EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Large-scale fuel theft is on the rise despite new electronic monitoring of oil and gas pipelines and constant patrols by the army, Mexican media report.

Criminals extracted 5,700 barrels per day from the pipelines during the first six months of 2022, compared to the 4,300-barrel average during the same period in 2021, Reforma reported.

A row of fuel trucks line up at a PEMEX terminal in Central Mexico. (PEMEX/Government of Mexico)

Authorities have come across nearly 3,000 clandestine extraction ports in just three states: Hidalgo, Puebla and Estado de Mexico, according to the state-run oil monopoly PEMEX. Those pipelines serve highly populated areas near Mexico City.

Fuel theft is also up in Michoacan, Jalisco, Baja California, Guanajuato and Nuevo Leon, Reforma reported. Those are states with a heavy presence of drug cartels that are also involved in other criminal activities,

The report does not address fuel truck hijackings, which have been on the rise in recent years.