Land professionals come in all sorts. Many people think that a landman is the all-in-one resource for negotiating mineral rights. In some instances that may be true, but the average landman requires the help of many other land professionals. Negotiating land rights can take a considerable amount of time and effort. As a result, the process of acquiring mineral rights, surface rights, and other land rights requires the attention of many people with varying skill sets.
The differences between a landman and other land professionals probably seem obvious to those already in the land management industry. To others, however; it can seem like a completely foreign language. That’s why we here at LandmanJobs.net have decided to briefly highlight a few key land professional positions.
The landman is far and away the most familiar land professional in the oil and gas industry. That’s because it is the landman’s job to be well-known, as they are on the front lines of negotiation. A landman acts as an agent for an oil and gas company, negotiating mineral and land rights agreements between the company and land owners. It is the landman’s job to strike the best deal he or she can between the two parties. Negotiation isn’t a landman’s sole responsibility. Mineral and land rights agreements require a landman to do extensive research on ownership, titles, and other public and private records. In short, the landman has to know all aspects of the negotiation process in order to effectively do his or her job.
The Land Technician (Land Tech)
Think of the land tech as the landman’s right hand man or Gal Friday. The land tech is responsible for assisting the landman with various types of land related information. This includes reporting, research, lease information, title information, and operating agreements to name a few. The land tech helps to keep the landman organized and accurate in his or her information. Much like the landman, it’s very important for the land tech to understand all aspects of the mineral acquisition process.
The attorney’s role seems pretty apparent in the process of mineral rights negotiations. It’s the attorney’s job to make sure all legal aspects of the negotiations are on the level. Not just any attorney can work with landmen and other land professionals. Attorneys who work for oil and gas companies need specialized knowledge about legal dealings in the land management realm. They analyze ownership, titles, and lease agreements to make sure everything checks out. Attorneys may also represent oil and gas companies in the court of law over mineral and land disputes that may arise.
The Leasing Agent
The leasing agent shares many of the same responsibilities as a landman. Leasing agents are communicators between mineral owners and oil and gas companies. They negotiate lease terms in order to reach a mineral rights agreement. Often times leasing agents have extensive real estate experience. Negotiating mineral leases requires special knowledge about land rights as they relate to the oil and gas industry. Therefore, leasing agents need specific knowledge of mineral rights dealings.
The Lease Analyst
The lease analyst’s primary responsibility is, as you might have guessed: analyzing leases and every part of those leases at that. Lease analysts are specialists in managing leases, titles, and other mineral and land rights documents. They are required to have a special understanding of various lease provisions, as well as custom clauses. Lease analysts are also responsible for extensive documentation. Needless to say, these guys are pretty familiar with the Securities and Exchange Commission for public reporting.
The Land Manager
The land manager is a landman among landmen. He, or she, is directly responsible for overseeing a team of landmen and other land professionals. A land manager ultimately manages the relationship between a company and landowners. A land manager must have exceptional administrative and leadership skills. In addition to these organizational skills, a land manager must know the ins and outs of mineral rights and land negotiations in order to effectively manage a company’s mineral and land interests. In essence, a land manager is a landman who supervises all negotiations, analysis, and research for a company.
The imager, or usually a team of imagers, is responsible for organizing and imaging all documents pertaining to land management. The process of imaging includes documenting right of ways, lease agreements, warranties, and all other land related documents. Imagers are vital to keeping oil and gas companies well documented and organized.
To Sum It All Up
While the land professionals listed above may be the most sought after, there exists an even greater variety of people who contribute to the process of land and mineral rights negotiation. It’s also very common that a land professional in one position, has many skills of another. Each of these positions relies on extensive knowledge of the others; therefore they are definitely not exclusive of each other. Often a company requires its land professionals to be well versed in all areas of land management. You can be sure though, that it takes all sorts of land professionals to keep oil and gas companies going.
If you’re searching for landman jobs, visit: http://www.landmanjobs.net/jobs/
So how does someone actually get involved in something like this?
Gary – There are several ways to get involved. If you’re just getting started, I would suggest taking a landman education course. There are several courses offered across the country, as well as online. These courses do cost money, but they are usually pretty reasonable in price. I’d say your best resource for education would be http://www.landman.org/education. The AAPL is the officially recognized certifying organization for the landman industry. Also, start networking with people in the industry if you can, even if they’re not landmen. Usually the “friend of a friend” strategy can help to put you in touch with some knowledgeable people, and possibly a future employer.
I hope that points you in the right direction. We are going to put up a blog post in the next few days titled, “How to Become a Landman.” This post will outline additional avenues and tips to becoming a landman.
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How do I contact Mr. Shelton in order to get permission to re-post this excellent article?
Julia – We’re glad you enjoyed the article. You can shoot me an email at email@example.com.