Why is the Marcellus Shale and its first cousin the Utica Shale so darned popular—more popular for drillers than other shale plays in the U.S.? Is it because of the size of the play—the Marcellus and Utica is the largest play in the U.S.? Not really, or maybe we should say not exclusively. The recent report issued by Standard & Poor’s titled “How The Marcellus Shale Is Changing The Dynamics Of The U.S. Energy Industry” (see this MDN story) contains a very interesting section that MDN believes gives the answer to the question of why the Marcellus is so popular for drillers. It won’t come as a surprise to you that economics play a key role.