Is the Land Profession Due for an Overhaul?

Feb 16, 2022

At Part & Parcel, we believe that change is inevitable and that it is therefore our responsibility to choose change and intentionally shape our future into the best version it can be.

However, the past, present and future are all interconnected. So, how can we use what we know of the past and current state of the land profession to determine what the future could or should look like?


Oil and gas have played a major role in American history since the creation of several of today’s most profitable petroleum companies in the mid-1800s. 

As the business boomed, the “landman” became a crucial player in the trading of mineral rights. From the founding of the Panhandle Association of Petroleum Landmen in 1950 to the American Association of Professional Landmen just five years later, the next 60 years would see many evolutions in how energy sources were mined across the country. To whit, the turn-of-the-century discovery of the Barnett Shale led to massive shifts in how land pros did their jobs. And, over time, technological advances made it possible for them to do so efficiently.


Today, many oil and gas companies are reportedly looking to turn their focus towards practicing capital discipline, focusing on financial health, committing to climate change, and transforming business models. In fact, experts say that, when it comes down to it, “purpose-driven, tech-enabled, and human-powered organizations with smart interim goals and progressive communication and disclosure strategies can make [these changes] happen.”

Moreover, despite having shed 107,000 jobs last year, Leslie Beyer, CEO of the Energy Workforce and Technology Council predicts that “[The] innovation in the industry is driving opportunities for new, highly technical, and digitally driven jobs in decreasing emissions of energy production.”

That said, with more (inevitable) changes on the horizon and a cultural shift in what it means to be (and look like) a land professional, we’re due for another evolution of the day-to-day realities of a land pro. Whether it’s in the tools they use, the people they see, the type of deals they negotiate, or all of the above still remains to be seen.


The most likely transformations will be to the technology used within the land profession, which energy sources will continue to be used, and how priorities will shift as the overall culture changes within the industry.

On a practical level, that could look like:

  • An influx of inventive, intuitive, and immersive tools (like artificial intelligence and augmented reality) integrated into the land pro’s daily tasks.
  • New ways to generate energy and leverage resources in a much more sustainable way, causing less environmental harm in the long term.
  • A recruitment process focused on “evening the playing field”, where previous issues like referral bias don’t exist and “bad eggs” have nowhere to hide.


Read the White Paper

We have many more thoughts on the direction we believe the land profession is going which is why we wrote this white paper. In it, we dive deeper into what factors came together to create the industry we know today and how land agents and companies can (and should) future-proof their businesses by setting land professionals up for success.