Tags: Global Warming | Global Warming | Fracking | Facts | Offshore | Climate Change | Environment

Global Warming: 10 Facts About Offshore Fracking

By    |   Monday, 30 March 2015 10:26 AM

Fracking to extract oil and gas from the ground has created a division between people who favor cheaper fuel and activists who believe it contributes to global warming.

The process, also referred to as hydraulic fracturing, uses chemicals to break up rocks along with horizontal drilling to allow the free flow of oil and gas. Environmentalists worry about contamination in the ground and climate concerns.

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Fracking is now moving to offshore drilling. Here are 10 facts about the offshore fracking:

Offshore hydraulic fracturing has been used for several decades, but was primarily used to enhance safety of offshore oil wells until advanced technology made large-scale fracking feasible in recent years.

2. While fracking on land concentrates on breaking up rock, offshore fracking often focuses on clearing away sand and mud. Drillers shoot gravel or pellets, seawater and chemicals to break away and clear debris.

3. There is no horizontal drilling involved in offshore operations as there is on land, according to USA Today. The possibility of harming drinking water, which disturbs activists against land fracking, does not exist offshore.

4. Offshore drilling permits are closely examined by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which was established in 2011 under the Department of Interior for offshore regulation.

5. Discharges from offshore fracking are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which coordinates with the BSEE to ensure all chemicals are covered under EPA regulations to protect the environment.

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6. It is highly unlikely that chemicals used seep up into the ocean, according to the BSEE. Possible leaks from casing or cement are monitored regularly.

Following the fracking operations, water is cleaned up on platforms near the well. A filtering process takes out oil and contaminants before the treated wastewater is dumped overboard into the waters.

8. Fracking ships for offshore operations have increased by more than 30 percent since 2007, according to Offshore Magazine, and could grow by nearly the same increase by the end of 2018, reports Bloomberg.

9. Offshore fracking has been operating in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the coasts of Brazil and Africa. Drilling projects in the Gulf take place more than 100 miles from the coastline. Drilling can reach depths of a mile or more and cost nearly $100 million, according to Bloomberg.

10. Some large offshore wells need ships that can carry 7 million pounds of people and equipment, Bloomberg reported. Engines to crush rocks and tons of sand to prop open cracks in the rock are needed.

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Fracking to extract oil and gas from the ground has created a division between people who favor cheaper fuel and activists who believe it contributes to global warming.
Global Warming, Fracking, Facts, Offshore, Climate Change, Environment
Monday, 30 March 2015 10:26 AM
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