43 CFR § 3100.0-5 - Definitions.

§ 3100.0-5 Definitions.

As used in this part, the term:

(a) Operator means any person or entity, including, but not limited to, the lessee or operating rights owner, who has stated in writing to the authorized officer that it is responsible under the terms and conditions of the lease for the operations conducted on the leased lands or a portion thereof.

(b) Unit operator means the person authorized under the agreement approved by the Department of the Interior to conduct operations within the unit.

(c) Record title means a lessee's interest in a lease which includes the obligation to pay rent, and the rights to assign and relinquish the lease. Overriding royalty and operating rights are severable from record title interests.

(d) Operating right (working interest) means the interest created out of a lease authorizing the holder of that right to enter upon the leased lands to conduct drilling and related operations, including production of oil or gas from such lands in accordance with the terms of the lease.

(e) Transfer means any conveyance of an interest in a lease by assignment, sublease or otherwise. This definition includes the terms: Assignment which means a transfer of all or a portion of the lessee's record title interest in a lease; and sublease which means a transfer of a non-record title interest in a lease, i.e., a transfer of operating rights is normally a sublease and a sublease also is a subsidiary arrangement between the lessee (sublessor) and the sublessee, but a sublease does not include a transfer of a purely financial interest, such as overriding royalty interest or payment out of production, nor does it affect the relationship imposed by a lease between the lessee(s) and the United States.

(f) National Wildlife Refuge System Lands means lands and water, or interests therein, administered by the Secretary as wildlife refuges, areas for the protection and conservation of fish and wildlife that are threatened with extinction, wildlife management areas or waterfowl production areas.

(g) Actual drilling operations includes not only the physical drilling of a well, but the testing, completing or equipping of such well for production.


(1) Primary term of lease subject to section 4(d) of the Act prior to the revision of 1960 (30 U.S.C. 226-1(d)) means all periods of the life of the lease prior to its extension by reason of production of oil and gas in paying quantities; and

(2) Primary term of all other leases means the initial term of the lease. For competitive leases, except those within the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska, this means 5 years and for noncompetitive leases this means 10 years.

(i) Lessee means a person or entity holding record title in a lease issued by the United States.

(j) Operating rights owner means a person or entity holding operating rights in a lease issued by the United States. A lessee also may be an operating rights owner if the operating rights in a lease or portion thereof have not been severed from record title.

(k) Bid means an amount of remittance offered as partial compensation for a lease equal to or in excess of the national minimum acceptable bonus bid set by statute or by the Secretary, submitted by a person or entity for a lease parcel in a competitive lease sale.

[48 FR 33662, July 22, 1983, as amended at 53 FR 17352, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 22836, June 17, 1988]