It is a truth universally acknowledged that, in order to make money, you have to spend it. For Land Departments, this is particularly true, as one of their single greatest and most important costs is land leases. These mineral rights transactions are often so complicated that they require the involvement of litigation experts and government regulators, adding to the cost. Doing this job, and doing it well, is not cheap; but Land Departments consistently invest in these processes and procedures because providing those critical lease documents to their field operation team while simultaneously managing the department’s relationship with owners is the most important role that they play. As a result, most Land Managers exert absolute control over their data, making sure that they can meticulously track it from each source to each destination.
Historically, most Land Managers have relied on spreadsheets to monitor and maintain this data; however, although spreadsheets allow departments to manage and transfer their data, they are not auditable, lack control and enterprise visibility, and are a liability for compliance requirements. As a result, more and more departments are moving towards a land management application, such as P2 Land, TEL/TLS or Quorum. Land Applications solve many of the issues associated with spreadsheets, but they also present a new one: how do they incorporate the business intelligence and processes specific to your department and enterprise into their functionality?
One example is the process of paying mineral rights owners and, conversely, the billing of working interest partners. Most land applications do not come with built in integrators for Accounting systems, and yet paying owners and billing partners are two of the most critical functions for land data. For many lessors, a check in mail (or ACH) is the only evidence that proves E&P companies are holding up their end of the bargain (or lease agreement). Should a land department move to an application-based data management system, it absolutely must be a flexible and extendable solution that can share data with all of the proper departments.
It is here that the experience of the managers, the robust and expansive business intelligence they’ve acquired, will be more valuable than ever. Once a solution is chosen (and we strongly suggest you defer to a consultative one), this knowledge will help the vendor quickly design integration capabilities for the application from any source, helping the technology conform to recognizable and proven processes that serve, not subserviate, land managers. A quick turnaround will be an absolute life-saver when the deadlines are based on yesterday and the data keeps pouring in like there’s no tomorrow.
As a service provider to many oil and gas companies, we have grounded our solutions with the knowledge and experience we have gleaned from many years of work with both Land and Accounting Departments. For one such engagement, we focused on the extraction, transformation, and loading of TEL data into staging tables, a solution we created based on the collective industry knowledge of our experts and the Land Managers. Our consultants integrated this data into Oracle EBS APIs for both the Payables and Receivables department. This connected the Invoice Maintenance module in TEL to the ERP systems used by the Accounting Department, giving greater functionality to the TEL through the ability to streamline the manual creation of invoices or update of the existing ones, as well as the ability to void existing invoice data from prior period transactions. As a result of this collaborative effort, the project was completed in just one short month.
For Land Departments who are thinking about moving to a land management system, don’t worry; you are still the boss. Extensions and integrators allow you to get what you need from your applications without sacrificing the most important component for success: human intelligence.