Monitoring for natural methane begins

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is monitoring landscape methane concentrations in the Beetaloo Sub-basin in line with recommendation 9.3 in the independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory.

The monitoring will measure the amount of naturally occurring methane already present in the area and identify sources where elevated methane levels are found. These baseline figures will help determine the level of any future potential fugitive emissions from the onshore gas industry.

To measure methane levels over the next six months, CSIRO researchers will use mobile survey methods and technology on previously granted exploration permits in the Beetaloo Sub-basin area. The methane monitoring project is carried out through CSIRO’s Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) to ensure independent scientific information that is of the highest calibre.

As recommended in the independent report, the methane monitoring will take place over six months and will cover both the dry season and the wet season.

The results from the survey will be made available to the public.

Methane monitoring work in QLD Photo Credit: CSIRO