Most people nowadays are related to or know someone who is in the oil and petroleum industry. But very few really have an idea what such work entails. In truth, there exists a wide variety of employment opportunities in the field which may range from drilling work to engineering.
What is a petroleum landman?
A landman or petroleum landman is one who does a variety of work related to the gas and oil exploration industry. Before a company which is into this line of business can drill for oil or mine minerals on a particular piece of land, it needs to secure the rights to whatever oil and/or minerals that land may contain. A landman serves as the intermediary between the company securing the rights and the landowner, a middleman of sorts.
A landman's main job is to get the approval for drilling new oil wells. The responsibility covers being able to draft contracts, negotiate deals with landowners and companies, and making sure that the project adheres to regulations set forth by the government.
Many landmen who do the work have an undergraduate degree in energy management, business, or related fields, or have achieved certification with the professional landmen association in their country of operation.
Energy companies may opt to hire a landman directly, although landmen are usually independent contractors who work with landmen brokers. Landman brokers secure a service agreement for a company's project and then hire landmen to work on the client company's project.
A landman can pick among the various jobs available and may select an area of expertise, but most work on a variety of areas of expertise. But a landman can decide whether to be a salaried employee for an energy company or an independent contractor who works for land service companies.
A field landman is an independent contractor who is mostly hired by a landman broker or land service companies to provide the services for a client that will allow the client to start drilling on the land being eyed. Such engagement means that the landman must be able to identify who owns the land in question as well as who holds the rights to the minerals or oil beneath the surface of that land, and to go about the procurement as well as negotiations that entail the lease of the land and/or its minerals.
A company landman, on the other hand, works directly for the oil/gas exploration company. This type of landman does similar activities with the exception of a few. He researches public records to determine ownership of a property being considered, prepares and negotiates the leases and contracts, and takes charge of drilling communication and activities. His expertise will also cover handling of lease payments as well as that of malfunctions in equipment.
Whatever the kind of work a landman does, be it that of a field or company landman, he takes very huge responsibilities and workloads. His interpersonal skills in dealing with landowners and companies as well as his researching abilities on land ownership and rights puts him in a very significant role in the procurement of oil and mineral rights.