Last Wednesday, Great Bear Petroleum, an Alaska-based oil exploration company founded by geologist Ed Duncan announced in a press release that the North Slope of Alaska was likely to contain within its depths America’s next big shale energy play.
Duncan even compared the potential to the Bakken shale in North Dakota, by far one of the largest discoveries in the U.S. so far.
The press release was reprinted by Royale Energy (ROYL), a San Diego-based independent oil and gas company who currently own about 100,000 acres of land in the North Slope, based on a desire to get a share of some of the North Slope’s difficult to reach, but allegedly plentiful, shale oil and gas. That day, Royale’s shares popped, jumping almost 9 percent to close at $2.19.
While that may not seem like a substantial share price, Royale’s market cap was only just under $25 million.
Exactly one week later, Royale’s shares soared when the company announced a $43 million joint venture with an unnamed company for its North Slope leases. The deal would purportedly bring in over $1,200 per acre, including $100 per acre in cash, as well as other considerations including stock options and exploration cost sharing, in exchange for a portion of its holdings in Alaska’s North Slope.
On Wednesday, Royale stocks gained 67 percent by closing, bringing shares to $3.34. The deal is still under negotiation, but is expected to be concluded by May 30