Polar Petroleum (OTCBB: POLR) pump and dump suspended by SEC

Prior to the market open today (but after a few unlucky folks bought the stock at $6.05 in premarket trading) the SEC suspended trading in Polar Petroleum. See the suspension order (pdf). Below is an excerpt:

Release No. 69721 / June 10, 2013
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) announced the temporary
suspension, pursuant to Section 12(k) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange
Act”), of trading in the securities of Polar Petroleum Corp. (“Polar”), of Anchorage, Alaska at
9:30 a.m. EDT on June 10, 2013, and terminating at 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 21, 2013.
The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of Polar because of questions
regarding the accuracy and adequacy of assertions by Polar, and by others, to investors in press
releases and promotional material concerning, among other things, the company’s assets,
operations, and financial condition. This order was entered pursuant to Section 12(k) of the
Securities Exchange Act.


The company’s multiple press releases about its oil lease bordering an Exxon oil lease in Alaska are the likely reason for the halt: the press releases covered at length Exxon’s good news and intimated that it would be very good for Polar Petroleum as well.

June 3rd press release: Polar Petroleum Corp. Completes Acquisition of Prime Alaska Properties Bordering ExxonMobil’s Point Thomson Project in Alaska’s North Slope Region

June 5th press release: Polar Petroleum Corp. Reports on BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips Planning Additional $1 Billion Investment in Alaska Due to New Industry Friendly Tax Legislation

June 10th press release: Photo Release — Exxon to Spend $253 Million on Point Thomson Pipeline With Capacity of 70,000 Barrels a Day to Immediate South of Polar’s North Point Thomson Project

Here is an excerpt from the June 5th press release:

BP also announced it has support from the other Working Interest (WI) owners at Prudhoe Bay (BP 26%; Exxon 36%; ConocoPhillips 36%; Chevron 1%) to evaluate a further $3 billion worth of new development projects in the Greater Prudhoe Bay area. Among the additional development opportunities being evaluated are expanding and debottlenecking existing Prudhoe Bay facilities; constructing a new drilling pad; and expanding of existing pads, including the drilling of over 110 new wells. The additional development projects could take nearly 10 years to complete, and would be expected to further increase Alaska’s oil production while creating new industry jobs.[3]
The news is yet another indication that the state’s tax reform has revived Alaska’s energy industry by making it more attractive to oil industry investment. On April 17, 2013, ConocoPhillips announced its first additional investments on Alaska’s North Slope based on the tax change.[4] According to ConocoPhillips, the company will be deploying a new drilling rig to the Kuparuk oil field to work over existing wells in order to increase production.[5] BP’s June 3, 2013 news release included the following comments from the president of BP Alaska, Janet Weiss: “With this new tax law, the Alaska legislature and Governor Parnell have taken an important step toward improving Alaska’s long-term economic future. Our announcement today should make abundantly clear that BP is committed to being a part of that future and to continuing to extend the life of North America’s largest oil field.” Weiss also added: “Now that an improved tax structure is in place, oil and gas projects can once again move forward, keeping Alaska competitive in the midst of America’s recent energy renaissance.”[2]

I previously wrote about the Polar Petroleum pump and dump.

Disclaimer: I have no net position in any stock mentioned above and no relationship with any parties mentioned above. I am currently long 3200 shares of POLR in one account and short 3200 shares in another account. This blog has a terms of use that is incorporated by reference into this post; you can find all my disclaimers and disclosures there as well.


14 thoughts on “Polar Petroleum (OTCBB: POLR) pump and dump suspended by SEC”

  1. I am currently short 1,000 shares of POLR and was very excited on the news of a SEC halt of this stock yesterday. Unfortunately, my joy was short lived because my broker just sent me a possible buy in on my short position today. Are brokers allowed to force buy in my stock even though the stock is halted by the SEC?

  2. Yep – This morning I was bought in on POLR. My shares vanished and showed a realized loss on my trade as my short price was $5.35 and the last trade was $5.75 (which IB used as its price). Fortunately the short shares reappeared after 9:00 am at the $5.75 short basis again. I am assuming they will buy us in every day until the thing trades again…

    1. Yes from the time of the buy-in you are shown as no longer having a position with the buy-in at the last closing price, but that is even before the shares are bought. When the shares are bought that will be corrected. It is quite possible that you see those buyins every day until you actually get bought in when it reopens.

    1. When the stock reopens for trading in about a week you sell them. Make sure to use a limit order. It will likely gap down 50% to 75% and then slowly fade into oblivion over the following months.

  3. Can I place a sell order now ???

    Must I wait until the stock is back for trading before I can place a sell order ???

  4. Hi Michael,

    My recent experience with being short SUSA at Interactive Brokers when it was halted. First I believe as a matter of regulation, a broker is not allowed to accept an order for a halted stock. When SUSA started trading again after 10 days, it was on the Grey Market, and appeared on my IB page as trading on the (VALUE) market, instead of (OTCBB) or (PINK). There was (and still isn’t) any bid and ask published, I had to call the trade desk to get a bid/ask. As the spread was quite big (the ask was too high as far as I was concerned), I did not ask the trade desk to execute the trade. After a few days, I was bought in at a price I was satisfied with. Normally there is a fee for a trade executed by phone through the trade desk, but as the stock had been halted, these extra fees did not apply. It was a bit like being told I had won a prize, but no one could tell me exactly what the prize was!
    Congrats to those short POLR, sympathies to those long and boxed.
    When I first started trading many years ago, there were those who said you should never have more than 5% of your account in any one trade, and I thought they were way too conservative. I has taken me many years, but I finally agree with them.

  5. Has anyone been able to trade POLR? I am getting an error at IB to cover and just for kicks – Etrade is saying the stock is halted and wont submit an order…

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