Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) has been searching for a pivot point where it can reverse its downward path, and the Utica shale in western Ohio might just be that play. However, even though it holds the most acres here, Gulfport Energy (NASDAQ:GPOR) has been encountering much higher initial production from its wells here. 

Thanks to its partnerships with energy companies in the region, MarkWest Energy Partners (UNKNOWN:MWE.DL) has taken the lead on this region's infrastructure buildout. This has been a critical missing piece in the Utica's development, and this first-move advantage could pay off further down the line. Likened very much to the booming Bakken shale in North Dakota and Canada, key players in the Utica could be looking at a profitable ride over the next several years.

Check out the following video for more details on the recent activity in the Utica shale from these key players in the region.