BETSY LAYNE, Ky. (WYMT) - New research from the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association finds the industry is worth more than $1.1 billion to the state.
KOGA statistics show Pike, Floyd, Knott and Letcher Counties each produced more than 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas from 2002 to 2012.
During that time, Lee, Leslie, Perry and Letcher Counties each produced more than one million barrels of oil.
Eastern Kentucky is "just where the oil and gas pockets are at," said Bud Rife, who owns Johnson County Gas and B&H Gas in Floyd County.
"It's the boom.This is where everything's at," Rife said. "And there are still a whole lot of places that have not been drilled. There's gas deeper than what we have been drilling."
Industry officials expect business to expand.
"I don't think we have gotten ourselves in a position where we're going to have an explosion in activity like they have in Pennsylvania or Ohio," KOGA executive director Andrew McNeill said. "Although clearly our independent producers are out there developing some very interesting plays."
Kentucky ranks 22nd in the country in oil production and 18th in the production of natural gas.
About 98 percent of Kentucky's natural gas production comes from the eastern part of the state, according to the study.