Thank you for considering our
Surface Use & Damage Issues Essentials course.

It is the most comprehensive course of its kind available today by way of the 300+ years of our unequaled advisory board members' hands on executive experience in this field.

This is one of the Most Misunderstood skill-sets for most Landmen even though it is greatly needed due to its wide impact on modern day drilling and Right of Way operations.

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Most Landmen do not have a vast amount of experience when it comes to fully understanding how to draft these types of agreements, especially when dealing with land owners who are considered "Pros" or companies such as Land Trusts.

It also sets the stage to start the process whether or not such an agreement is even needed on land considered empty lands.

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This course will discuss several key and critical issues in great detail regarding this subject. In each chapter we get into the many facets of the title of that chapter. Please review the syllabus below to see the chapter breakdown of the course.

Every effort has been made to anticipate any questions you may have and to include information in this course that will help you answer them.

Our goal and focus has always been to provide the best academic and professional training available for all aspects of the petroleum and alternative energy industry, from the beginner to the most experienced.

We realize that you need to be able to broaden your knowledge base regarding the different skill sets needed to succeed as a well rounded Landman or Right-of-Way Agent in today's industry.

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We have assembled what we believe is vital information which will be helpful for those working in the skill set of dealing with pooling and how to proceed with successfully drafting and executing production sharing agreements.

Therefor, it is our sincere hope that after taking this course you should be able to better understand this subject and how it applies to all aspects of pre and post drilling activities.

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Surface Use and Damage Issues Essentials

The course covers:

  • Specific Surface Use Issues
  • Pre-Drilling Operations – Temporary Roads And Testing Sites
  • Post-Drilling Operations – Permanent Roads And Production Facilities
  • Conclusion Discussion
  • Surface Use – Reasonable Necessity Rule
  • Damages Vs. Intent – Use Not Within The Protection Of ‘Reasonable Necessity Rule’
  • Damages Vs. Intent – Use Within The Protection Of ‘Reasonable Necessity Rule’
  • Surface Damage Option Agreements
  • What Is It?
  • Why Use It?
  • What Are You Paying For?
  • When Should You Use It?
  • What To Pay For Damages
  • Setting Values
  • Workshop - Negotiating Actual Damage And Use Values And Issues
  • Conclusion Discussion

The class is taught:

  • Live – 40 contact hours.
  • Self-paced Online – Available for Six Months.
  • Testing/Homework/Workshops.
  • Has a course manual with note taking ability.

  • This class is for Beginners to 10 Years’ Experience.
  • The course is designed to provide the student with an in-depth look at many of the many aspects and facets of negotiating a Surface Damage and Use Agreement and presents real life scenarios which are designed to get the student familiar with oil and gas operations and right of way operations to better equip them in negotiating settlement offers, such as dealing with Land Trusts.
  • It provides a very thorough instruction and discussion about surface issues such as things which can be done to protect the land, wildlife, and scenic values as well as dealing with restoration issues.
  • In addition, the course covers different type of surface damage issues, care and maintenance issues of a right of way and easement as well as understanding land ownership and route selection.
  • Testing is set up after each chapter and is such that if the student does not pass the test after two attempts they cannot advance to the next chapter without their superior’s approval or at the request of the school.
  • The course covers issues in Oklahoma and Texas as well as setting the stage for understanding how to perform this work in multiple states.

The course writers and instructor:

David Melton

  • Mr. Melton, a professional landman since 1980, has acquired vast experience in acquisitions and divestitures as well as executive management skills (VP of Land) for a small E&P company and as a GM and COO for two large land brokerage firms with multiple offices in Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Colorado, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In addition, Mr. Melton has over 40 years’ experience in oil and gas exploration and production including operations, land management and administration in all phases. He formed the Petroleum Landman School in 2005 and has taught students from 34 states and two foreign countries. Mr. Melton is a recognized public speaker, course writer and presenter for the AAPL and a published author for the AAPL, IRWA and
We are trusted by Industry Leaders
The Petroleum Landman School in ran by seasoned veterans of the industry, and our courses are backed by leading companies. But let's hear what actual graduates have to say:


After finishing your class in August and now it being the first of October, I actually got a job last week working full time for a landman in Santa Fe handling federal leases.   I will tell you that they say what I learned in your class puts me ahead of the game so it was time and money well spent.

K. Haase

Dear David,

Thank you for the truly informative course held last September. 
I have completed my first year as an in-house landman for a petroleum company and can’t imagine how I could have achieved it without your excellent tutelage.

R. Sidwell
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