Tom Richmond '71, a Montana Tech alumni, former Montana state senator and long-time administrator of the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation, passed away February 2022.
Tom was a Great Falls native, attending grade school and high school there. He attended Montana Tech, graduating with a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1971.
Tom worked for Phillips Petroleum Co., Great Falls Refining Division before taking a position at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Conservation Division offshore operations office in Metairie, Louisiana. Tom moved with the USGS to offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Thermopolis, Wyoming before moving back to Montana as the Billings District Engineer. He joined the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation as Senior Petroleum Engineer in 1982 and was named Administrator in 1990.
Tom was Montana’s Associate Official Representative to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Ground Water Protection Council, an association of state groundwater program managers and oil and gas agency officials. Tom has served as President of GWPC; chaired committees for both GWPC and IOGCC; and was co-chair of GWPC’s Risk Based Data Management Steering Committee that focused on hydraulic fracturing data management and supported the IOGCC/GWPC’s FracFocus.org website. He had primary responsibility for developing and managing programs and regulations and providing technical and procedural advice for the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation. Tom retired from the Board with 32 years of service in 2014.
Tom became a member of the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research Advisory Board in 2013. He served in the Montana House of Representatives and represented House District 56. His hobbies included woodworking and amateur radio and he served as the president of the Yellowstone Radio Club.
In 2016, Tom received the honor of Distinguished Alumni from his alma mater Montana Tech.
Tom and his wife Rene’ were married in 1969 the year before Tom graduated from Montana Tech. Tom and Rene' lived all over the US finally settling in Billings, MT in 1977.
Tom spent his life dedicated to the petroleum industry and we aim to honor his memory with the creation of the Tom Richmond Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
This scholarship will help continue Tom's legacy and commitment to the industry he dedicated his life to, by preparing future generations of engineers with an outstanding Montana Tech education.
Please consider honoring Tom with a gift today to the Tom Richmond Memorial Endowed Scholarship.