Microcap Baraka Energy is looking for a partner to resume gas exploration in the Northern Territory after a ban on fracking was reversed on Tuesday.

Baraka is one of a handful of ASX small caps that stand to benefit from the Territory’s surprise announcement on Tuesday.

The stock (ASX:BKP) tripled to 0.3c on a handful of trades Wednesday — its highest point since August 2014. Its market cap was still only a tiny $2.3 million however.

Baraka owns a gas project called EP127 in the Territory’s Southern Georgina Basin which it believes “is one of the most prospective onshore basins in Australia with potential for both very large conventional and unconventional oil and gas deposits”.

The explorer previously carried out fracking at the project in 2011 but said last year that “all potential sits idle until the Northern Territory fracking moratorium is lifted”.

The moratorium made it impossible for Baraka to find a partner to help develop the project.

But that might be about to change.

“The company will now pursue a Farm In partner to pursue the positive attributes of its permit,” Baraka told investors on Wednesday.

Farm-in refers to a deal where an operator earns a stake in a project by taking care of the drilling and exploration.

“While the last few years have been very trying for management and the shareholders, the company feels there is a more positive attitude returning to commodities and the junior end of the market in particular,” Baraka told investors.

“The number of approaches received by the company are increasing — but unfortunately not the quality as of yet that the company are seeking for our shareholders.

“Baraka and the Board can now look forward to a more positive period for 2018.”

Another Territory-focused gas play, Empire Energy Group (ASX:EEG), more than doubled its share price on Tuesday after telling investors it would “proactively engage” with government and traditional owners to move ahead with development.

Two others Blue Energy (ASX:BUL) and Armour Energy (ASX:AJQ) have yet to comment publicly since the fracking ban was lifted.