the shareholders hope it floats their boat, too.

And to some degree it would. While Offor's shares would not give Addax control of the company, it's been able to pick up 50,000 or so a day at $0.20 - $$0.25 a share for some time now without tipping the SEC threshold for an 8-K report. At that rate, it would need 144 trading days (28 weeks) for each 7.22 million shares, or each 1% of the company. A separate deal for 3% or so with the First Atlantic Bank of Nigeria, which holds another 8%, is probably doable, and would yield for majority control.

Now, let's see:

$1.5 billion for 303,000,000 shares amounts to $4.95 a share; maybe, as a sweetener, Offor would keep 3 million (or 1%) to make it a nice round $5 per share. The shareholders will have gotten their $0.20 - $0.25 per share when they sold in the past year. And Addax would be the majority owner of a company that will probably be worth about $14 a share two years from now. Sounds good to me!

Who would deal with the SEC indictments, if they ever come? Well, to the best of my knowledge, it would be the shareholders of ERHC Energy, not Addax or Sir Emeka Offor. If they ever come.

That's why you should sell your shares today. The sooner Addax gets all they need, the sooner you will get screwed. Of course, if you wanted to make them wait closer to drilling, they might sweeten the pot a few cents, but they don't really need you. They need Offor's shares, some of the bank's shares, and the shares you've already sold them.

Congratulations - they're rich!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Brochure Touts ERHC's JDZ Holdings

Taking advantage of new visibility it's gotten by sponsorsing an exhibition at the Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference this week, the company released a brochure it's developed to highlight its strong opportunities in the Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Zone.

The brochure is available as for download as a PDF file, and is to my knowledge one of the first ERHC Energy has produced for general distribution in a long time.

Unfortunately, the word "corporate" is misspelled in the first line of the brief press release, a minor oversight yet one with an embarrassing tinge for those who study etymological origins.

The release comes as volume continues to be stong but share price is slipping from recent highs in the $0.25 - $0.26 region it enjoyed for a day or two. Perhaps a better understanding of the value of ERHC Energy's assets will again propel the price upwards - we hope so!

Here is the release, and the PDF can be downloaded from the "here" link below:

19-Feb-08 11:00 AM CST

New ERHC Energy Corporate Brochure Describes Company's Deep Opportunity

ABUJA, NIGERIA, Feb 19, 2008 - ERHC Energy (OTCBB: ERHE) has begun to distribute its new coprorate brochure, which advances the company's theme: "Deep Opportunity." The brochure is being distributed at the Nigeria Oil & Gas 2008 conference at which ERHC is a sponsor and exhibitor. Nigeria Oil & Gas 2008 continues through February 21, 2008 at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, Nigeria.

The new brochure can be downloaded by clicking here. It features background about ERHC Energy and its operations. Its four inserts describe company milestones, its activities in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) and the Sao Tome & Principe Exclusive Economic Zone, and ERHC's commitment to community outreach.

The Company's sponsorship of Nigeria Oil & Gas 2008 is part of the ERHC's efforts to raise awareness about our ongoing operations and the progress being made toward eventual drilling in the JDZ. ERHC Energy has a visible presence among the more than 4,000 corporate executives, vendors and service partners in the region’s oil industry, as well as the more than 600 senior delegates who are participating

Friday, February 15, 2008

PGS, EEL And Cherwayko Get Bad Press On Sao Tome Deals

An article posted on the market-watching site ADVFN (we have had an account there for three years - just $6.99 a month - and highly recommend) spells out in a lot of detail the contracts with Sao Tome & Principe, the tiny island nation that may hold the key to untold oil riches in the near future, and where ERHC Energy's rights had long been a political football. It may be the first time that someone other than ERHC came under fire its dealings with the country's top officials.

The article was produced by a human rights organization called Norwatch, which usually is focused on wrongdoing involving Norwegian companies. The issue in this case is the chain of custody of PGS copntracts negotiated with the island. Norwatch says Wade Cherwayko, a onetime associate of former ERHC Energy chair Sir Emeka Offor and now the CEO of Equator Exploration (EEL), which prospered mightily on the London AIM exchange when it first started trading there in 2004.

