In Canada, land administration professionals working in the energy industry are represented by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration (CAPLA®). Based in Calgary, Alberta, CAPLA is one of the largest oil and gas membership associations in the country with ~800 members. CAPLA provides a Code of Conduct, ethics training, education seminars, workshops and courses, an annual conference, a voluntary certification program, leadership development, mentoring opportunities, a job bank, and a busy calendar of networking events.
The Land Discipline
In order to drill, produce, and transport petroleum and natural gas products, energy organizations need to acquire mineral and surface rights. Professionals working in land asset management are essential to this process. They manage the entire land asset life cycle, from the time a parcel of land is acquired, through the exploration and development stages, and during the final disposition or reclamation phase.
Over the past 25 years, skills required by land professionals have become increasingly complex. Originally focused on administration, land asset management has evolved to become an analytical discipline involving the application of extensive knowledge about legal and regulatory requirements throughout the land asset life cycle. Modern land professionals may specialize as technical experts or team leaders in acquiring mineral or surface rights, contract drafting and implementation, road use and third party agreements, acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, enterprise information systems and reporting, or abandonment and reclamation. Many more career development opportunities are continuing to emerge.
A land asset management community united in fellowship, skill development, education, and innovation.
CAPLA establishes recognized standards of excellence and influences the energy industry. CAPLA meets the needs of its members by providing:
- Education programs
- Professional development
- A voluntary certification program
- Networking opportunities
It was January 18, 1994. A group of land administrators had worked hard for more than two years to build the foundation for a new organization. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration had been incorporated in November 1993 and its bylaws, vision and mission were in place.
But the night was bitter and our founders were waiting anxiously to see if anyone would brave a snowstorm to attend CAPLA’s first meeting at the Calgary Convention Centre. Organizers were hoping for at least 25 people, but amazingly 340 showed up!
More than 20 years later, CAPLA has much to celebrate. We have grown from 835 members at the end of 1994 to today’s roster of approximately 1,800 professionals working in all aspects of land asset management, including mineral, surface, contracts, negotiations and related areas.
Our professional association that had its start in a snowstorm gained momentum over the years. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, CAPLA expanded in numbers, programs, events and educational opportunities.
Within six weeks, the first issue of the CAPLA newsletter was published and another four issues were published within the year. Eleven education seminars and workshops were held during the first year and a job bank for members was established. In November 1995, CAPLA became one of the first industry associations to have its own website.
Another highlight in the early beginnings of CAPLA was the Executive Night held on May 7, 1996. With over 700 people in attendance, our guest speaker, the Honourable Pat Black, Alberta Minister of Energy, announced major changes to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Tenure policies and legislation, which CAPLA played a major role in developing.
CAPLA held its first conference at the Calgary Convention Centre in June 1996 with over 500 delegates attending. In October 2002, the first certification exam was offered. In 2005, as a result of its Five Year Education Plan, CAPLA initiated the creation of the Centre for Energy Asset Management Studies (CEAMS) by providing the initial development, funding and support.
In the fall of 2008, CAPLA hired its first Chief Executive Officer to handle the growing operational activities of the association.
Today, with the support of approximately 800 members and their companies, along with the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, CAPLA continues to play a major role in the success of our industry.
CAPLA Board of Directors 1994 – 2015
Dream a Little Dream: A Message from C. Gale Breen, Founding Director and First CAPLA President
®CAPLA is a registered trademark of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration.