Skip to content

Western Land Services has been bringing together Land, Energy, and People for over 45 years to execute every project with the expertise it deserves. During this time, WLS has grown to be best in class due to our invaluable experience, professional staff, extensive resources, and unbeatable products and services. We have evolved and adapted with industry changes, but still pride ourselves on being the traditional, down to earth land company we have always been, engrained with integrity, hard work, and an everlasting commitment to our clients. As an Employee Owned Company, WLS is in the best position to guarantee that ongoing commitment to our valued clients. Learn more about us by exploring our history, meeting our leadership team, discovering The Western Way, and finding out how we give back.



“Western States Oil Company” is founded

Formed by T.T. Thompson in Ludington, Michigan as Western States Oil Company, Inc. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School, Mr. Thompson worked as a Division Landman with Shell Oil Company for 19 years, prior to forming Western States Oil Company.


John K. Wilson Joins Western States Oil Company

John Wilson, now CEO, joined the firm as a landman. A graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Business, he determinedly worked his way up through the firm to VP of Land in 1989.


Modern “Western Land Services” is born

Western States Oil Company was officially renamed & registered as Western Land Services, Inc. – one of many significant milestones in the company’s history. Upon retirement of T.T. Thompson, John Wilson purchased the company. He shifted the focus of WLS from traditional leasing services, to all aspects of oil and gas resource development.


WLS Opens First Office outside Michigan

To service the growing needs of the Powder River Basin CBM play, WLS opened an office in Sheridan, Wyoming. This was the first office to be opened outside the state of Michigan, and presently joins a total of seven offices nationwide.


Rich Collins Announced President

A graduate of Michigan State University, Rich started his career with Western States Oil in 1986. After 15 years with Western, he moved on to several executive level positions in other prominent oil and gas companies. He found himself back at WLS to continue driving the success of the company that launched his career.


WLS Establishes Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

Effective 2017, John Wilson transitioned his interest in the company after 25 years of ownership, by allocating 49% of company shares to employees; he will retain 51%. Establishing the ESOP is part of the company’s continued evolution to fully engage employees in the future success of the company.


WLS Acquires Barton Land Consultants & Establishes Presence in Oklahoma

Western Land Services acquired Barton Land Consultants, of Duncan, Oklahoma. The transaction closed on March 22nd, 2018. With evident synergies in company cultures, values, and service portfolios, WLS saw this as a meaningful investment and opportunity to expand its footprint in one of the most prolific oil and gas areas in the nation.


A New Era Begins with Shawn Fields at the Helm

Western Land Services welcomes a new leader to the helm, hiring Shawn Fields as president. Fields brings 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and 10 years in executive leadership roles, and has worked in nearly every major oil and gas basin across the county. Rich Collins, outgoing president, stepped down from his full-time role but continues to serve WLS on the board of directors. Under the leadership of Fields, WLS enters a new chapter in bringing together land, energy and people.


WLS Launches Renewables Division

With a shifting energy landscape and a growing demand to balance fossil fuels and renewable energy, Western Land Services made the decision to invest substantially into the growth of its business in the Renewables sector. While WLS has performed land services for wind and solar developers over two decades, 2020 marks a key milestone with the official launch of a dedicated Renewables Division.



WLS Launches Commercial Real Estate Division

With green energy initiatives at an all-time high, the title insurance industry found themselves in need of nationwide, scalable partners with experience navigating the complex surface and subsurface issues associated with developing successful renewable energy projects. WLS answered the call and out of this need, our Commercial Real Estate Division was born in 2021. We have since built highly specialized teams to assist our underwriting partners in derisking sustainable energy transactions of any size.