The CSIRO has begun monitoring methane levels in the Beetaloo Sub-basin under a recommendation from the independent Inquiry into fracking in the Northern Territory.

The monitoring will measure the amount of naturally occurring methane in the area to determine the level of any increased emissions from any future onshore fracture stimulation.

‘As recommended in the independent report, the methane monitoring will take place over six months and, by starting now, it will cover both the dry season and the wet season,’ Resources Minister Ken Vowles said.

‘Monitoring will provide the government and the community with robust, transparent and representative baseline measurements of background methane emissions.’

Mr Vowles said the government remained committed to accepting all 135 recommendations from the inquiry into fracking, which found the risks it posed to the environment could be mitigated by proper monitoring and controls.

Business groups have welcomed the development of an onshore gas industry arguing it will provide a major boost to the NT economy.

But many remain opposed including environmental activists and indigenous communities.