Explaining Oil & Gas Working Interest


    One of the riskiest and most beneficial ways to participate in oil and gas investment is known as working interest. It is a type of investment in the drilling operations of the oil and gas industry. Working interest owners are also entitled to the profits obtained from any successful wells after exploration, drilling, and production phases. The working interest is surely contrasting with royalty interest where the investor’s cost is limited when compared to the initial investment made. There’s no denying the fact that costs and risks are extremely high when talking about working interests. 

    What is a Working Interest? 

    The working interest is also known as operating interest as it gives a certain percentage of ownership of the drilling operations to the investors. In simpler words, it gives a right to an investor to participate in drilling activities. Moreover, a right to the resources gained is also given to the investor. They are also able to get an income from the production of the resources produced after the drilling activities. The working interest can be a lease, drilling unit, or well in the oil and gas industry. Operating interest has higher ratios of risk and costs but has a large financial gain in the long term if the investment is made at the right time. 

    Types of Working Interest

    To further understand what is working Interest in Oil and Gas, you need to dig into its three main types; 

    • Non-operating working interest: 

    This type of working interest gives the investors ownership interests in the lease, well, or any other production areas. In non-operating working interest, you have no responsibility to operate and there isn’t a cost to pay when it comes to operations regarding producing units. 

    • Operating working interest: 

    In this type of working interest, the owners are obliged to deal with the costs of operations. Moreover, they have to give payments to royalty interest holders. It is utterly in contrast with non-operating working interests. 

    • Carried working interest

    Suppose, multiple parties have working interests in a well, carrying working interest creates a partnership between those parties. A joint venture can be considered to share the working interest in-between multiple parties. However, the group has to give enough finances to maintain the well in a functioning position. Moreover, investors are not obliged to participate in daily activities too. When the revenue is generated, they get their share. 

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Working interest

    There are advantages and disadvantages to all types of

    investments and there is no way you can avoid the risks. However, if you are planning to invest in working interest related to oil and gas, here are a few advantages and disadvantages of this investment; 


    Here are the benefits of investing in working interest;

    • If things go smooth and the wells prove to be successful, the financial gain is humungous as the profits can be large for a very long period. 
    • The tax benefits are considered a loss. Moreover, this loss is seen as active income. However, other income can offset it. 
    • As it is an active investment, you are entitled to take part in production decisions and keep an eye on the activities. You are not marginalized after investing. 
    • Some chances are that working interest owners might receive tax incentives that may be worth from 65% to 80% of the cost of an investment made. Making the investment highly beneficial. 


    There are always some disadvantages circulating to mind when making investments. Here are a few disadvantages regarding working interest in oil and gas; 


    • As you are paying for the cost of production at the start, the initial investment is pretty high. 
    • As the investment cost is high, the loss can be extreme too. 
    • There are unnumbered risks such as employee injury and environmental damage which can hamper the results of investments made. 

    Difference between Working Interest and Mineral Ownership 

    Both mineral interest ownership and working interests are types of oil and gas rights, but both have several differences too. The right to explore, drill, and finally produce valuable resources from any land is attained by oil and gas companies through lease agreements known as working interests. However, the recorded property document which has the information of the legal owner of the natural resources buried down is mineral interest ownership. Both mineral owners and working interest owners should comply with the terms of the lease. Once the well stops producing oil and gas, the agreement dissolves. 

    However, there are ways to own minerals forever. There are mineral rights for sale in Texas with long-term benefits too. Making investments with credible partners is surely important for a successful business. It is important to do your research before making any kind of investment. There are always risks and benefits linked to any kind of investment, it’s important to completely analyze them and make your decision.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here