A Path to Getting Started as an Oil & Gas Lease Analyst: Copying and organizing computer files
Updated: Jul 29, 2019
After learning the Microsoft Office Suite, gaining experience in this next job qualification is fairly easy. No previous office job is required, but you need to be skilled in Microsoft Office and familiar with the C Drive functions of your laptop or home computer, to tackle learning this next qualification.
Associated Resources considers the next most-important qualification for a lease analyst to be “Experience handling and organizing computer files (copying, moving, organizing in folders)”. They listed it second in their list of qualifications in their recent job posting for a lease analyst in www.indeed.com. Just like skill and knowledge of creating and editing files in Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, this second qualification, too, can be learned before getting that first interview.
Energy companies equip each employee with a desktop computer (PC or docked laptop) in their office or workstation. The Microsoft Office applications used by the company are accessed and utilized on that desktop computer or laptop. Each PC or laptop has, as part of its Windows operating system, an application called “File Explorer”. This application allows a user to create digital “folders” that can be labeled and then used to store any document created using Microsoft Office, but also any document using any other software, such as Adobe Acrobat (.pdf documents). These folders can even store photos taken with your iPhone or SmartPhone and downloaded into your PC or laptop.
Imagine a manila folder, a file, containing loose papers. In a paper folder, its documents usually are placed in some kind of order. They might even be stored under divider pages labeled with the category into which the documents underneath that divider belong: Correspondence, Lease Purchase Documents, Assignments, Lease. It works substantially the same way with computer files.
Each computer lease file folder would have sub-folders. The correspondence sub-folder could contain copies of letters, memos, and emails between owner and broker, between broker and company, between company departments and between companies, all relative to the Lease copy that this folder contains. Those files could be in Word, Outlook, or pdf format. Each lease usually will have its own digital file folder. Each sub-folder inside that main digital file folder also can have its own subfiles to further organize and group the documents within that subfile category.
Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook emails, and PDF documents are the most common documents (called “files” when they are digital) stored in organized Office Explorer folders. Most companies have more than one Drive on their network, so the lease analyst might be working with digital folders in the E drive, F drive, G drive, etc. that are all mutually accessible by employees throughout the company. The C drive is found only on the PC, not in the network of drives. Anything stored on the C drive most often cannot be backed up on the network, and will be lost if the PC or laptop ever crashes, such as a burned-out hard drive. It happens more often than you think.
To get a good grounding in the copying, moving and organizing of File Explorer digital folders, take a look at how photos are stored in a PC or laptop C drive. If you have a Windows operating system, you can click on the Windows icon in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, and a menu pops up. If you scroll up and click on the manila folder icon labeled “Windows Explorer”, a new window will open. On the left-hand side of that screen you will find the manila folder icon again, this time labeled “Libraries”. Each of the items listed beneath it is a separate folder, already created for storing the items listed. In any of these folders, you can create sub-folders to hold specific items, such as “Picnic Pictures” and “Family Thanksgiving 2018” in separate folders inside the “Pictures” folder. Pictures are usually created in .gif or .jpeg format, not .doc or .dox, or any other Microsoft Office app format.
Someone wanting to break into oil and gas lease analysis work needs only to use their PC or laptop at home to create, move and organize folders and folder contents. Any collection of .pdf documents can be organized into folders, for example. But a good, generic Lease Records Policies and Procedures manual would be quite helpful for familiarizing you with the various categories of digital files typically maintained in a lease records department.
Familiarity with the most commonly used folder names, document labels, and other vocabulary necessary to work as a lease analyst will put any job interviewee leaps and bounds ahead of another candidate who does not already have that knowledge or home experience.
The next, learned qualification listed in the Associated Resources job description, experience in an office/accounting environment, will be the subject of the next blog post in the Professional category. As their job description notes, this experience is helpful but not required. That means that the candidate with knowledge of the workflows in an oil and gas office/accounting environment, who can speak confidently of them using the correct lingo, is far more likely to get the advertised position.