Our role in the Petroleum Affairs Division (PAD) is to maximise the benefits to the State from exploration for and production (E&P) of indigenous oil and gas resources. In doing this we ensure that activities are conducted with due regard to their impact on the environment and other land/sea users. We are responsible for licensing and regulating oil and gas E&P activities, both offshore and onshore Ireland. Our role extends from policy development to promoting the opportunity to invest in exploration in the Irish offshore to licensing and the regulation of licensed E&P activities. We also play a lead role in initiating and supporting research directed at deepening knowledge of the oil and gas potential of the Irish offshore.
There have been four commercial natural gas discoveries since exploration began offshore Ireland in the early 1970s; namely the Kinsale Head, Ballycotton and Seven Heads producing gas fields off the coast of Cork and the Corrib gas field off the coast of Mayo. There have been no commercial discoveries of oil to date.