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This $2.1 Billion Shale Deal Will Be the First of Many

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Where the Opportunities Are in Energy Stocks

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The first major shale deal after the worst oil price collapse in five years is a model for future transactions that promises to quickly change the industry as companies expand in new areas or soak up struggling rivals.

Noble Energy Inc.’s $2.1 billion all-stock purchase of Rosetta Resources Inc. is poised to be an opening salvo in a long-predicted wave of industry consolidation that’s been slow to materialize since crude fell by more than half since June.