The CSIRO has published a report exploring the offset and mitigation options for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Beetaloo Sub-Basin.
Following the recommendation from a 2018 inquiry into fracking in the Northern Territory, the CSIRO undertook the study as part of the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA).
The study found that, while lower impact scenarios (365 PJ per year) had the potential for complete offset exclusively by Australian options, higher impact scenarios would require international offset options.
Director of GISERA, Dr Damien Barrett, said that the research provides important information about the impacts of potential onshore gas developments.
While there is no gas production in the Beetaloo Basin yet, the study modelled a series of production scenarios to calculate estimated emissions between 2025 and 2050.
The range of estimated emissions across all scenarios ranged from 6.6 million tonnes (Mt) to 33 Mt of CO2 emissions annually.
Total lifetime emissions (over the full 25 years) to be abated ranged from 164 Mt to 826 Mt.
Options currently available in the Northern Territory have the potential to offset 7 Mt annually.
A further 79 to 156 Mt per year of abatement or offset opportunities exist elsewhere in Australia – the study assumed 10 per cent of these would be available to NT projects.
GISERA is led by the CSIRO in collaboration with the commonwealth, state and federal government, and industry bodies.