AAPL Director's Corner

WAPL elects one of its members to serve a two-year term on the American Association of Professional Landmen Region VI Board of Directors.

WAPL's current AAPL Director is Will Boone, CPL, and can be contacted by email at will@wildcatresourcesinc.com..


The AAPL Board of Directors held its latest quarterly board meeting on December 3, 2017 at the Omni La Mansion del Rio in San Antonio, Texas.  Below is a summary of the more pertinent items discussed and/or voted on by the Board of Directors:


AAPL currently has 20 employees, while NAPE has 6 full-time employees.  AAPL is currently looking for an Education & Member Services Manager. 


AAPL membership, as of November 2, 2017, was 14,809 (currently over 15,000), which is below the budget projections of 15,600 for FY 2017-18.  Of the reported members, 12,722 hold active, voting member status.  The certification status of eligible members is 2,878 CPL; 49 CPL/ESA; 2,097 RPL; 332 RL; and 50 Retired CPL.

Results from the compensation survey earlier this year will be published in Sep/Oct issue of Landman.  There were approximately 2,600 respondents.  A new membership compensation survey will be forthcoming in the 1st quarter of 2018. The 2018 AAPL Membership Directory has been completed and mailed to the membership.


AAPL will hold its 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado on June 19-20, 2018 at the Sheraton Downtown.  Save the date license plates have been mailed to the membership.  David Lawler, BP Americas CEO will be the Keynote Speaker.  Registration will open January 8, 2018 with early bird through April.  Sponsorships are available from $200 on up.


The Personify On-line Certification has been delayed until year-end to rectify systemic security issues, which were identified in the March testing phase.  All applications will continue to be reviewed by the Certification Committee.

The AAPL mobile app is now available to download and includes details for all education and member services.  It can be downloaded from your phone’s app center. 

AAPL’s Contract Center has finalized a contract with COPAS to add the 2005 COPAS.  In addition, the 2015 Master Land Service Agreement (MLSA) is being finalized to be added to Contract Center.  A model Participation Agreement is being developed by a committee under the leadership of Dorsey Roach.

Higher Logic’s Volunteer Central will be used by members to express their interest in serving on AAPL committees.  A preliminary mock-up is currently being vetted by the Committee Service Task Force.

The Connect/Online Communities continue to be widely used by staff and members, including the sharing of ideas, submission of questions, and posting of job opportunities.


NAPE was successful in renegotiating the registration contract with Wyndham Jade to realign the commission split to 60/40 in favor of NAPE.  The new contract should result in between $300,000 to $400,000 in additional annual income to NAPE Expo.


SUMMER NAPE gross income exceeded budget by $176,133, with partnership net income of $830,963.  Total revenue increased by 24% over 2016.


Registration opened September 25, 2017, in honor of the 25th anniversary of NAPE.  As of October 31, registrations were 3,701, the most early-registrations ever.  More than 500 exhibitors have registered.

NAPE Summit will continue to expand and improve the Prospect Theaters for regional prospects and Lease & Mineral Exchange.  A new job/career fair will be introduced.  The NAPE Charities Luncheon keynote speaker will be Tom Brokaw.  Sponsorship revenue has exceeded $2.1 million, surpassing the levels for 2017 NAPE Summit with 3 months remaining to generate additional revenue and exceeding budget by $650,000.

AAPL staff has renegotiated the contract with Freeman, increasing our protections and safety, and decreasing our potential liability from suit, such as from the Jolly lawsuit.


The Education Committee for AAPL is currently working on developing educational courses on Fundamentals of Field Land Practices; Structuring the Deal – Petroleum Economics; Advance Oil & Gas Contract – The Participation Agreement; and Advance Oil & Gas Contracts – JOA.

If you are in need of CEUs, please check the AAPL website for recorded previously-held seminars that should be eligible for credit, at a cost as low as $10/credit.

The Education Task Force is actively developing a volunteer model, 1-day seminar on Held by Production and another 1-day seminar on Due Diligence.

The 2nd iteration of the Comparative Oil and Gas Law Publication is scheduled to be released in September 2017.  A panel discussion at the Annual Meeting was held to highlight 3 sections of the new books.

As of 11-2-2017, AAPL has held 24 seminars in the current fiscal year, which were physically attended by 915 people and another 178 via webinar.  FY 2017-18 education income totals $280,080 with $106,714 in expenses.


AAPL continues to follow employee misclassification audits at the state and federal levels. 

AAPL has filed an Amicus Brief in the Dundics case (Ohio) and entered an appearance with comment on the KCC’s investigatory docket on well plugging liability.

All weekly reports for 2017 have been archived on Papervision platform.


