History of the Landman

The first successful drilling of oil was on August 28, 1859 near Titusville, Pennsylvania.  In 1878, Texas developed the first mineral reservation.  The Spindletop geyser discovery in 1901 led to using petroleum as a fuel for mass consumption, creating the Texas oil boom.  In 1902 the Texas Fuel Company was founded.  This later became Texaco.  By 1912, Cincinnati open the first gas station in America. 

Since oil drilling began, there has been a need for someone to check the titles of land owners, negotiate leases, and acquire participants for the oil rigs to become operational.  As the oil industry grew, the need for specialists in this kind of work led to the development of the Landman.  In 1955, the American Association of Professional Landmen was established.   This association was created to provide resources for landmen and set a core value of ethical standards.

Due to a growing interest in sharing information and learning more about this field, in 1958 the University of Oklahoma developed the first degree program for Landmen entitled Petroleum Land Management.  Landmen need to have a vast assortment of knowledge and skills.  They have to understand the geology of potential sites, the engineering to drill wells, the petroleum industry and the laws surrounding property and mineral rights.  They also need the people skills to communicate effectively with people from diverse social classes; small farmers, wealthy land owners, geologists, engineers and corporate executives.
So, their curriculum was widely varied.  Geology, business communication and statistics, civil engineering, economics, accounting, business law and management and petroleum engineering were just a few of the classes.  The first graduating class totaled 77 people.  Of these, 52 were already employed in the oil industry.  The program just expanded from there and Professional Landsmen were born.
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