Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Crude Oil Stolen in Stanton

Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Crude Oil Stolen in Stanton

Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9

STANTON - Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crude oil was stolen out of Martin County. Brad Ingram, the Martin County Sheriff, told NewsWest 9 that oil field theft is common in the Permian Basin, but rarely to this extent.

Officials say the dollar amount of crude oil that was stolen depends on what the cost of the barrels were on the day of the theft. We're told that this theft is one of the largest amounts the sheriff's office has seen.

"The number that our office has gone by is roughly $300,000," said Ingram. 

The sheriff wasn't able to tell NewsWest 9 which company the barrels were stolen from, however, he did say that it was from an oil lease site north of Stanton. He also said that oil theft is difficult to track down but they have a pretty good idea of where the barrels may have ended up. 

"Actually finding where it's going is the rare thing, and we were very, very, fortunate to be able to track that," said Ingram. 

The Martin County Sheriff's Office teamed up with the FBI's Permian Basin Oil Field Task Force. So far they have brought two suspects in for questioning but no arrests have been made.

"The case will be investigated further before we request arrest warrants but we do have them identified and pretty well know where we can find them," said Ingram. 

Once the oil thieves are arrested, they will be facing "theft charges of over $200,000," which is a first degree felony, not including the punishment that they will receive from the FBI.  

"I understand that we're facing some hard economic times, but resorting to theft is never a good answer and you may get away with it several times, but you'll get caught sooner or later," said Ingram.