POSTED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 5:33pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 6:08pm
Tyler , TX (KETK) — Oil and gas equipment is expensive.
And more and more thieves are getting their hands on it.
"They're not the hardworking people in our industry, These are professional thieves they're smart," said P.E. with Block T Petroleum John Trosclair.
Thousands of dollars of oil and gas equipment is stolen every year.
And it's a problem that has been going on for years.
"Some of it has been located but much of it enters into the black market," said Marc Wohl, who has been a petroleum engineer for 50 years.
Thefts are stealing copper, batteries, oil, tubulars and drillers tell KETK even water is stolen out of frack ponds in West Texas.
"Water in all the big frack place is in high demand and short supply," said Trosclair.
Block T Petroleum drills all across the state.
A couple weeks ago, $15,000 of oil was taken from one of their production fields in Liberty County near Houston.
Trosclair said it's hard to track oil and other thefts on his fields probably over the years went unreported.
"You have to watch your information. You have to manage , your wells, you have to manage your data and you have to keep a careful eye on your equipment and location."
Many thieves also steal batteries because they are small and easy to grab.
"It's a hot commodity right now with the price of lead being where they are at currently we are paying 29 cents a pound for junk batteries," said Manager at Tri-state Battery Supply Jose Lopez.
Lopez said they have many law enforcement officials stopping by his shop looking for stolen equipment.
"I don't think they hesitate to determine where or when they are going to steal them from it's just who is paying to most is where they are going to take them too."