Tesoro Corporation Transformations to their Land Department

Tesoro Corporation, a FORTUNE 200 company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, has refinery, terminal and pipeline facilities all across the United States. Tesoro is a leading independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, with a combined rated crude oil capacity of nearly 560,000 barrels per day. Tesoro’s retail-marketing system includes over 500 branded retail stations, of which more than 200 are company-operated under the Tesoro® and Mirastar® brands.

Critical Issue:

The growing need for better data management in the land department. In the late 1990’s Tesoro Corporation went through a major transformation, selling its exploration and production operations and acquiring several high profile refineries. During this change in the company’s primary business focus the organization was inundated with boxes of legal agreements, files and digital documents. Randy Fraley, the Manager of ROW and Land, was challenged with the task of managing all this data. “After the acquisition of our refineries, we had data spread everywhere. There was information we needed in file cabinets, engineer’s desk drawers, attorney offices, plant supervisor files, and old boxes stored in numerous locations across the country.” Mr. Fraley soon realized he needed a way to consolidate, organize, manage and access all this critical business data.

Capabilities Needed:

Tesoro Corporation needed a database management tool with the functionality necessary to manage the complex history and variety of agreement types, and the ease of use necessary to provide access and dissemination of the information to the entire organization. Mr. Fraley was looking for a database that would provide flexible search tools, comprehensive reporting, and the ability to query the database for expiration, current ownership/title work and various provision information ie: widths of ROW’s, FASB 143, etc. “It is critical to have the ability to access contract and land agreements,” he explains, “so we can provide that information to field personnel in areas where we are conducting field operations as well as for our Attorneys and various SR Management personnel. Prior to the implementation of LandWorks this was practically impossible.”

Another high priority for Tesoro is their relationship with the property owners in areas where they have pipeline operations. “We need to be very conscientious of the landowners and their rights when we are servicing, repairing or conducting any field work on our pipelines. It is very important to timely notify the appropriate individuals so we needed an easy way to access the information necessary to communicate with these individuals. We also needed a way to effectively manage any provision or obligation related to each of our ROW and facilities, in an effort to mitigate any risks associated with any potential noncompliance which could have exposed the company to an unacceptable level of legal risk.”

Solution:

In 2003 Mr. Fraley began his search for a tool to help them upgrade their data management capabilities. “We reviewed several potential database solutions,” he explains, “but I was concentrating on getting the most functionality for the dollar. We determined that LandWorks provided us with a high degree of functionality for a reasonable cost. We also felt the LandWorks products were more intuitive for a land professional. The LandWorks database system seems to be designed with land experience in mind, where other solutions had a more engineered feel to them. The product is user friendly and easy to administer.”

The implementation of the LandWorks Property Management system (LPM) addressed Mr. Fraley’s criteria for a centralized database and provided them with the tools necessary to effectively manage all their land based contracts and agreements. As part of the implementation project, LandWorks provided assistance with installation, training, contracts review, scanning, customization and staffing to assist in the loading of their property data.

Result:

“We have been very happy with the results of this transition,” says Fraley, “it has positively impacted our ability to access information quickly, and provide critical business information to our field operations. Our ability to search through all our data and generate expiration reports and other important reports has saved us an immeasurable amount of time. What used to take us hours or days to complete can now be accomplished in minutes. Now we can find missing data easily and we have actually uncovered potentially serious title issues that would have gone unattended in the past. We have better relationships with our landowners because we are proactive with our communications, which makes them apart of the process, and helps us to avoid potential risk in this area.”

Mr. Fraley is now focusing on the connection between the LPM database and the LandWorks GIS mapping system. “We are looking forward to being able to provide updated land and pipeline maps to our operations staff on a timely basis. The GIS mapping functionality will allow us to better communicate with other departments at Tesoro by providing them with maps of our facilities and land positions. This GIS mapping tool utilizing the integration of our contracts in LPM is a powerful tool for maintenance and other engineering projects. Having aerial and various topographic maps showing our facilities and contracts/land position is a very useful and productive element to our efficient use of time/personnel. LandWorks has been a valuable partner in this transition and we look forward to working with them on our mapping projects.”