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Three big deals among big US shale operators hit the newswires in earnest as October ended and November began, and even more upstream industry consolidation could be on the horizon. On 29 October, shale enhanced oil recovery champion Denbury Resources and Eagle Ford operator Penn Virginia reported their agreement to merge in a $1.7-billion pact. A day later, shale pioneer Chesapeake Energy and another Eagle Ford operator, Wildhorse Resource Development, reported their $4-billion combination. And, in the largest of them all, fellow shale players Encana and Newfield Exploration kicked off November by announcing their marriage via a $7.7-billion deal. The second half of the year has seen an explosion of mergers and acquisitions.