Norwatch says that Cherwayko negotiated the agreements on 3D resource mapping that is Norwegian-owned Petroleum-Gas Services' main business, and payment in the form of three blocks of their choice and 10 percent of tall future signature bonuses the nation would receive. Cherwayko says he did not negotiate the contracts; a former oil minister who negotiated the contracts for Sao Tome says Cherwayko did.

That wildly generous payment was substantially revised, but EEL still ended up with two blocks to be chosen just ahead of ERHC Energy's choices in the country's Exclusive Economic Zone - and 10 percent of the first signature bonus. That meant Sao Tome realized about $2 million, but EEL took its contracts to the stock markets, where investors bet $100 million on them, money Cherwayko can probably take home.

All of this has occurred before a single drop of oil has been produced.

The big question, though, is whether Sao Tome & Principe can ultimately renege on its various contracts, which iobservers say are marred by both internal corruption and inexperience.

Here is the Norwatch article from ADVFN's EEL board:

Posted on the ADVFN EEL board by jimtid

jimtid - 15 Feb'08 - 09:02 - 37432 of 37434


Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) obtained extremely good production agreements with the authorities in the island state of São Tomé e Príncipe in 2001. Many wondered how.

This past summer Norwatch visited the tiny state in the Gulf of Guinea – one of Africa’s poorest states – to get to the bottom of PGS’s activities in the country. In São Tomé Norwatch discovered several of the secret agreements as well as correspondence between PGS and the authorities.

The story of how PGS obtained their oil agreements and what happened to the rights during the years after the contract was entered into is long and intricate. One thing is certain: what happened in São Tomé e Príncipe could never have happened in Norway.

From what Norwatch understands, PGS utilized a Canadian intermediary as a bridgehead on the island. The Canadian had close contacts all the way inside the country’s presidential family, and this is how PGS succeeded in landing its contracts – without having been through a bidding round.

And that’s not all. When PGS was criticised for its involvement by the Norwegian press in 2003, the company explained that it wanted to get out of one of the two criticised contracts. But the buyer wasn’t just anyone. What Norwatch now can reveal is that the company that bought the production agreement that PGS had in São Tomé is run by none other than the same man who negotiated the contract on behalf of PGS. Transfer of the rights from PGS to the Canadian intermediary was even carried out without the authorities being able to intervene. Consequently, São Tomé is saddled with a partner it did not want. Now the new company is expecting to become an operator in the most promising areas in the country’s shelf.

PGS denies to Norwatch that the Canadian businessman is supposed to have represented the Norwegian company in negotiations with the country’s authorities and claims that its involvement in the island is completely in accordance with standards in the field.

Lucrative Agreements

The two agreements that PGS signed in 2001 were criticised as being unreasonable. A World Bank-supported report prepared by an American law firm considered them “extremely one-sided” to São Tomé’s disadvantage. One of the agreements concerned seismic surveys in which PGS received the right to map the sea floor of the country’s territorial waters and to sell the data to the international oil industry. The second agreement gave PGS rights to three oil blocks in the country’s territorial waters, in areas that PGS could choose freely. According to the critics, the PGS conditions were much too generous. After the Norwegian newspaper “Dagens Næringsliv” in 2003 published a long article series about the contents of the contracts, PGS chose to get out of the contract with regard to oil production.

It was the newly established company of the Canadian oil adventurer Wade Cherwayko that took over control of the contracts. Norwatch has now learned from the country’s previous petroleum minister that it is this same Cherwayko who negotiated the gilt-edged agreements as intermediary for PGS in São Tomé. Cherwayko’s Caribbean-registered company Equator Exploration has thereby obtained the right to choose freely the best blocks in the whole island state’s territorial waters.

