In the boom years for American oil and gas, mining companies sent legions of “landmen” to Texas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma to get to the owners with a contract so they could start drilling before someone else did. They were road warriors and investigators, fast in the records room of a rural courthouse, charming on the doorstep and always mindful of the maxim of the oil tycoon J Paul Getty that the “meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights”. Now they are back on the road seeking new leases, not for shale oil deposits but for sunshine and wind turbines, at the behest of renewable energy companies. “I started out as an oilfield landman,” Jim Stout, 42, who was in northwest Pennsylvania “talking with landowners and signing leases”, said. These days he acts for Redstone, an energy firm that wants land for solar farms.
Times 24th April 2021 read more »