Western Land Services has been bringing together Land, Energy, and People for over 40 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 executive management 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WLS – Best In Class Land Service Provider
Today, WLS is a thriving firm, working in every major basin, employing over 350 professionals, and strengthening its reputation for best in class service by serving distinguished players of the industry.