The Houston Chronicle ran a nice Shale Oil 101 piece in Sunday's paper. Other than explaining that shale isn't really a shale at all, but marlstone rock containing kerogen, the article spoke to the skepticisms of big downstream companies like Shell Oil Co., Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Schlumberger to embrace shale as a reliable help in production's future. Each company is conducting shale research to decide how much to put into shale oil production. But according to the Chron's article, Shell spokesman Tracy Boyd said the company's shale project would be economical with oil prices at half the current levels. Despite Shell's hesitancy to embrace shale oil production, the company seems to be moving full-speed ahead in terms of shale-gas. Shell made a bold move today by announcing their plan to acquire Canadian Montney Shale-Gas Player Duvernay for C$5.9B. According to my colleague Steve Toon, Shell will pay C$83 per Duvernay share, a 36% premium over the 30-day weighted average. Shell chief executive Jeroen van der Veer says, “Duvernay could become a valuable part of the Shell portfolio, where we can add value through technology and scale. The combination of Duvernay's acreage with Shell's proven operating experience and financing capabilities make this transaction attractive to all shareholders.” –Lindsay Goodier, Online Editor,;;