by Mark Gorman Mark Gorman

Land Acquisition and Management

What one Land Manager says is the #1 gripe among landowners.

One of the earliest stages of any pipeline project is the acquisition of a right of way, and in the past seven years that process has received more news coverage thanks in part to the Keystone XL project. What has happened at TransCanada since Keystone has drawn on far longer than anyone could have imagined, is the company is revamping the way it handles land acquisition and management for projects. Andrew Craig, land manager for the Keystone projects, sees the changes as industry-wide.

When Craig started in the industry, a company would bring in a crew to deal with the acquisition work. This entailed figuring out who was impacted along the right of way, visiting those landowners, discussing their concerns, negotiating and then writing checks. As construction commenced, a company would then transition to a construction support team, which oftentimes had a different set of employees. In that phase, the land agent would work to resolve property-related issues and 14- to 16-hour workdays are typical, Craig explains. Then in post construction, the team would consist of the “cream of the crop” from the construction phase to stick around about one year during restoration to continue working with landowners.

What Craig has found is that the No. 1 gripe land owners have is turnover. They do not want to see a new face when there is a problem, a question or a concern. According to Craig there is a direct correlation between unhappy landowners who perceive that they are being misled or mistreated, and success on future projects. Read the complete story from North American Oil & Gas Pipelines here.

Attend the Pipeline Leadership Conference Nov. 4-5 at the University of Denver and learn more about the challenges involved with managing land acquisition and how to resolve them from the top experts in the oil and gas pipeline industry, including Andrew Craig, Land Manager for Keystone XL, TransCanada Corp.; Patrick Fitzgerald, Distinguished Visiting Faculty — Energy Land Management Certificate Program, Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management, University of Denver; Evan Randall, Partner, Holland & Hart; and Ralph Cantafio, President and Managing Shareholder, Cantafio Eddington.

To view the Pipeline Leadership Conference agenda, click here.