Oil and Gas Landman

oil and gas landman

The United States is one of the few countries in which the subsurface rights of a property can be bought and sold for the purpose of oil and gas exploration. In this industry, an oil and gas landman is a person who acquires subsurface mineral rights in order to seek, drill, and sell valuable materials from below the Earth’s surface.

A landman is not always necessarily the direct owner of an oil and gas operation’s mineral rights, but rather may receive overriding royalty interests as they can also be involved simply with business agreements or the extraction process of the minerals.

What Exactly Does an Oil and Gas Landman Do?

There are actually quite a few different roles a landman can play in the process of bringing oil and gas to market. Landmen are often heavily involved with financial negotiations and procurement processes involved in the extraction of valuable minerals. Some of the most common examples of oil and gas landman’s duties include:

  • Researching public and private records to determine ownership of mineral rights
  • Reducing title risks of mineral right ownership
  • Negotiating the sale or purchase of mineral rights
  • Determining ownership, managing, or combining mineral rights
  • Contracting surveyors and extraction teams for procurement

Landman Certification Levels

If you are interested in how to become an oil and gas landman, or simply want to check the credentials of an individual while selling your mineral rights or oil and gas royalties, then you should be familiar with the three certification levels of a professional landman. As designated by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), they are as follows:

Registered Landman (RL) – The most basic and easiest certification generally seen as the first step to becoming an expert in the field.

Registered Professional Landman (RPL) – The second level, which typically requires about 4 years of experience as a registered oil and gas landman.

Certified Professional Landman (CPL) – An expert-level certification that is given to experts in the field with a large amount of experience and education.

1 reply
  1. Alyce Holmes
    Alyce Holmes says:

    Hi, my Mother gave me paperwork about land we have that has been leased and paid royalties to the family. I have researched the terms, and basics. It is in Lea County New Mexico and Oklahoma. How do I go about finding out if it is being used, how to make sure we are being paid if it is, and how to lease it if it is not currently being used? Mom said someone called wanting to lease “the land”. She doesn’t remember the name of the.Company, the person who called etc. Her Grandmother and her Dad lived off the royalties for years according to her. Can you point me in the correct direction?


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