Professional Landmen working in oil & gas play an integral part in the oilfield business. There are many tasks that a Professional Landmen do on a day-to-day basis. Here are a few things you should know about being a Landman:
- Prepare for paperwork.
- Negotiating is a necessity.
- Become familiar with libraries, courthouses, and public record databases.
- Opportunities are out there to help you learn, grow, and progress in your career.
1. Prepare for paperwork.
A Landman deals extensively with contracts, records, titles, leases, and other agreements. This means drawing up documents, correcting and updating contracts, analyzing paperwork, and documenting transactions and acquisitions. These agreements are legally binding and therefore often tedious. Being a Landman means being proficient in the process of creating, editing, and interpreting documents such as these. It also means spending much of your time in an office with this paperwork.
2. Negotiating is a necessity.
Mediating, haggling, settling, and negotiating contracts are unavoidable components of a Landman’s job. A Landman should be a skilled negotiator, ready to intervene in and navigate through disputes over mineral rights, land and surface rights, royalties, leases, rates of production, and overall payments. Though challenging, these inevitable mediations make up a significant portion of the Landman’s duties as they strive to arrive at equitable, fair agreements between parties. It is common for land and mineral rights to be owned by more than one party, meaning the Landman must negotiate with more than one party over one portion of the acquisition or lease. Additionally, a lease or purchase agreement is comprised of negotiable terms, clauses, royalty agreements, etc. that may each be challenged.
3. Become familiar with libraries, courthouses, and public record databases.
Research is the third major component of an oil and gas Landman’s duties. In addition to land and mineral ownership information, the Landman must have an understanding of the area’s geological formation, history, and value. Learn to love your library as it contains significant title, geographical, legal, and geological resources you will need to use in order to effectively advise the involved parties, negotiate terms, and prepare documents. You may need to travel to local courthouses to discover the owners of titles and rights in the areas the E&P companies are seeking. Finally, familiarize yourself with public record databases online as these are often more accessible, more efficient ways to discern ownership and lease information.
4. Opportunities are out there to help you learn, grow, and progress in your career.
The American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) offers certifications and resources to Landmen including designations as a Registered Landman (RL), Registered Professional Landman (RPL), and a Certified Professional Landman (CPL). Some companies will require their Landman to possess one of these designations. While not required, these certifications add credibility to your resume and contribute to a higher earning potential in many cases. Similarly, there are courses and degrees available to Landmen at colleges across the country. Consider pursuing a degree in land management, a certification in real estate, or even a law degree. Attorneys are typically essential participants in matters regarding contractual and property law, which make up most of a Landman’s business in the oil and gas industry. A Landman with a law degree has increased earning potential, credibility, and abilities within the legal process.
RigUp is looking for qualified Landmen to join our platform. Click here to learn more about becoming a Landman with RigUp. What are some other things you think someone should know about being an oil & gas Landman? Let us know below!