Petroleum Landman Job Description

A petroleum landman finds and develops fossil fuel resources.

A petroleum landman finds and develops fossil fuel resources.

Despite the job title, employment as a petroleum landman is for both women and men. Landman is a conflation of land management, which refers to deriving precious resources located on properties above and below the earth. The job of a petroleum landman requires dedication to seeking fossil fuels and creating relationships between landowners and producers.


A petroleum landman collaborates with a variety of stakeholders to maximize development of resources. They work with landowners and representatives from exploration and production companies to deal with a variety of issues such as government regulations, subsurface rights and contract negotiation. Dealing with diverse sets of people in different business settings and land environments requires a petroleum landman to be socially adept. Excellent communication skills make it easier to piece together complex agreements that benefit all parties involved.

Becoming A Landman

A variety of post-secondary majors prove useful to those pursuing this career path. A degree in economics, geography, commerce and even psychology are useful for an aspiring petroleum landman. Although not required, the American Association of Professional Landmen lists seven programs across North America that specifically cater to the development of the profession. The University of Wyoming is an institution that offers this specific education, allowing students to apply classroom theory on work sites to gain valuable experience.

Work Environment

A petroleum landman often travels, visiting locations that offer the opportunity for development. Petroleum deposits reside in a variety of settings around the world, requiring travel to different climates and geological formations. When not engaged in travel, a landman spends most of her time in the office. Men outnumber women in the profession, resulting in an environment where difference in gender provides a different point of view. This perspective sometimes proves to be an advantage for women during the negotiation process.


Petroleum is a fossil fuel that powers a variety of business and domestic concerns, providing energy and raw materials for manufacturing. The value of this resource is tied directly to larger economic concerns. As a result, a petroleum landman has to adjust business according to cyclical demand, adapting to fluctuating prices and market conditions.

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About the Author

Kent Tukeli has been writing for business and media organizations since 2007, including Valnet Inc., Top Affiliate Publishing and Mirvish Productions. He honed his skills at the University of Toronto, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.

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