Fracking fluid fit for human consumption in five years

The fluids used in the fracking process to release hard-of-access underground oil and gas deposits could soon be safe enough for human consumption.

In an interview with Canada's Business News Network Keith Schaefer, editor of the Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin, said that fracking fluid could reach food grade quality in five years due to the rapid pace of technological advances and the responsiveness of the fracking industry to public concerns over its safety.

"I think food grade fracking fluid will happen, and it is just one example of the type of things that the industry is going to be doing to keep the public aware and happier," said Scahefer.

Fracking technology, which entails the use of pressurized fluid to access gas and petroleum deposits in underground rock layers, has recently become the object of adverse attention and heated debate.

While advocates point to the economic benefits provided by delivering formerly inaccessible oil and natural gas deposits to human usage, detractors claim the technology causes major environmental damage, degrading water quality as well as serving as a potential trigger for earthquakes.

Schaefer says the industry is highly responsive to concerns over fracking's environmental impact, and that public pressure is leading to innovations that will soon render the technology far safer.