Can anyone tell me how much efficient, professional and expierenced (say 30+ years) landmen earn a day who are working in the Haynessville Shale? Do they more on the Texas or Lousisiana side of the play? Do they have to pay for their car expenses out of their pockets? Do they get reimbursed for meals and if from out of town, do they get reimbursed for motel expenses?
1) Depends on what the landman is doing.
2) No, depends more on what he is doing.
3) Yes, but they usu. get reimbursed in mileage (Fed rate is currently $.585/mi.)
4) Yes and yes; sometimes this is covered by per diem, but they will generally get at least expense reimbursement made up on the back end.
Rates are quoted in several sources at $400-$450/day in the field, anecdotally I have heard more, and more if you are "running crew" than if you're just field landman.
"Warm bodies" are making $300/day (anecdotally), as long as you continue to get ink.
In-house guys and consultants are fetching $500-$600/day (sourced); these guys are generally the 'in the know' and experienced hands.
Do the field landmen usually work and/or get paid for 5, 6 or 7 day weeks at that those rates? There's a lot of difference between being paid on a 5 day work week ($2,250 week X 50 weeks/yr = $112,500) as opposed to $157,500 a year if your paid for 7 days of work week. I assume there are a lot of expenses each landman incures that are not reimbursed though, and was thinking that these people have to pay both ends of Social seciruty and no medical insurance at all. And who pays for the notebook computers?
I assume they are all considered to be independent contractors from an IRS viewpoint. Is it best to work through a LLC for tax or liability purposes?
Depends on who the landman is working for and what they are doing (and what they are capable of doing). "Warm bodies" will not generally start at $450 per day. Neither will recent 'landman school' graduates.
These dayrates are "going rate" in the HS area, with the current demands on landmen being what they are, today. Count on 'warm bodies', 'leasehounds', and 'copy shooters' being the first ones to go when the leasing activity settles down.
Field landmen are typically reimbursed for days worked and direct expenses (meals, miles, lodging). Consultants are paid under individual contract and are paid according to contract terms.
Most non-company landmen are hired as contractors or subcontractors by those who have the work (either the company or the lead broker who has the contract with the company). They usually are hired as independents, and other than the area worked and some rudimentary office support, work independently for all intents and purposes, including taxes. As non-employees, one would expect to have all the expenses and tax liabilities that an independent contractor would have (tools of the trade, transportation, self-employment tax, medical policy, etc.). Sometimes a client will provide a computer (if, for instance, the company has a proprietary land system that you need special programs or equipment to use), but generally, you're on your own.
Also, FYI, as a contractor, you may wait 2 weeks or months for your money, depending on each individual client's payment schedule and history. You may be cut at any time. And a landman on the road can run up a lot of expenses pretty quickly. Do not plan on making this kind of money forever, compensation is also market driven.
As to your last questions, errors and omissions coverage (Y or N) depends upon the client, and talk to your CPA or tax preparer as to what to do for your individual situation.
I am a Landman with four years of experience. I am currently working with a crew of ten landmen or so. My Boss has thirty-five years of industry experience and is one of the most well respected Landmen in this area. I know what his day rate is. Apparently we are working with the wrong folks. Where can I make $500-$600/day.
Come on, McConnell, you know that the field brokerage business model is wrecked up from the neck up. The turnover and plague of warm bodies is part the business model. Some brokers are competent and knowledgeable. Just as many are dim-witted and unethical. And with respect to a sizable minority, all I can say is that Shakespeare himself could not have penned more mindless cretins. The "usual suspects" in a typical outfit will include broker's irritable sister-in-law who will be the person you have to deal with whenever you need to get through to somebody at the office or deal with about your invoice. Broker will place 20 year old daughter's K-Fed look alike boyfriend on the payroll @ $300/day next to that red-faced 50 year old sap bust'n his tail in the courthouse trying to feed his family...
Business will continue this way until economics and free competition is allowed on the scene. Because of nepotism, and the good 'ol boy system a person who can provide a better service at a better price is not given the opportunity to compete.
On an interesting side note, I went up to Chicago a couple of weeks ago for the wind energy industry's "NAPE", and I noticed a lot of their land personnel had engineering/environmental degrees, and I said "hey what do you do?" You wouldn't believe the simplicity. My 13 year old brother could handle most of that. But in the oil and gas industry, I've seen a new hire that barely made it through high school, being sent off to a ridiculously difficult HBP assignment! Thought that was interesting.
According to my calculations, for every day a bad landman works, it takes a good landman about three days to straighten it out. In other words, the work that the bad landmen creates for the good landmen is a renewable resouce. And the bad landmen just make the good landmen look even that much better. I've found a number of excellent 30 and 35 yr. landmen who have never ever missed a single day of work looking for a job (did I say ever), not even during the early 80s, and that even during hard times were paid top dollar. I know that sometimes it seems as there's no justice in the world, but the high-end landmen (of which there are several dozen in Louisiana) are always in great demand. I know most of them.
One other thing I've noticed about the high-end landmen. They always have a stack of special projects about 2 feet high that will only kick-off in the event that particular landman can oversee it. If he or she can't get the time to do the project, the client will not pursue it. That's my experience. One other thing these landmen have in common, no one ever dares giving them a hard time.
Sorry, didn't mean to get personal, but presently, less than no income - work for food here
Considering the alternatives land work looks pretty interesting - and love that La. mineral code (its available on the internet for free) - which I just finished reading - just started reading the civil code - several years ago I found them - they were being through out by a lawyer just because they were a little outdated
As exciting as this is, we know that we have a responsibility to do this thing correctly. After all, we want the farm to remain a place where the family can gather for another 80 years and beyond. This site was born out of these desires. Before we started this site, googling "shale' brought up little information. Certainly nothing that was useful as we negotiated a lease. Read More