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What is a Landman, and What Do They Do?

Photograph of a man in a hard had standing in front of an oil rig on land

What is a Landman?

A landman is a professional who specializes in the public-facing side of oil, gas, and mineral exploration and production. They deal extensively with contracts, records, titles, leases, and other agreements.

What are the Types of Landmen?

Typically, landmen represent oil and gas companies and conduct due diligence to ensure that oil and gas companies can legally drill for minerals. However, there are also other types of landmen whose responsibilities vary drastically depending on their situation:

1) In-House Landman

An in-house landman works for an oil & gas company. They typically draw up titles, determine ownership, and negotiate agreements with property owners and oil & gas companies.

2) Independent Field Landman

Field landmen are independent contractors that do not work directly for an oil & gas company. They are typically hired by brokers and represent property owners.

What Do Landmen Do?

Landmen have a wide range of responsibilities related to the oil and gas industry. They draw up documents, research mineral ownership, and negotiate and update contracts. They also deal with issues like property rights, taxes and environmental regulations. Some of their main responsibilities include:

  • Title Research: Landmen are responsible for researching the history of land ownership and mineral rights for a specific area. This involves examining deeds, leases, contracts, and other legal records to determine who owns the mineral rights and if there are any existing agreements in place.

  • Lease Negotiations: Once a landman has determined ownership of mineral rights, they work with the property owners to negotiate lease agreements. A drilling company can't explore for and produce oil & gas unless they have permission from the property owner/s. This involves understanding the needs and priorities of both parties and ensuring that all terms and conditions are clearly outlined in the contract.

Landmen are also occasionally involved in the solar and wind industries. Proper solar and wind development requires tasks similar to the oil and gas industry such as ownership research, site analysis, and contract negotiations.

Property owners interested in determining if they own mineral rights may consider hiring a landman. If you know the location of your property and are interested in learning more about its value, you can get a free property report on LandGate's map with lease and sale estimates, along with valuable data and insights to help you learn more about your property's potential:


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