An anti-mining campaign group in Queensland says new research proves there is now an even greater need to impose a moratorium on the coal seam gas (CSG) industry.
A Southern Cross University team monitored methane levels in the air and water around active gasfields in southern Queensland.
It found they were much higher than those found where no extraction takes place.
Drew Hutton from the Lock the Gate Alliance says it suggests the CSG industry is far dirtier than coal mining.
"Before this industry is allowed to expand any further we need a moratorium on it," he said.
"We need to do the work now to find out whether this is an inevitable part of the coal seam gas industry.
"If it is, we need to tell the industry we can't proceed any further until they sort this out."