AAPL is examining new revenue streams and revenue strategies, as current revenues are expected to continue to decrease or stagnate, while operating expenses appear to flat line or even increase.  AAPL, as an organization, maintains a solid reserve position and should be able to withstand the downturn.  The focus remains on how to hold or reduce expenses, increase revenues and maintain member services.  I anticipate there will be more future discussion regarding a strategic approach to budgeting, reserve spending and organizational goals. 

The financial audits for AAPL, the Landman’s Scholarship Trust, and the Educational Foundation have been completed and awarded an unmodified opinion (the first such audit for AAPL).

As compared to September 30, 2016, total assets have increased from $30,411,520 to $32,945,780, representing an increase of $2,534,259 or 8.3 percent, which is largely due to market activity in our investment account.  Total liabilities have increased in the same time frame from $1,806,390 to $2,124,449, an increase of $318,059 or 17.6 percent.  This increase in liability is primarily due to deferred revenue related to 3- and 5-year membership dues and Contract Center.

As compared to September 30, 2016, revenues (exclusive of investment revenues) have increased $208,968 or 37.8% from $552,651 to $761,619.  The increase is due in large part to increased membership dues prices, the reinstatement of recertification fees, an increase in publication income and the addition of Contract Center revenue, and rental income from NAPE.

Expenses have increased $362,026 or 25.6% from $1,415,396 to $1,772,422.  The expense increase is due large part from the $500,000 disaster relief contribution by AAPL to the AAPL Educational Foundation.  Removing this one-time expense results in an expense decrease of 9.75% overall, due to operational efficiencies such as decreased publication costs (Landman 2), cost control on educational seminars, board of director meetings and general and administrative expenses, including shifting 7 FTE from AAPL to NAPE.

Investments increased by $1,047,963 (4.4%) over the same period, with a balance of $25,020,423, as of September 30, 2017.  The increase is due to the realized and unrealized gains in the investment account.


This local association doesn’t exist except in name only, as it has essentially merged with the local oil and gas association.  There has been no correspondence from the association since 2010 and no Director has been attended a Board Meeting since June 2015.  Despite notification, no alternative viewpoint was given by the local association.  By unanimous Board vote, the local association’s recognition by AAPL has been revoked.


Effective immediately, the Board approved the policy reinstatement whereby participants who haven’t been an AAPL member for the immediate past 3 years, may attend the seminar and submit a membership application at the reduced rate of $60.

The revised Field Landman Survival Guide is available either online at www.landman.org or at the Field Landman Seminars.


The AAPL Educational Foundation, Inc. has approved the establishment of a disaster relief fund (“Fund”) for an indefinite period of time.  This Fund received an initial cash contribution of $500,000 from AAPL, along with an AAPL pledge of another $500,000 in matching funds to be contributed in conjunction with member contributions.  In addition to the matching funds from AAPL, the foundation is also pledging $250,000 in matching funds.  As such, this means your $1 donation will result in $3 being donated for disaster relief.  All donations will be 100% tax deductible and will benefit AAPL members.

The Fund can be used to benefit any AAPL member who has suffered a qualifying loss from a qualifying disaster (i.e. Harvey, Irma, tornado, flood, wildfire, earthquake, etc.).  The programmatic specifics will be determined by an independent committee established under the foundation and chaired by our own Nick Hess.  Benefits are anticipated to start being dispersed in the coming months.

As of the Board Meeting, a total of $150,000 has been or will be distributed in relief funds, with 16 applicants having received $5,000 awards and another 14 applications pending.  Once the initial awards are distributed, the Committee will go back to examine in-depth the applications with the goal to distribute all funds collected, currently being around $637,000.

WAPL provided $5,000 to the cause.  DAPL contributed $10,000.  Other associations also contributed varying amounts.


The last 10+ years of the Landman magazine are now posted on the AAPL website for member access.

AAPL is accepting article submissions for the upcoming issues of Landman.


The federal and state departments of labor continue to seek out and audit companies and individuals regarding their independent contractor status.  Pennsylvania seems to be under attack by the National Labor Relations Board for the misclassification of employees.  The Department of Labor’s stance is that workers are considered employees unless proven otherwise.  IF YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR, OR YOU HAVE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS PERFORM LANDWORK FOR YOU, I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TO CHECK OUT AAPL’S INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR TOOLKIT, available on AAPL’s website (www.landman.org).  This toolkit contains important information and resources on how you should position yourself or your company in order to help you prepare if you face an audit, and a guide to Kansas tax and independent contractor regulations.


AAPL’s purpose is to serve its membership through continuing education, providing resources for you and/or your business, and a vast network of oil and gas industry professionals.  If you are not already a member of AAPL, please consider joining.  The benefits of membership in this good and strong organization are well worth the price of membership. 

If you would like more details about anything discussed herein, or about AAPL in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Respectfully submitted,

Michael A. Pisciotte, CPL

AAPL Director – Region VI


316-858-8621 office

316-519-7690 cell

Posted on 13 Dec 2017
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