So far this month the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has dropped around 0.5% thanks largely to sharp drops in the consumer discretionary and healthcare sectors.

But going against the grain have been three shares in particular. Each has seen its share price go gangbusters this month. Here’s why:

Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX: KAR)

This oil and gas producer has seen its shares rise an incredible 73% so far in October. The catalyst for this was two key announcements the company made early on in the month. The first was that it was negotiating the acquisition of two oil projects from Brazilian petroleum giant Petrobras. The second related to being awarded an exploration permit for the potentially lucrative Ceduna Sub‐Basin off the coast of South Australia. Management believes the basin could be a globally significant hydrocarbon province with world class potential. As I’m bearish on long-term oil prices I wouldn’t invest, but if you’re bullish on oil then you could do a lot worse than Karoon Gas.

Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA)

Shareholders of fast-growing aerial imaging company Nearmap have seen the value of their holdings grow by a massive 51% in October. Since releasing a quarterly update last week Nearmap shares have been on a tear, rising yesterday to a new all-time high of 94 cents. Although its Australian business is still the biggest contributor to overall revenue, I have been impressed with the progress it has made in the US market since its introduced a paywall for its services last year. Quarter-on-quarter revenue in the United States rose 50% to $0.6 million in the first quarter of 2017. Although its shares are by no means cheap at 10x full year sales, I believe its strong long-term growth prospects make it a great investment option.

Yancoal Australia Ltd (ASX: YAL)

Yesterday the shares of this coal mining company rocketed higher by 15% to 45 cents. This means that its shares have now doubled in value in October alone, thanks largely to rising coal prices. The price of coal has skyrocketed this year due to a restriction on domestic output by the Chinese government. This has led to a surge in imports, much to the delight of Australian coal miners. Last week Yancoal reported an 18% increase in quarterly sales volumes over the prior corresponding period. The mix of high prices and increasing sales volumes is likely to lead to bumper profits for Yancoal in FY 2017. In light of this I believe the miner could be worth a closer look if you want exposure to the industry.

Missed out on gains this month? Don't worry, these exciting growth shares could be next in line to bolt higher if you ask me.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.