If the Utica shale deposit holds the same amount of reserves that some industry insiders predict, it could potentially revive oil production in the area and improve the condition of the ailing East Coast refining industry.
Aubrey McClendon, chief executive officer of Chesapeake Energy, which is one of the biggest producers of gas in the country, stated during an appearance on the television show Mad Money that the shale deposit could be worth between $15 billion and $20 billion, UPI reports. He said that the play could hold up to 25 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The natural gas producer already owns 1.25 million acres in the Utica shale field, according to the media outlet. Chesapeake has stated that it could potentially recoup the $2 billion it paid to drill in the area 10-fold now that the acreage has produced some results, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Aside from the billions of dollars worth of oil the play could produce, it could potentially create significant job growth. McClendon predicted to the Times Utica that "hundreds of thousands" of employees might be needed as production expands, UPI reports.