Landowners, Others Seeing the Impact of Energy Investment

by Garry Hoffmann  on Monday, Aug. 27, 2007 12:00 am  

"If we put eight wells in Section 31, he'll get $1,600 to $1,700 a month."

Over in Wynne, Brown has heard these stories.

"You got folks who didn't have very much and now they have income coming in and they don't know what to do with it. It's more than they ever dreamed of seeing."

Becoming a Landman

Lisa Fields knew what to do with the higher income she began earning about 2 1/2 years ago, and she doesn't even own land in the Fayetteville Shale. Fields, 27, of Conway, is a landman for Griffith Land Service in Conway, which does contract work for two Houston-based companies: Alta Resources LLC and publicly traded Petrohawk.

Fields runs title searches preparatory to determining the ownership of mineral rights and securing leases. She does some leasing, too, and visits drill sites to talk with landowners.

"I had no experience. I had no idea what I was doing," Fields said, recalling her first days on the job.

"I didn't even know you could publicly go into the courthouse and get this information," she said by cell phone outside the Van Buren County Courthouse in Clinton.

Soon, the former insurance agent - pregnant with her son, Alec, when she took the job - was making enough money to support the soon-to-be family of three and allow her husband, James, fresh out of college, to start a heating and air-conditioning business.

She finds the work fascinating and fun.

"I like it a lot," she said. "I like math a lot and there's always an answer ... there's always a path."

Amanda Reves was similarly enthusiastic. The Pope County homemaker-turned-landman runs most of her titles at the Conway County Courthouse in Morrilton. Reves, also 27, was somewhat familiar with the terrain, her father having managed a leasing service.



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