The role of the Petroleum Affairs Division is to maximise the benefits to the State from exploration for and production of indigenous oil and gas resources, while ensuring that activities are conducted safely and with due regard to their impact on the environment and other land/sea users.
The functions of the Division are carried out through a number of strategies with the following objectives:
To maximise the area of Continental Shelf jurisdiction:
- establish and delineate an undisputed outer limit of the continental shelf
To license private enterprise to conduct exploration and production (E&P) under terms which balance the interests of the State and of private enterprise while ensuring that:
- there is effective and efficient E&P
- operations are carried out in accordance with best practices
- there is effective liaison with the E&P industry
To have the opportunities maximised for Irish business/institutions to service the needs of E&P in Ireland by:
- facilitating the establishment of a mechanism whereby Irish goods and services get full opportunities to participate in exploration activities offshore of Ireland
To provide stimuli for medium and long-term exploration efforts in Ireland by:
- securing Irish E&P industry assistance towards building up the local E&P-related infrastructure, and
- working with the Irish E&P industry to have research and joint industry research and data-gathering carried out.
The Division is responsible for the promotion, regulation and monitoring of the exploration and development of oil and gas in onshore and offshore Ireland.This involves the allocation of acreage to exploration companies under various types of licences agreeing appropriate work programmes and the promotion of acreage, either through open access or by a Round system.
- identification of areas with potential
- preparation of interpretative reports [over such areas]
- encouraging companies to acquire new data in such areas
- release of basic geological, geophysical and well data to the industry
- agreeing with operators work programmes which are appropriate for the type of authorisation and the area to be licensed while taking account of both the operator's and the State's interests
- ensuring that agreed work programmes are carried out in accordance with good oilfield practice, having particular regard to safety, the environment and other land sea users.