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:
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Release No. 69721 / June 10, 2013
SEC SUSPENDS TRADING IN SECURITIES OF POLAR PETROLEUM CORP.
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.
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. 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. 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.”
I previously wrote about the Polar Petroleum pump and dump.