BINGHAMTOM, Pennsylvania – The Greater Pennsylvania School for Oil and Gas (GPSOG) is proud to offer a new series of courses focused on training and improving Landmen and Land managers at E&Ps.  Terry Hillback, President of the school, has always had a soft spot for Landmen and their important role in upstream oil and gas industry.

Terry Hillback, GPSOG President

We have to make sure that our landmen (both men and women), are properly trained and up to the level of some of their fierce competitors.  Some junior staff can use this training and it will undoubtedly make them more valuable to their employers. – Terry speaks outside of his office in Binghamton

GPSOG has taken an inventive direction with developing and planning the course, borrowing age-old gaming techniques and strategies, and basing their curriculum on card and board games.  The following courses were listed by Dr. Hillback in an interview with 2P News:

  • RISK – teaches land-based strategic planning, and how to take over as much land as you possibly can
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Learning to play Risk will help landmen understand how to dominate, but instead of total world domination, it will teach how to dominate the PNG fields. This is true only if you are not Bendovus Energy, in which case you already own the surface land and the mineral rights.
  • BATTLESHIP – shows how random shit you do might occasionally work, if you do it repeatedly and without much actual thought
  • MONOPOLY – teaches how to hoard land, and make it considerably more expensive for another party to purchase; it also demonstrates how you can go straight to jail for executing bad deals
  • CHESS – this game was discussed but it was deemed to difficult for landmen to learn and understand
  • GO FISH – this vintage card game was used an an example of grasping what at what you can when you can to look good for your manager
  • POKER – teaches aspiring landmen that it’s all about lying to get ahead and win
  • ASSHOLE – that age old pub card game really explains itself
  • CHECKERS – teaches that you can get ahead more quickly in the land game by jumping over others
  • CLUE – teaches a landman how to dig through bullshit to discover what his or her geologist is really up to
  • JENGA – demonstrates how things can all come tumbling down when you don’t secure that key deal
  • SORRY – this course teaches how you should approach your boss after you’ve lost at JENGA
  • TROUBLE – what most landmen get into after they lose prospective land to a competitor
  • PERFECTION – demonstrates what every landman whole heartedly thinks they are, but can never be (unless they have an engineering degree as well)

The GPSOG plans to rollout the new training course in the October of 2013 in the United States, and it will come to Alberta in January 2014. When asked about the new GPSOG Landman training course, a downtown Calgary land professional commented the following:

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Susan Brickendorf, Senior Land Negotiator with Crashent Point Energy

Well, I’ve got tell you, I like it. We landmen need all the help we can get. Land negotiation is often times the overlooked discipline in the oil and gas industry, much like the stuff joint venture people do, but this course will help other disciplines get a better understanding (in a simple way) of how difficult and stressful our roles are.


Landmen do far more than go out on fancy lunches and wine and dine other landmen. Without us, the industry would grind to a halt and geologists and engineers would be sitting on their hands all day long (at home).

Some vocal opposition has been voiced by senior land staff from numerous PNG operators in Calgary.  When they could not agree on a single location to hold a protest as a group, they all individually stood on whatever street corner they thought had the most value, and shouted to passersby anything they could about GPSOG’s new plan.  Most of the pedestrians simply ignored them, but a select few engineers and geologists threw fries and bits of calamari at them from the rooftop patio of a Stephen Avenue pub.



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