MDN’s Top 10 Most Important Stories of 2013 – Our View

Top 10Yes it’s trite and certainly overdone, but hey, it’s the last day of 2013 and a slow news day. So MDN editor Jim Willis thought he would put together a list of what he considered to be the top 10 Marcellus and Utica Shale stories from 2013. It’s a look into what we believe, based on your input and feedback, to be the most relevant and important stories from this year. Enjoy!…
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Peer-Reviewed Fracking Survey Peers into U.S. Minds, and Finds…

A new survey of Americans on the topic of fracking appears in the upcoming February issue of the peer-reviewed journal Energy Policy. The survey, titled “Fracking” controversy and communication: Using national survey data to understand public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing (full draft copy embedded below) was actually conducted in September 2012–so the data is already quite old. Apparently 15 months is how long it takes to get your articles reviewed by journals like Energy Policy. A lot has happened in the last 15 months: FrackNation and Gasland II were both released, Dimock faded away as an issue, Pennsylvania’s natural gas production more than doubled, the U.S. became the world’s #1 producer of both natural gas and oil–the list goes on. Still, the survey is interesting and yields confirmation of what we already know along with the odd insight into what can be used as a predictor of whether or not someone will support fracking and shale drilling.

For example, if you’re conservative, educated and like to let the free market determine which energy sources should win, you support fracking. Conversely, if you’re liberal, less educated and like the idea of government picking the winners (that is, you have a touch of fascism in your philosophy), you don’t support fracking. If you’ve been reading MDN for any length of time, you already know all of this. The benefit of this particular survey is the scientific “rigor” used in testing which characteristics are good predictors of support or lack of support–and which characteristics are not good predictors. That’s what is interesting to MDN about this particular study.
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Social Media Comes to Shale Plays, Including the Marcellus/Utica

The shale energy industry is getting its own Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn platform–all rolled into one. Not long ago MDN was tapped on the shoulder by the folks at, an online community of oil & gas professionals interested in connecting with colleagues. The shale social media site is only a few months old but has already taken off and attracted something like 30,000 active users–which is an astonishing feat in our industry! is founded by the same people who founded (and later sold)–so the people behind it have energy chops and know their way around a drilling rig.

Below is information about–what it is and what it does. MDN encourages you to check it out and consider joining. We did!…
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See You in 2014

MDN has noticed the shale drilling news…has…..really……..slowed……….down. Which is to be expected. A lot of people will take off from Wednesday the 1st through the rest of the week. We are too. We will keep an eye on the news and if anything major happens with respect to the Marcellus/Utica, we’ll issue an update. Otherwise, we’ll see you next Monday, Jan. 6th. We want to take this opportunity to thank our readers–especially our paid subscribers. We look forward to serving you in 2014.

We’re planning a website update in 2014–and more products, so stay tuned! If you ever thought, “I wish MDN would publish X or create Y,” we would like to hear about it. Drop us a line at: [email protected] Now is the time to hit us up while we’re planning the next 12 months.

While we’re “on break” over the next few days, we’ll be working on Volume 3 of the Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook, which will be published in January. We’re going to make a big announcement that soon. Stay tuned!

A very happy New Year to all.

– Jim Willis, Editor, MDN