ERHC Energy Inc. Updates Shareholders on Progress
HOUSTON, March 15, 2012 – ERHC Energy Inc. (OTCBB: ERHE), a publicly traded American company with oil and gas assets in Sub-Saharan Africa, today issued the following update on Company activities from Peter Ntephe, chief executive officer.
To ERHC Shareholders:
I am pleased to update the investment community and other interested parties on ERHC Energy Inc.
São Tomé and Príncipe Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
I am happy to report that ERHC and the National Petroleum Agency of São Tomé and Príncipe (ANP-STP) continue to make meaningful progress on the most critical terms of the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) for the Company’s two exploration Blocks in the EEZ. We participated in an intensive two-day face-to-face round of PSC negotiations with the ANP-STP in São Tomé at the end of February in respect of ERHC’s 100 percent working interests in EEZ Blocks 4 and 11.
While there, ERHC representatives had the opportunity to be part of the crowd at the Estádio Nacional 12 de Julho that watched the São Tomé and Príncipe National Soccer Team win 2-1 in their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone. It was a good opportunity for ERHC to visibly identify with its host community and firm up social relations. Many congratulations to the São Tomé and Príncipe team whose results in this round of qualifiers have been impressive.
Joint Development Zone (JDZ)
The one-year extension of Exploration Phase 1 in JDZ Blocks 2, 3 and 4 expired this week. The contracting parties and the Joint Development Authority have been meeting to determine the way forward. When final resolutions are reached and formalized, ERHC will inform shareholders.
Earlier this year, we explained the following three potential courses of action:
The operators and the Joint Development Authority (JDZ) that oversees the JDZ could agree upon a plan for future exploration of one or more of the JDZ Blocks with specific proposed work plans, timelines and budgets.
The operators and the JDA could agree upon a further extension of Exploration Phase 1. Similarly, they could agree to proceed with exploration, but subject to further studies and with no specific work plan or timeline of when such exploration would commence.
The operators could decide not to pursue future exploration of the JDZ Blocks. If this were to occur, ERHC would be able to seek new operating partners for the JDZ Blocks.
ERHC management continues to work closely with all interested parties to advance the interests of the Company and shareholders in these matters.
Meanwhile, Total is expected to commence drilling in JDZ Block 1 before the end of March. Last year, Total announced it would invest $200 million in drilling two wells in JDZ Block 1 this spring. Even though ERHC does not have interests in JDZ Block 1, having an experienced and respected major such as Total actively drilling in the region reflects positively on the JDZ as a whole.
ERHC's preparations for the commencement of its oil and gas exploration work program for the Chari-Ouest III, BDS 2008 and Manga blocks is continuing to gather steam. Last week, our request for expressions of interest for conducting environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the work program was advertised internationally, including, notably, in Upstream, the international industry newspaper. More information is available by visiting http://erhc.com/news/environmental-impact-assessement-in-chad/.
ERHC is also seeking expressions of interest from qualified contracting companies to conduct seismic work and gravity and magnetic studies, which will be the focus of the first 18 months of the work program.
Additional Technical Expertise
In the past few days, Mr. Martin Wensrich has joined ERHC's technical team. Mr. Wensrich is an experienced geoscientist and a proven oil finder with over 36 years in the industry. Mr. Wensrich's skills and experience will be applied to the Chad exploration program in particular.
In recent months, we have rapidly grown ERHC's executive technical team with the addition of several highly qualified and experienced technical professionals. This is an important aspect of ERHC's announced strategy of transforming itself from an offshore-focused, non-operating company to a company with both onshore and offshore assets, some of which it operates in its own right.
Annual Meeting of Shareholders
ERHC has filed the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, 2012. The date of the meeting was changed from April 24, 2012 which we earlier announced to the new date of April 26, 2012 for more cost-efficient logistics. The meeting will be held at The Renaissance Houston Hotel, 6 Greenway Plaza East, in Houston, Texas. The Proxy Statement is posted at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/799235/000114036112015211/formdef14a.htm.
Shareholders of record of shares of ERHC Common Stock as of the close of business on March 26, 2012, are entitled to participate in and vote at the meeting. Agenda items include the election of five Directors, the ratification of MaloneBailey, LLP as the Company’s independent accountants for the 2012 fiscal year and other matters that may properly come before the meeting. We hope you are able to join us and look forward to greeting as many shareholders as possible in person.
Thank you all for your continued interest in ERHC and your trust.
If you have questions, please ask the Company directly through its investor relations representative, Dan Keeney (214.432.7556 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Chief Executive Officer
This press release contains statements concerning ERHC Energy Inc.’s future operating milestones, future drilling operations, the planned exploration and appraisal program, future prospects, future investment opportunities and financing plans, future shareholders’ meetings as well as other matters that are not historical facts or information. Such statements are inherently subject to a variety of risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, projected, expressed or implied. A discussion of the risk factors that could impact these areas and the Company’s overall business and financial performance can be found in the Company’s reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These factors include, among others, those relating to the Company’s ability to exploit its commercial interests in Chad, the JDZ and the Exclusive Economic Zone of São Tomé and Príncipe, general economic and business conditions, changes in foreign and domestic oil and gas exploration and production activity, competition, changes in foreign, political, social and economic conditions, regulatory initiatives and compliance with governmental regulations and various other matters, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Given these concerns, investors and analysts should not place undue reliance on these statements. Each of the above statements speaks only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any of the above statements is based.