Shale plays made up a majority of the U.S. energy industry's merger and acquisition activity in the last quarter of 2013, with 27 deals amounting to $23.8 billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report.
The Eagle Ford Shale led the way with $6.5 billion generated from five deals, followed by the Marcellus Shale, Niobrara Shale and Utica Shale. "If shale plays continue to adapt more efficient production processes to optimize the play and improve returns, activity in 'unconventionals' will continue to be robust," said John Brady, partner with PwC's energy practice.

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