Real Estate versus
Oil & Natural Gas Ownership Rights
Surface Land Owners
Surface Rights are conveyed in title to the land and allow the owner to build surface structures, farm the land, etc.
Mineral Interest Owners
Mineral Interests (located beneath the surface) are also conveyed by title and may be separate from Surface Rights and allow their owner to authorize drilling on the acreage.
Royalty Interest Owners
A Mineral Interest becomes a Royalty Interest once a drilling company drills a well and begins producing oil or natural gas from the property acreage.
Working Interest Owners
The portion owned by a drilling company, or operator, is called a Working Interest.