Despite digital oilfield advances, the oil & gas business still runs on paper. Nowhere is the paper data problem more pervasive than the land and legal department where physical filing rooms overflow with critical lease records that are the heart of an operator’s business. It’s an inefficient way to store and access such mission critical information.Asset acquisitions and divestitures are commonplace in the oil & gas industry. Whether acquiring another operator’s assets for a specific region or acquiring their entire business, buyers face an even tougher paper data problem. Following an acquisition, the buyer all too often receives hundreds or even thousands of lease files related to the asset purchase. This leaves land, accounting, and other departments with a poorly organized mix of physical documents that contain the vital information needed to assume operation of newly acquired assets, cut checks to interest owners, and manage risk.Having acquired significant acreage in the Permian Basin, a leading producer faced a daunting acquisition data on boarding challenge. Leveraging modern digitization services and intelligent document processing technology, the operator rapidly processed its large backlog of unstructured acquisition data and lease records

As with other operators in the region, the producer’s land and accounting department face multiple challenges in managing land data and documents. Driven by unprecedented drilling and production momentum in the Permian Basin, leases have become more complex than ever. Labyrinthine ownership structure, multiple depths, and shorter-term leases require ongoing records management and analysis. And with the speed of operations accelerating in the Permian Basin, land teams are struggling to keep pace. The operator utilizes commercial accounting software to track, allocate, and disburse payments to its mineral, royalty, and non-operated interest owners. The operator previously used a land management software product to manage division orders and other lease data required to process revenue, however the system proved cumbersome and unreliable, leaving the producer’s land department to manually enter lease data into its accounting software. Following a series of acquisitions, the operator had amassed a backlog of more than two thousand leases related to its assets in the Permian and the San Juan Basin, representing half a million pages of lease documents. The operator wanted to rapidly process and load this large volume of unstructured data for more efficient reporting and analysis.

The operator estimates that a lease analyst contractor would normally spend at least thirty minutes coding one lease, not including the time required to load scanned images into its document management system. Assuming one hour per lease and two contractors, the producer would normally be able to load up to 16 leases per day, requiring 145 days to load the 2,321 lease files from its extensive backlog. However, leveraging the BIS managed document conversion service and Grooper, the producer was able to load as many as 218 leases per day and process all of its acquisition files in less than two weeks, resulting in a 92% reduction in the time required using traditional methods.

BIS and Grooper transformed the large backlog of unstructured land data and documents into actionable information in days rather than months. As a result, the operator’s land department was able to rapidly analyze lease information, provisions, and ownership. And the company’s accounting team were able to rapidly onboard division orders and other data required to process monthly revenue. Plus, by eliminating the need to manually process leases using contractors, the operator was able to cut G&A costs associated with processing acquisition data. What’s more, the operator has deployed the Grooper intelligent document processing software internally following the initial data migration project. Grooper is used daily by the company’s land staff to process the volume of lease records related to its ongoing drilling and field development initiatives. Using standard scanning equipment and Grooper, a single lease analyst can now process up to 15 lease files per day, a considerable improvement over previous methods.Importantly, Grooper enables the operator to keep pace with complex and increasing lease activity in the Permian Basin. For future acquisitions, the operator can rely on Grooper to rapidly onboard large volumes of land records and any other critical business information it relies on.

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