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The Job

Landmen work for oil, gas, and mineral exploration and production companies. Their main responsibilities are to research property ownership and negotiate the rights (known as right of way) to drill for oil, gas, and minerals on those properties. They spend part of their work day researching courthouse records and using the Internet to research land titles, property owners, and mineral owners. They interact directly with the land and mineral owners to negotiate terms of the lease that align with the oil and gas companies' terms as well as government regulations. Landmen also oversee the work of other staff members and the geological procedures that are used to identify sites for oil and gas exploration.

According to the American Association of Professional Landmen, there are three types of landmen: company landmen, independent field landmen, and independent land consultants. Company landmen work full time for oil and gas companies; they negotiate and draft the deals with other companies and individuals, and make sure the land is prepared for drilling and compliant with government laws. Independent field landmen are hired on a contract basis; they conduct land ownership research, prepare reports, negotiate leases, and may also conduct surface inspections before the drilling starts. Independent land consultants also work on a contract basis; their work is similar to that of field landman, but they focus primarily on due diligence exams that are required for the purchase and sale of properties and companies.

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