The Department of Mineral Resources is the Falkland Islands Government regulatory body charged with oversight of the offshore oil and gas industry and any onshore mining or mineral exploration that may take place. Core responsibilities include the role of licensing authority, offshore health and safety enforcement, and offshore environmental approvals.
The primary focus at the present time is the development of an offshore oil and gas industry within the Falkland Islands Designated Area. The Designated Area is the area declared under Proclamation No. 1 of 1991, and follows the outline of the fishery conservation zones declared around the Falklands in the 1980s.
The Department follows a model of procuring specialist external advice from a variety of subject matter experts in geoscience, offshore safety, licensing, environmental regulation, and other such matters as may be required. To facilitate this advice, the Department has long-term contractual arrangements in place with established international bodies.
As a self-governing British Overseas Territory, law in the Falkland Islands largely resembles UK controlling legislation in many areas. For offshore oil and gas regulation, this means the Falkland Islands implements its own legislation mirroring much of the equivalent in the UK North Sea, widely regarded as being among the highest standards worldwide.