In 2014, an international leader in pipeline maintenance and emission management introduced an innovative new strategy for detecting oil and gas pipeline leaks. Based in Belgium, The Sniffers has worked to detect and analyze leaks in pipelines and industrial equipment since 1991. It recently launched its dogs division, employing a team of trained canines to facilitate hazard detection around the world. Each dog receives certification from Technischer Ueberwachungsverein, a German safety assessment organization, after successfully completing 40 simulations in natural settings. Working in pairs, The Sniffers’ dogs are able to cover large distances and traverse rural and agricultural terrain, in addition to offering shorter leak detection times and increased accuracy. While most state-of-the-art oil and gas leak-detection tools measure pollutants at parts per million, The Sniffers’ dog division is capable of detecting leaks at parts per billion.
Since the division’s inception, The Sniffers’ leak-detection dogs have examined thousands of kilometers of varying terrain, including mountains, rivers, highways, and suburban developments. In addition to locating safety hazards related to oil and gas production, the canines can also detect explosives, narcotics, and underground short circuits. They have been successful in detecting water leaks in Japan, and have worked to detect illegal pipeline tapping in Georgia, where they identified the first illegal tap in less than four hours.