So there has been some trouble brewing after a company bought a booth at Summer NAPE and advertised that they were brokering the sale of title information in certain shale plays. As you might imagine, that ruffled a few feathers.
So some questions started getting thrown around to different operators and attorneys: In what world does a field landman own the title data he compiles on behalf of his client? The answer: In lala-land! So one might wonder how this ‘title broker’ felt he could get around the legal entanglement of selling other companies data without compensating them. He simply had the poor saps who were ‘selling’ the data certify that they did indeed own the information, plausible deniability and all that. There was a discussion on LinkedIn where this ‘title broker’ was advertising his services and several of us called into question the ethics of what he was trying to do. I guess the discussion has been deleted or I simply can’t find it.
However, yesterday Jim Dewbre, the current president of the AAPL sent out an email to the membership outlining the AAPL’s position on the subject:
This practice violates the AAPL’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, undermines the integrity of all landmen and violates the confidential and fiduciary relationship between the independent landman and his client or the in-house landman and his employer.
I think that’s a pretty clear stance, the letter goes on to quote the appropriate bylaws and standards of practice which would govern such a situation. So, if you are an AAPL member, are you thinking about buying, selling, trading, or being involved in this mess — don’t do it! Someone will find out, and you’ll get pulled into the fray. Then you’ll be reading your name in the Landman magazine under the “Suspensions” section. You know that none of us miss that section when it happens to be included, so we’ll all know and we’ll all talk about you.