Working Interest (Oil and Gas) Law and Legal Definition

Working Interest means an interest in an oil and gas lease that gives the owner of the interest the right to drill and produce oil and gas on the leased acreage. It requires the owner to pay a share of the costs of drilling and production operations. The share of production to which a working interest owner is entitled will always be smaller than the share of costs that the working interest owner is required to bear, with the balance of the production accruing to the owners of royalties. For example, the owner of a 100% working interest in a lease burdened by a landowner’s royalty of 12.5% would be required to pay 100% of the costs of a well but would be entitled to retain 87.5% of the production.