According to an IHS Global Insight study, nearly West Virginia's oil and natural gas industry accounted for 11,900 direct and indirect jobs in 2012. By 2035, the firm projected employment could grow to more than 58,000.
The amount the industry adds to the state economy is also projected to grow nearly six-fold.
Last year, the oil and natural gas industry boosted the state's economy by $1.6 billion. By 2035, that impact is expected to grow to nearly $9.4 billion.
Much of that growth will be fueled by the chemical, plastics and manufacturing plans that should crop up around the region.
"It's great to have the energy production here, but it's the additional development that it will bring with it that will really bring dividends to a state like West Virginia," Durbin said. "I don't think that it's going to far to say that this could be the rebirth of the rust belt."
Durbin said the only potential headwinds for the industry are federal regulatory and tax policies.
He said the industry as a whole pays about $85 million each day in taxes, fees and royalty payments to the U.S. Treasury.
With Congress struggling to find a way to fix the nation's fiscal problems, he said Washington leaders needed to make sure any new policies won't hinder future investment in the industry.
"We need to make sure we're taking full advantage of the opportunities we have, not only to provide a reliable and affordable source of energy for all those industrial users and residential users, but to continue helping create those jobs and develop the economy," he said.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.