Some folk have asked me if this is a commentary on E&Ps operating in Kurdistan or the UK onshore or perhaps on the AIM oil & gas sector in general. Not at all, not at all!!
One day on a remote planet in a parallel Universe……
A Botanist from a very very small company came across a large field full of trees with very big green leaves, but some patches of yellow. He liked the field so much he bought it for next to nothing from the farmer who owned it.
After doing the deal, he saw a small boy ride by with a banana in his back pocket. He didn’t think much of it but mentioned it in his report.
Back at the small company’s head office – in reality a small shed in Budgie Harbour – He Who Could Not Be Argued With (let’s call him ‘CEO’ for short) read the report and said to himself “Silly Botanist, can’t put two and two together, it’s clearly a field of banana trees!”
He sent a more trustworthy individual – actually a psychic medium – out to survey the field from the air but it turned out that the trees were so dense they could not actually be counted – but being well trained in guesswork and enjoying good connections with the spirit world, the medium estimated that there were about 10000 there.
Then the CEO found an old envelope and, recalling that his neighbours’ apple tree used to yield about 100 apples a year, on the back of it he calculated that “OMG, there are a million bananas at least in there!”
Pretty well the next thing he did was to float his tiny, tiny company on the FVM (the Fruit & Vegetable Market) and, hey, lots of investors piled in. Pretty soon the company wasn’t that tiny, in fact it was one of the bigger companies on the FVM.
And the banks were falling over themselves to lend the company money………
But then, oh dear!
The Botanist returned with proper equipment and discovered that the trees were in fact citrus trees and the patches of yellow were in reality diseased leaves; there are a variety of pests that cause this apparently. Though none of these had ever been seen in Budgie Harbour.
So the CEO had indeed bought a lemon!! As had all the investors, lenders, business columnists……