Skip to content

 

1974

“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.

1980

John K. Wilson Joins Western

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

1990

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

1990s

A Change of Strategy

Upon retirement of T.T. Thompson, John Wilson purchased the company. Mr. Wilson shifted the focus of WLS from traditional leasing services, to all aspects of oil and gas resource development. By expanding its service portfolio to include project layout and design, wildlife/environmental studies, field coordination activities, and more, Mr. Wilson positioned WLS perfectly in response to industry needs.

1993

Fueling the Antrim Play

Provided support to Terra Energy, Ltd in the Antrim Shale Play of Northern Michigan. Involved the drilling of over 7,000 wells, with projects of 25 – 75 wells each, marking the largest natural gas play in the U.S. at that time.

1999

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 ten offices nationwide.

2013

Rich Collins Announced President

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

2017

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; Wilson 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.

PRESENT

WLS – Best In Class Land Service Provider

Today, WLS is a thriving firm, working in every major basin, employing over 300 professionals, and strengthening its reputation for best in class service by serving distinguished players of the industry.