According to several sources Norwatch has spoken to, Wade Cherwayko is a close friend and business partner of Patrice Trovoada, son of the president at that time. The president’s son was called into the negotiations on behalf of the authorities in the middle of the negotiations with PGS. Norwatch has learned this from someone who participated in the negotiations.

With the production agreement from PGS as its only asset, Equator Exploration was soon after the transfer registered at the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London, in December 2004. In this operation Cherwayko’s company gained $100 million in share capital. But the only thing São Tomé is left with from the options agreement is $2 million in signature bonus from when PGS entered into its production agreement in 2001. So far, much money has been made as a result of the transaction in oil rights in poverty-stricken São Tomé, but the country itself has received limited earnings.

Impossible in Norway

The authorities in São Tomé are the losers in the game. They signed an agreement with the Norwegian PGS but ended up with a newly established firm they never asked for. Such unanticipated transfer of rights between companies can only occur in inexperienced countries that have not developed petroleum legislation.

According to Erling Kvadsheim, a geologist in The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate it would be impossible to transfer agreements between parts in the manner in which it was done in São Tomé. It is the strict Norwegian legislation that prevents potentially unqualified companies from buying rights in the North Sea.

“I am afraid such transfers have been common in some parts of the world. It is at any rate something we warn against when we give advice to other countries’ authorities,” Kvadsheim told Norwatch.

In 2001, when the agreements were first signed, the authorities had only little experience in oil matters. São Tomé has not found a single drop of oil yet, but great possibilities for rich oil deposits are envisioned. And buying and selling of test drilling rights are already in full force

Retained the Seismic Services Agreement

In São Tomé Norwatch succeeded in finding two of the original agreements from 2001 and one of the renegotiated agreements from 2003. It is clear that only small adjustments were made when the country’s newly elected president demanded a renegotiation of the agreements in 2003.

The renegotiated production agreement, which was later transferred to Equator Exploration, resulted in two changes. The number of blocks was reduced from three to two, and the signature bonus that PGS was under obligation to pay the day the final contract was to be signed was – perhaps surprisingly – reduced from $5 million to $2 million. Even though PGS lost an oil block, they negotiated an agreement that constituted less risk for the company than earlier. If the future oil wells should prove to be empty, the company would not lose as much as it otherwise would have done.

In the seismic services agreement the authorities got a better deal. At the start PGS was supposed to receive 10% of all signature bonuses that São Tomé was to receive in the future. During the renegotiations, however, this was reduced to 10% of the signature bonus from the first licensing round. According to what Norwatch has learned, PGS is still waiting to receive its share. The amount is supposed to constitute $4.92 million.

PGS has nevertheless retained most of the rights in the seismic services agreement. Up to 2011 the company has in practice monopoly with regard to seismic surveys in the country.

Cherwayko Never Negotiated

PGS claims that its involvement in São Tomé is wholly in line with what the company does elsewhere in the world and that the criticism of its involvement in the island state is history. “It is a completely ordinary multi-client seismic services agreement,” Ola Bøsterud, Vice President Group Communication, informed Norwatch.

PGS says that there is nothing unusual about the seismic services agreement it has with São Tomé today and that it was completely within its rights in selling the agreement on to Equator. The company denies, moreover, that Wade Cherwayko is to have been a PGS representative in the country or that he negotiated on behalf of the company. “Our negotiations were led by our Africa Asset Manager,” Ola Bøsterud told Norwatch. “In negotiations about agreements like this it is quite common for the negotiations to be carried out at the highest level, since these are important negotiations about a country’s future oil and gas activities. This agreement was negotiated with the prime minister and the minister of petroleum of São Tomé e Principe as the other party”, said Bøsterud.

“But Luis Prazeres, Director Executive of The National Petroleum Agency in São Tomé e Principe, who at that time was the petroleum minister, perceived Cherwayko as the PGS representative on the island and says it was Cherwayko who negotiated?,” said Norwatch.

“What we are saying is that we negotiated ourselves and that Cherwayko has never been our representative.”