By: Shana M. Smith, Esq.
On August 29, 2017, the 2017 Pennsylvania Senate Bill No. 835 was introduced and seeks to amend the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act (the “Act”) to bring oil and gas landmen, or land agents, under its regulations.
The proposed definition of Land Agent is: A person who, in the course and scope of the person’s business in this Commonwealth and on acting on the person’s own behalf or on behalf of a prospective lessee or buyer, has been engaged primarily in:
- Negotiating the acquisition or divestiture of oil, gas or mineral rights, including the acquisition or divestiture of land or oil, gas or mineral rights for a pipeline;
- Negotiating business agreements that provide for the exploration for or development of oil, gas or minerals;
- Determining ownership of oil, gas or minerals through research of public and private records;
- Reviewing the status of title, curing title defects, and otherwise reducing title risk associated with ownership of oil, gas or minerals;
- Managing rights or obligations derived from ownership of interests and oil, gas or minerals; or
- Activities to secure the unitization or pooling of interests in oil, gas or minerals.
Land agents will be required to submit an application for a registration certificate, which shall be renewed biennially, and pay an initial application fee and renewal fee. Once approved, land agents will have to provide proof of registration under the Act upon first contact with a property owner. Those who violate the requirements of the Act may be subject to criminal penalties.
If you have any questions about the proposed amendments to the Act and the impact on oil and gas landmen, please contact Shana Smith at 412.261.1600, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shana is an associate in the Energy Practice Group, and is based in Leech Tishman’s Pittsburgh office.
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