Teddy Collins, co-founder of Collins and Ware, has been in the oil business since 1960. Although he says he didn't follow in anyone's footsteps, he was certainly influenced by an oil pioneer who also happens to be his father. Collins said, "My dad had been in the oil business, but he passed away just as I was going into high school. He was an older man. He was 48 when I was born and died in his mid-60's. I just kind of knew early on what he did and that I did want to get in the business, He said if I did, I ought to study engineering or geology and get a technical background in it."
Collins graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1959 with a degree in geological engineering, and in 1960, he went to work for Pan American Petroleum. "I worked in Odessa and roustabouted for about five months and then I got transferred to Andrews," said Collins.
About three years later, he decided he was ready to go out on his own and became an independent. He said he, "started putting leases and deals together. Although I had an engineering background, I figured out the deals were being made by landmen, so I became a landman early on."
Collins joined the Landman's Association in 1968. Almost 40 years later, the American Association of Professional Landmen honored Collins with their Lifetime Achievement Award. He's since received the Permian Basin Petroleum Association's Top Hand award, and he's been elected into the Petroleum Museum's Hall of Fame.
When asked how it felt to receive all of these honors, Collins joked, "I either outlived the competition or they ran out of folks. I was really humbled by them both."
After surviving decades of booms and busts, he's always managed to pull through, seeing many others get lost along the way. "I've seen a lot of guys get oversold on deals and think they could reinvent the wheel or that they could drill wells cheaper or overpay for leases. There's so many mistakes that you can make and sometimes, you can just have a bad string of luck."
As for Collins, he says he's been at the right place at the right time, but he also says that even the worst times weren't all that bad. "There were down periods, but there was always opportunity. It seemed like during down periods you could buy property and do a lot of things. I think a lot of people thought it would never come back. I never really felt that way."
After over half a century of success in the business, he's optimistic that the best is yet to come. "Short of a worldwide economic meltdown, I think West Texas has got a great future. It's a gift that keeps on giving. Every time we say the party's over out here, something new happens."
When asked if he would change anything if he could do it all over again, Collins replied, "I'd probably change some of my bright ideas that didn't work out. But I sure wouldn't change professions. I think what's great is we went through periods where we weren't finding any big reserves. Now, with these resource plays, it looks like everybody gets a swing at it, and I probably can't think of a time when I've been more optimistic and pleased about the business."
In 1960, Ted Collins started his career as a Petroleum Engineer with Pan American Petroleum Corporation in West Texas. He left in 1963 to become an independent oil operator. From 1969 to 1982, Mr. Collins was Executive Vice President of American Quasar Petroleum Company. From 1982 to 1988, he was President of what are now EOG Resources and its predecessors Enron Oil and Gas Company, HNG Oil Company and HNG Internorth Exploration Co. From 1988 to 2000, Mr. Collins was President of Collins & Ware, Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, which sold the majority of its assets to Apache Corp. He presently operates as an independent oil and gas operator.
Mr. Collins is a past President of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, the Permian Basin Landmen's Association, the Petroleum Club of Midland and has served as Chairman of the Midland Wildcat Committee since 1984. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Geological Engineering.
Recent honors received by Mr. Collins are as follows:
2006 - American Assoc. Professional Landmen - Lifetime Achievement Award
2008 - Permian Basin Petroleum Assoc. - Top Hand Award
2009 - Permian Basin Petroleum Museum - Elected to Hall of Fame
2011 - Houston Association of Professional Landmen - Lifetime Achievement Award
Professionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of Energy Transfer Partners L.P., Oasis Petroleum, Inc., and CLL Global Research Foundation.