How Landmen Have Changed: The Badass Motherfuckers Before Us

The Badass Motherfuckers Before Us

Can you think of a more quintessential American career than being a landman? We make a living from our wit, intellect, and our ability to adapt to the ever changing landscape of the oil and gas industry. Landmen used to be the one man do it all character at the center of great oil discoveries, but as the industry has grown so too has the landman profession. We now have in house landmen, field landmen, landman brokers, surface landmen, yada yada blah blah blah you get it. Specialization means that most landmen don’t have a broad range of experience in all aspects of oil and gas anymore. Simply put…we’re not the badass motherfuckers that came before us.

Pooling & Polling 90 Years of Experience

Sunset on a South Texas frac

It would take a lifetime and then some to have experience in EVERYTHING, so that’s not really practical. However…if you have experience and exposure to enough of the industry, you can develop a sense of how to handle situations and solve problems that you have not directly encountered before. Pooling the knowledge of other landmen is another way to take advantage of the various different backgrounds and experience we have. Last night our company MYR Land Services got a couple of landmen together to hang out and drink some beers. We had over 90 years of experience sitting at the table.

Backbone of the Industry

Towards the end of the evening, the question was posed “what is missing from the industry now that we had 10 or 15 years ago?” The first answer was mine, and it was immediate “the pay.” After some nods and brief comments in agreement, another landman said “professionalism.” Then he continued on, “we used to have 30 or 40 year veterans, real badass motherfuckers that helped us…guided us. They formed the backbone of the industry. We don’t have those guys around anymore.” That got me thinking…what’s the average age of a landman these days? How about the average experience level? It’s not, and I don’t think ever will, get any younger.

Losing Experience

I know where the bodies are buried

Each year there are fewer of us. More people hanging up their hats. Leaving the business, or retiring. The old guard is burned out. Some of them made a good chunk of change, a lot of them didn’t. Losing the experience that those badass motherfuckers possess is a shame. The old school guys that don’t use computers were able to get things done without Envernus, the TRRC website, or TexasFile. I think that’s pretty damn cool and I’d never turn down the opportunity to sit down for a couple of beers with those guys. Hopefully some of them stick around long enough for us to learn a few more things.

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