(1) ROYL was the high bidder - paid too much money, by a tiny company, by beating the giants. Not a good thing, if you are not into expensive speculation.
(2) Note this, quoted from the article: "The most expensive dry hole in history, operator Sohio and its partners expected the well to encounter a massive oil pool, but all that remained was extensive oil staining and residual asphalt-rich heavy oil."
That was a $1 bln dry-hole!
What that really implies is that this is a high stake gamble.
That explains the nervous drive up of the stock, in order trap those idiots chasing this junkie.