WTF: Offshore fracking could be coming to Gulf of Mexico

Bloomberg is reporting that energy companies are taking their controversial fracking operations from the land to the sea — to deep waters off the U.S., South American and African coasts.

And this is why the oil companies say we shouldn’t be worried:

The treated wastewater is then dumped overboard into the vast expanse of the Gulf of Mexico, where dilution renders it harmless, according to companies and regulators.

Scientists aren’t so sure. Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity, is concerned that chemicals used in the fracking fluid that’s released in the Gulf could harm sea life or upset the ecosystem. Tony Knap, director of the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group at Texas A&M University, wants a detailed environmental review of offshore fracking in the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, oil service companies have increased the global fleet of fracking ships by 31 percent since 2007, according to a survey by Offshore Magazine. The pumping horsepower used to frack wells — a measure of supply — is expected to grow another 28 percent by the end of 2018, to 1.2 million horsepower, estimates Houston-based PacWest Consulting Partners.

Read Deep Water Fracking Next Frontier for Offshore Drilling