WHO WE ARE
The CAPL is a non-profit voluntary professional association for landmen in Canada, which evolved from the Alberta Landman’s Association founded by 8 members in 1948. In 1956, the first Canadian landman became a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL); and, in 1957, Canada was made, and is still today, the ninth regional district of the AAPL. Although it remains closely affiliated with the AAPL, the CAPL was incorporated on May 23, 1961, as its own independent association.
From its inception, the CAPL’s mandate has been to provide and promote activities to enhance the value of its membership and promote the role of the landman profession in Canada. The CAPL achieves these goals through the volunteer efforts of its members represented by a Board of Directors consisting of 14 elected volunteers. The CAPL’s objectives include:
- promotion of education and training in petroleum land management, including a structured mentorship program, student scholarship program and support of educational institution curriculums, and student body organizations;
- engagement and input in public and government relations;
- encouragement of fellowship and cooperation among its members through association-sponsored activities; and
- establishment of the highest professional and ethical standards.
The CAPL has grown to approximately 1,850 members, comprised primarily of landmen with expertise in the various aspects of petroleum land management. We also have a number of members having supervisory or management responsibilities for land management functions, associate members whose companies provide land related services to the oil and gas industry, and student members who are enrolled in a variety of secondary education programs pertaining to petroleum land management.
A mineral landman is an integral part of an exploration and development team of professionals that includes engineers, geologists and geophysicists and is directly involved in the acquisition, disposition and management of a company’s most important asset – its petroleum and natural gas rights. They contribute their business skills during the strategic planning phase of exploration and development, their negotiating skills in the acquisition or disposition of mineral rights and their interpersonal and management skills in the coordination of joint partner, accounting and administrative activities required to maintain the integrity of those mineral land interests. The mineral landman often acts as a liaison with the government and other stakeholders regarding mineral land ownership and related regulatory issues.
A surface landman participates in the planning of drilling, pipeline and facility projects and performs a critical role in negotiating the acquisition of the surface rights access needed to carry out drilling and production activities. The surface landman provides valuable insight into surface, community, environmental and regulatory issues and is a valuable ambassador for their company, in particular, and the Industry, as a whole, when interfacing with surface land owners, regulators and other stakeholders.
A contracts landman is a skilled draftsman and land administrator, who is responsible for ensuring that a binding agreement is prepared, reviewed and executed on behalf of all parties to govern a mineral land transaction negotiated by the mineral landman and for the day-to-day maintenance associated with the life cycle of a contract.
The CAPL is also closely associated with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration (CAPLA). Land administrators are an integral part of the land management function and are knowledgeable in the areas of industry procedures and regulations for the maintenance of land records. They perform the day-to-day administration of mineral leases, surface leases and the contracts governing those leases, to track changes in land ownership, manage lease rental payments and expiries and to monitor the fulfillment of contractual obligations to surface rights owners, mineral rights owners and other third parties.
Regardless of whether a member is a surface landman, mineral landman or contracts landman, these landmen all have a wide variety of key business and technical skills that are each essential to the acquisition, disposition and management of surface and mineral rights necessary for the exploration and development of the Industry’s petroleum resources. Our members also play a very important role in communicating with and educating the public about the Industry and we take pride in the high level of professionalism, ethical conduct and commitment which our organization and members strive to achieve in all our work and community involvements.
This Association provides numerous benefits to its members and the Industry as a whole. On an annual basis, the CAPL provides over 50 highly-rated industry-related courses, fulfilling one of the key objectives of the Association – “to further the education of its members”. The continuous education of our members is also encouraged through the Association’s promotion of its professional designations. The Association conducts 10 monthly meetings, many featuring high profile speakers, and organizes 10 social events annually to provide networking opportunities for members, with an annual Conference held every Fall in differing provincial jurisdictions coordinating with Canada’s Assistant Deputy Ministers. Our award winning newsletter (The Negotiator) is published in each of the months of September through June and distributed to the membership, as well as past editions all being available on the Association’s website.
The CAPL has created and maintains its own professionalism program. Through post-secondary education, attendance at courses developed or endorsed by the CAPL (including courses on ethics and fiduciary duties) and other studies, CAPL members may qualify to write an exam to obtain their professional designation as a Professional Landman (also known as P.Land). In 2006, the program was expanded to provide surface landmen the opportunity to obtain specific training and advanced education and be granted Professional Surface Landman status (also known as PSL). In 2013, the program was further enhanced through the introduction of the Certified Surface Landman and Certified Petroleum Landman designations. These elective certified designations offer CAPL members the opportunity to demonstrate that they have achieved an intermediate level of proficiency as a step in their progression towards the goal of achieving a Professional designation. Additionally, the CAPL requires its members to abide by, and to be continuously educated in, a strict code of ethics. The CAPL has an Ethics Committee appointed to investigate and rule on any purported violations of that code.
The CAPL is widely recognized throughout the Industry for creating and maintaining several outstanding and broadly-used standardized agreements that provide the backbone for the transaction of billions of dollars expended by Industry to acquire and manage its land interests, such as the CAPL Property Transfer Procedure, the CAPL Operating Procedure, the CAPL Farmout & Royalty Procedure, the CAPL Petroleum and Natural Gas Lease and Grant and the CAPL Surface Lease. These documents have benefited our members and the Industry, as a whole, for many years.
In addition, the CAPL is involved in, and is often at the forefront of, numerous government and industry initiatives such as updating and improving the regulations that affect oil and gas activities, mineral right tenure, access to surface rights, stakeholder relations and freehold landowner concerns. CAPL committees and members frequently work jointly on these issues with other industry associations, such as CAPLA, CAPP, EPAC, IRWA and AASLA.
Equally important, numerous projects have been undertaken to increase public awareness of the CAPL and our Industry by representing the Association at public forums and having CAPL volunteers involved in worthwhile community events and fundraising efforts, such as organizing a steer raffle fundraiser for the Alberta 4H Foundation, having information booths at career fairs and holding rural open houses.
All of these endeavors of the CAPL are accomplished through the hard work and dedication of the Board of Directors, the office staff and the countless number of volunteer members comprising the many committees that oversee the tasks necessary to achieve the CAPL’s primary goals and objectives as a professional association for the benefit of its members.