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  • Writer's pictureOil Patch Press

Number One Skill in 2018 Every Land Analyst Must Have

Microsoft Office. Repeat after me, “Microsoft Office.” Particularly Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Outlook. Power Point and Access are nice extras that could provide a tiny edge over the competition while interviewing, but they’re not critical.

No division order analyst or lease analyst can survive in today’s workforce without at least intermediate skill level in all three of those programs: Excel, Word, and Outlook. At a minimum, the expertise should be in Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2016. Anything older is quickly becoming obsolete. The features in the latest versions create a sizeable learning curve for those still working with 2007 or worse, 2003.

The reason is simple. Business offices all across America, oil and gas land administration departments included, are racing toward becoming 100% digital. Adobe Acrobat DC makes paper files obsolete. The major oil companies have already converted to a 100% virtual file room. Original paper documents received in the mail are scanned and digitally filed into a designated hard drive in the company’s computer network, then the original is eventually shredded.

Microsoft Excel is used routinely for uploading to, and downloading from, the company database. The Revenue Accounting departments in oil companies use Excel for entering all data related to revenue checks received monthly from purchasers. The Excel spreadsheet puts the pieces of data into the proper order so that an entire month of revenue receipts—sometimes for thousands of wells from dozens or hundreds of remitters can be uploaded into the Revenue Accounting database in a matter of seconds. Likewise, Expenditure Accounting uses Excel for entering all of the individual costs from individual vendor invoices received for wells the company operates. They, too, can upload thousands of separate expenses booked for a single month into their joint interest billing database by pressing a few buttons. Excel also is used for downloading reports such as division of interest, and lease or well lists by county, field, or prospect. Well lists and lease lists downloaded from the database to Excel later can become Exhibits attached to large assignments such as divestitures.

Microsoft Word is used for printing mass mail-outs, such as division orders for all owners in a new well or pooled unit. Microsoft Word teams with the company database or Microsoft Excel to address each division order, and to pull into each printed order the pieces of data necessary, such as well name, and owner’s account information particular to that well.

Microsoft Outlook does much more than just provide email service. It has become indispensable for setting meetings by not only extending invitations that must be accepted or declined through Outlook, but also reserving the conference room for the meeting to guarantee a place with necessary equipment for the meeting. Outlook can reply to emails by auto-response when the user is out of the office on business or on vacation. Many other features are available in Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2016, features that others in the company will use and expect interaction by the division order analyst or lease analyst.

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