The Environment Minister told MLAs he would make a statement to the Assembly on "fracking" before Christmas, on 13 November 2012.
Alex Attwood was reporting back to the Assembly on a recent meeting of the North South Ministerial Council on environmental matters.
He said that it was "time to take stock on fracking" from a Department of the Environment perspective.
The minister noted that President Obama had "clearly given the green light" to fracking in the United States.
The minister said the NSMC meeting had discussed the problem of cross-border illegal waste dumping, water quality and environmental reporting.
Mr Attwood noted the importance of a shared interest in shared river systems, and lakes.
Anna Lo of Alliance, who chairs the Environment Committee asked about the problem of dealing with used tyres.
The minister said he did not agree that "nothing has been done" about used tyres.
Sinn Fein's Cathal Boylan asked about arrangements for the tracing of tyres.
Mr Attwood said that if Mr Boylan was suggesting that a tracing device be attached to tyres that this was "beyond the scope of what we can do at the minute".