Land negotiation sets the process of oil and gas exploration in
motion. Companies lease or purchase above-ground surface
rights and below-ground mineral rights to access the
property's oil and gas reserves. Formal agreements must be in place
before a company can drill a well, construct an access road, build
a facility or expand a pipeline. Often different parties own
surface and mineral rights for a parcel of land making the
negotiation even more challenging!
Land professionals are usually the company's first point of
contact with land and mineral owners. Integrity and professionalism
are essential when building and sustaining trusted business
relationships. Can you see yourself talking with farmers, ranchers,
Aboriginal groups, governments and other stakeholders to work out
agreements on behalf of your employer? How about managing the
details of land titles, caveat registrations, discharges and
transfers, permits, leases and detailed written contracts?
Welcome to the world of Land Negotiation and Administration
Professionals! It's a fascinating career and one that is well worth
What does a Land Negotiation andAdministration Professional
Land Negotiation and Administration
Professionals acquire and manage surface and mineral
rights from owners, so that oil, gas and pipeline companies can
conduct their business. They also develop and maintain detailed
contracts and other necessary documentation. Primary career paths
to consider are:
- Surface Land
Professionals: Negotiate and establish agreements with
government agencies, other companies, and individuals to secure
access to above-ground surface rights. They maintain agreements,
ensure obligations to applicable parties are met, and regulatory
guidelines are followed. They also work closely with landowners,
regulatory agencies, and other company departments.
- Mineral Land
Professionals: Establish and interpret agreements with
government agencies, other companies, and landowners to secure
access to below-ground mineral rights. They maintain leases,
licenses and contracts, keep track of wells, pay mineral rentals,
and ensure obligations to all parties are met. They also work
closely with technical teams, joint venture specialists, and
How do I become a Land Negotiation andAdministration
Land professionals require in-depth knowledge of the business,
as well as regulations, land tenure/survey systems, contracts, and
other aspects of land management. Some roles require a Land Agent
license or a Commissioner for Oaths appointment. A valid driver's
license is also required. You'll benefit from these post-secondary
education options and professional certifications:
- Petroleum Land Management (PLM)
Certification, available as a concentration in the Bachelor of
Commerce degree program at the University of
- Land Agent Diplomas and Land
Administration Certificates, available at various colleges in
- Energy Asset Management Diploma,
offered at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), in
partnership with The Centre for Energy Asset Management
- Professional Landman (P.Land) and/or
Professional Surface Landman (PSL) certifications, available
through the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen.
- Certified Petroleum Contracts
Administrator, Mineral Administrator and Surface Administrator
certifications, available through the Canadian Association of
Petroleum Land Administration.
What are the working conditions like?
Surface land professionals typically spend a considerable amount
of time travelling in rural areas and working in field
environments. Working hours vary depending on the availability of
Mineral land professionals and land management administrative
roles are usually office-based and work regular business hours.
Do I fit the bill?
Do you think you have what it takes to become a Land
Negotiation and Administration Professional?
- I pride myself on effective
communication - I'm a good listener and I can adapt my style to
- I try to understand other people's
points of view, especially when they are different than
- I am skillful at resolving conflicts
and reaching agreements in difficult one-on-one or group
- I can think on my feet and provide
credible responses on short notice.
- I bring integrity and trustworthiness
to relationships, no matter the challenges.
- I have good organizational skills to
help me follow things through from start to finish.
- I like using different computer
software to create documents, spreadsheets and
- Accuracy and attention to detail are
- I can work effectively on my own, and
as a member of a cross-functional team.
- I have the flexibility to work
demanding hours, and can travel to rural and field
- I think a career as a Land
Negotiation and Land Administration Professional is exciting, and
I'm up for the challenge and experience!
Quick tips and next steps!
- Investigate post-secondary education
options, including the Energy Asset Managementprogram at
- Attend meetings held by professional
associations such as the Canadian Association of Professional
Landmen, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Land
Administrators,and the International Right of Way Association to
network and gain insight.
- Search the phrase, "Negotiating
Surface Rights" and read about the topic on your provincial or
territory government website.
- Download The Negotiator, a
publication by the Canadian Association of PetroleumLandmen at http://www.landman.ca.
- Look for summer jobs in Land
Departments and get some related experience.
Want more info?
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