Petroleum landmen are people who acquire the subsurface mineral rights
from landowners for the purposes of oil and gas exploration. That means they
make sure their company owns the minerals it will find in the ground. They
work for petroleum exploration companies like Exxon.
Workdays are never dull. A landman must research the property to determine
the owner of the mineral rights. "Sometimes, there can be literally hundreds
of people who have rights to a percentage of the ownership of a piece of land,"
says Jeff Myers. He is a petroleum landman.
Once the owner is located, the landman must negotiate the rights to the
land. This may include buying the land outright or leasing the land from the
It is important that a landman have very good interpersonal skills. "The
role requires a landman to interact with individuals within the company as
well as with people in and outside of the industry. Often, the landman is
the first person that a mineral or surface title owner or an industry partner
meets," says landman Gary Montgomery.
"That first impression is often an impression of the company as a whole."
Landmen often have to travel to meet with the owners of a set of mineral
rights. The rest of the time, landmen usually work from an office. They spend
a great deal of time completing the paperwork that accompanies the job.
"The amount of paperwork that must be done for each job really depends
on how complex the ownership of the mineral rights are," explains landman
"Occasionally, you run into a job where there are hundreds of owners to
be dealt with. At times like that, you're thankful for computers because they
make the work a little easier."