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Grad School Offers Energy, Land Management Certificates

December 12, 2012

"The Energy and Land Management Certificate Program is designed for individuals who wish to continue their certification in land management or begin a career in a field related to petroleum or land management endeavors," said Dr. Scott Harris, director of the OBU Graduate School. "This certificate program is convenient and scheduled so that you may easily complete the program within a six-month period. If desired, participants may take specific courses to enhance their current working knowledge."

The program is designed for landmen; lease and title analysts; attorneys; land owners; division order analysts; lease records clerks; people involved in exploration and development activities; and people who want to further their knowledge of the field of energy management.

The program consists of 11 courses. Each course is one or two days in length, with new class cycles beginning every January and July. When participants have successfully completed the program, they will receive an Energy Land Management Certificate.

"With the accelerated scheduling, participants can quickly complete the certificate program and then pursue enhanced career opportunities," Harris said.

Courses include:

* Energy Management, a two-day course slated for Jan. 14-15. This course presents a broad overview of the most needed information related to petroleum land management with significant time focused on the role land personnel in the development of oil and gas plays, the oil and gas lease, oil and gas contracts and understanding critical petroleum land title issues and solutions.

* Oil and Gas Law, a two-day course on Jan. 28-29. This course is perfect for anyone seeking to understand how oil and gas law drives the oil and gas industry and the activities of oil and gas participants including lenders, investors, lessors, working interest owners, government regulators, attorneys, landmen and others.

* Critical Title Issues for Petroleum Land Management, a one-day course on Feb. 11. This class covers crucial information for the land professional dealing with critical title issues and conveyances that impact how oil and gas interests are calculated and maintained.

* Understanding and Negotiating the Oil and Gas Lease, a two-day course on Feb. 25-26. This course provides a solid understanding of the more common provisions and the legal significance of an oil and gas lease.

* Oil and Gas Contracts, a two-day course on March 11-12. This course assumes some knowledge of mineral conveyancing and addresses, in more depth, the Farmout Agreement and Joint Operating Agreement with a review of numerous other contracts and a brief summary of the required elements found in an enforceable contract and defenses to a breach of contract case.

* Curing the Oil and Gas Lease and Energy Land Tile Defects, a two-day course on April 1-2. This course presents the function known as curing land titles. The purpose of a title opinion - whether for lease acquisition, drilling, division order, security or production purchase purposes - will control the format of the opinion, the information reported in the opinion, and what title defects lead to title requirements.

* Calculating Oil & Gas Interest, a one-day course on April 22. This course will equip land professionals with critical skills for calculating working interests, net revenue interests and other interests found in leases, assignments, operating agreements and associated documents.

* Farmouts: Critical Concepts and Practices, a one-day course on May 6. This course provides an overview of the widely used "Farmout" Agreement beginning with its history and how it is typically defined and distinguished from other relationships.

* Due Diligence in Acquisition and Divestiture of Oil and Gas Properties, a one-day course on May 20. In this course, students learn why and how to do a due diligence examination. "Due diligence" is a term that comes from provisions in the typical purchase and sale agreement that deal with the buyer's examination of the property and the seller's records.

* Understanding Joint Operating Agreements, a one-day course on June 3. This course focuses on what may be the most common agreement for upstream oil and gas operations, the Joint Operating Agreement.

* Understanding and Settling Surface Damage Claims, a one-day course on June 17. This course will cover important areas of the law related to surface damages such as the fact that as the law exists today, the owner of a mineral lease, rather than the surface estate owner, possesses the dominant estate.

Courses will be taught by Dr. Patrick Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D., who practices law with the firm Fitzgerald & Associates. For many years he has provided significant consulting and taught in many areas related to oil and gas in addition to topics concerning economic and financial decision making in the petroleum industry. Fitzgerald has an extensive background in publishing and is a contributor to Landman, a bi-monthly publication of the American Association of Professional Landmen.

All classes meet from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on the campus of First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City at 1201 N. Robinson, Oklahoma City, OK 73103 in the campus cafe.

The ELM Certificate Program classes cost $300 for a one-day class and $600 for a two-day class. This fee includes the workbooks needed for each class, lunch and refreshments, as well as complimentary parking on the campus of First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City for each class.

Interested professionals are encouraged to check with their current employers for payment assistance, as many companies pay for their employees to complete such a certificate program. The courses have been approved by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) for continuing education credits. This certificate program also meets the standards set by the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Text Bar Association for approved certificate programs.

Classes must be paid for at time of registration. There are no refunds once a student has registered for a class. If the OBU Graduate School is notified 48 hours in advance of a class, a student may transfer the registration to another class if necessary.

For more information or to register, contact or (405) 585-4601.