Entry Senior

Surface Land Professional

About This Career

Surface Land Professionals participate in the planning of drilling, pipeline and facility projects, and perform a critical role in negotiating the acquisition of the surface rights access required to carry out drilling and production activities. The Surface Land Professional provides valuable insights into surface, community, environmental and regulatory issues. They serve as an ambassador for the company and industry, and represent the company’s interests when interacting with landowners, regulators and industry partners. They are typically the first point of contact between land owners and operators. Direct experience in First Nations consultation may be required.

Surface Land Professionals manage financial transactions and ensure field activity reporting and information sharing complies with laws and regulations. They often spend a lot of time in the field negotiating with key stakeholders.  Senior level positions tend to work more in an office environment overseeing professionals working in the field.  This role requires use of databases and various types of computer software.

Education:  Completion of a post-secondary diploma, and two- to three-years of relevant experience is typically required for this occupation. An internship is required to complete a Land Agent license is to become an accredited negotiator. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen (CAPL) offers a voluntary program to recognize experience, proficiency and professionalism.

Employment:  This occupation is employed in onshore environments in the exploration and production and pipelines sectors in the oil and gas industry.

Example job titles: Land Negotiation and Administration Professional, Surface Land Agent, Surface Rights Administrator, Landman

Work Activities
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers or Subordinates
 Responding to landowner inquiries for a designated field operations area.
Documenting/Recording Information
Preparing and processing third-party requests for crossings and temporary agreements.
Entering data and maintaining files for various land documents.
Preparing new surface files and inputting them into Land System databases.
Maintaining surface/easement files.
Getting Information
Conducting and assembling title searches and reviews as necessary.
Maintaining Relationships
Serving as an ambassador for the company and industry, and represent the company's interests with landowners, regulators and industry partners.
Monitoring and Controlling Resources
Monitoring obligations/commitment dates/expiry dates of surface land agreements.
Performing Administrative Activities
Ensuring deals are correctly recorded and maintained in the relevant databases.
Setting up and maintaining agreements in the relevant databases and ensuring files and records are current, thorough and accurate.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Representing the company in handling complaints, arbitrating disputes or resolving grievances that may arise during negotiations with landowners and business activities with regulatory agencies.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Following industry trends and regulation changes, reviewing and delivering industry notifications.
Managing Conflict
Attention to Detail
Law and Government
Customer and Personal Service
Document Use
Career Path
  • The following are examples of progressive or lateral career moves associated with this occupation:
  • Land Agent
  • Land Negotiator
  • Acquisitions and Divestiture
  • Health and Safety Professional
  • Joint Venture Representative
  • Community Relations
Related Careers
Working Conditions
  • Field 2
    Field Visits
  • Physical
    Mild Physical Activity
  • Office
    Office Based
  • Steeringwheel
    Driving Required
  • Variable weather
    Variable Weather
  • Road
    Remote Locations
  • Overtime
    Some Overtime Required
Transferable Sectors
  • Non-residential and residential building construction
  • Public administration, including regulatory
  • Forestry and logging
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Utilities, including renewable energy
  • Mining and quarrying
Job Details

Job Category

Business and Operations Support


Exploration and production




Qualifications + Experience


  • Post-secondary diploma


  • Industry certification may be obtained for Certified Surface Landman (CSL) or PSL© (Professional Surface Landman) through the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen (CAPL). Both designations have a number of requirements that must be satisfied including a combination of active membership in CAPL, qualifying experience, completion of mandatory courses, academic achievement, and payment of fees. The P.Land© designation also requires the completion of a written examination.
  • Specific health and safety certifications will be determined by job requirements.


  • Valid driver’s licence may be required.
  • A Land Agent licence is required for all negotiator roles.