What exactly is a landman?

If you own the oil and gas mineral rights on a piece of property, you may have already been contacted by a landman looking for a lease. But if you are new to the game, you might not fully understand who this person is and whether you can trust him/her. The following factsheet gives a quick glimpse at the roles and responsibilities of this very important person involved in the leasing process.

Ms. Alford, I have been contacted by many people calling themselves landman who were attempting to lease my mineral rights but none matched the description in your post unless professionalism is synonymous with lying.

It is extremely important for mineral owners to note that the landman is not your friend. The landman works for whoever pays them, works for the lessee, not for you, the mineral owner. It is their job to get the most favorable lease for the lessee.

Take anything a landman says with a 25# block of salt. I suggest that people only deal with landmen in writing, letters to be original and signed in blue ink. People are a lot less likely to put something in writing that is not true. Unless you are recording a conversation (follow all applicable laws) a landman's words can be written on the wind, gone as soon as spoken.

Some of the shortest phone calls I have ever had in my life were when a landman called me to discuss leasing my mineral rights and I asked them if they minded if I recorded the conversation.

Bear in mind that it's a landman's job is to obtain your mineral rights for their employer at reasonable cost. Some landmen will say anything to accomplish this goal. It's how they make their living. In my personal experience and the landmen I have had business dealings with, they will say absolutely anything to get you to execute the lease. After all, it's their job and if they don't get leases signed, how long will they have that job?

The landmen who attempted to obtain leases of my mineral rights and many others I have met since have been woefully ignorant of the laws. I'm not saying all are, Just all the ones I personally dealt with plus several I have had words with here. Verify everything a landman trying to lease your minerals tells you as it may not be so.

There are a dozen or so landmen on these forums who I count as friends and I'm certain that these forums would be a much poorer place without them as they give generously of their time and expertise, far beyond what anyone could expect. I am fairly certain that I didn't anger any of them by saying this and I felt it needed to be said

As pertains to North Dakota where my minerals are, I have found that a landman who contacts me to lease my minerals is not important. I hear them out and tell them no thank you, I will just take what the law says I'm entitled to, which generally results in them "mischaracterizing" the law. I don't have a lot of time for people who lie to me. I have much less time than that for people who have a business proposition for me who are lying to me. I don't think anyone can blame me for that.