Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
In Praise of Rockhopper
by admin - 18:19 on 23 January 2012
It's been a slight worry – a fear that I had my chance, missed it, and won't get the opportunity again. But prospects are looking up. Good times are just around the corner. A life of ease is drawing ever closer.
I speak of The Great Falklands Oil Hunt, into which I sank much of my meagre savings following a tip-off from Oil Rig Jim, who should know about these things. "It's going to be the new North Sea," he informed his fellow band-mates back in January 2010, then went on to name the company he believed was poised to strike black gold.
This, I will now reveal, is Desire, who at the time were worth about 60p a share, although by the time I took the plunge my average purchase price was 97p – a trifle for a company with a newly arrived oil rig, licences to drill across a huge swath of the South Atlantic, and confidently expected (by ORJ and industry cronies) to be on the verge of £20 a share.
Then the drilling began. A string of poor results had the doomsayers muttering until, at last, the board of directors trumpeted the great news: "We have oil!" The share price soared to £1.40 but no-one was selling (including me) because they knew that much more was to come. Three days later a sheepish report from the same directors admitted that they'd found water, not oil. The share plummeted to 50p, then sub-20p when the final, last-gasp drills produced nothing.
Healthy paper profits (at one point I was 150% ahead) had dwindled to substantial paper losses. Much grumbling was heard across the internet oil forums.
But there was another, who toiled in the shadow of mighty Desire with no regard for publicity and without making vainglorious promises, who worked quietly and, it turned out, with much greater knowledge and efficiency. Rockhopper has saved us all.
This month the rig the two companies shared left for warmer waters. Rockhopper's drilling is done. Much real oil has been found and even more is in prospect for when another rig can be hired. The boss of billion-dollar Texas oil firm Anadarko has been seen in Port Stanley where he arrived by private jet. Other firms are rumoured to be after a share of the Rockhopper booty.
My Rockhopper holdings, purchased at a modest average of 65p, are now worth £3.40 – a rise of 420%. Sadly, I've three times the number of Desire shares (currently showing a 71% loss but rising on the back of their rival's success). Thanks to Rockhopper my portfolio is 20% in profit and certain to stay in the black if the company can avoid war, terrorism and ecological disaster. Maybe not so certain after all.
News of Rockhopper's development partner is expected within weeks, at which point the explorer will become a future producer with a share price to match. Matchgirl might get her Antarctic holiday after all. And I might get a camera (and all the trimmings) that will make Squirrel James green. Wish us luck – it's been a bumpy ride.
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