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Entrepreneur employs dogs to look for oil and gas pipeline leaks

first_imgA “driven” personality is also important.“If I hid a ball, they won’t just go crazy looking in the room looking for a ball. They actually will be very studious in looking all areas for this ball,” says Mistafa.“If a dog can do that on his own, then that’s perfect. That’s the personality I want.” CALGARY, A.B. – A Calgary-based entrepreneur is enlisting the acute sense of smell of man’s best friend to search for oil and gas pipeline leaks.For the past two decades, Ron Mistafa has run Detector Dog Services International, which helps clients in the oil and gas sector to search out pipeline leaks, drugs and explosives.Mistafa has two dogs working for him: A yellow lab named Duke who specialises in looking for pipeline leak jobs, and George, a lab cross who specializes in drugs and explosives. Both live with Mistafa, along with a retired springer spaniel named Toby.- Advertisement -Mistafa figures Duke gets only about five per cent of the work. In a good year, that’s about five or six jobs. The vast majority of demand is from companies wanting George’s help in ridding work camps of illicit items.Mistafa spent several years in the Calgary police K-9 unit followed by a stint training dog handlers in landmine detection in Bosnia.He runs Duke through the oil-searching exercise about once or twice a week to keep the dog’s skills sharp, using a jar of crude oil as the bait.Advertisement The benzene in the jar of crude is what gets Duke’s nose twitching. When an active pipeline is leaking below ground, Duke can smell the gases that emanate to the surface. For pipelines that aren’t carrying any product, Mistafa will mix a substance called mercaptan – the same rotten-egg smell when a gas stove has been left on or a furnace is leaking – into pressurized air or water, enabling Duke to detect a potential leak.An assignment can involve Mistafa walking Duke for several hours along a pipeline right-of-way in remote locales, with rest and water breaks along the way.He says dogs aren’t used as widely for this purpose as he thinks they should be, with many industry players tending to prefer more high-tech methods.Canada’s two biggest pipeline firms say they don’t have dogs as a regular part of their leak-detection arsenal.Advertisementcenter_img TransCanada spokesperson Mark Cooper says the company has many overlapping methods to detect leaks. “While dogs aren’t a regular part of our multi-layered strategy, the use of canine sniffing is something that we recognize as a legitimate tool that can be added to supplement our toolbox in certain situations,” he says.“We’d obviously note that dogs are used around the world as an integrated part of security at major international airports and it is certainly not surprising to see their keen senses being applied to many other uses.”Enbridge spokesperson Graham White says the company’s existing leak detection methods are “proven and effective.” Among other things, Enbridge uses computer-based monitoring, aerial and ground patrols and acoustic devices.Mistafa gets his dogs from rescue organizations. He’s on the lookout for raw talent.“I compare the dogs to the Wayne Gretzky of hockey players. You didn’t have to teach Wayne Gretzky or Gordie Howe all that much. It was natural to them and that’s what I look for in a dog – something that’s natural,” he said.Advertisementlast_img read more

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EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL NEEDS YOUR HELP!

first_imgFESTIVAL: Excitement is building ahead of the Earagail Arts Festival next month and members of the public are invited to be a part of it. Now in its 28th year, Earagail Arts Festival is looking for volunteers to help with this year’s festival. This is a unique opportunity for members of the public, who are passionate about the arts, to get involved behind the scenes with one of Donegal’s favourite cultural events. Festival organisers are hosting two drop-in volunteer sessions this week; the first one takes place tomorrow evening (Thursday, 23rd June) in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, from 6 – 8pm.A second drop-in volunteer session takes place in The Malin Hotel, Malin Town on Monday, 27th June from 6 – 8pm.Every year, Earagail Arts Festival depends upon a network of committed and energetic volunteers, who become valuable members of a team dedicated to organising events throughout Donegal.Volunteers also have the opportunity to make connections in the Donegal Arts industry and gain experience and insight into event organising and festival management. Volunteering is open to people of all ages from early June until late July and there are a number of roles available; these include on-site stewarding, box office, graphic design, photography, poster and flyer distribution, event support, in-office administration, performance participation and driving roles.Those interested in finding out more about volunteering for EAF this year are welcome to attend the drop-in sessions.Earagail Arts Festival takes place from 8th – 24th July 2016 and is one of the flagship Donegal events along the Wild Atlantic Way.This year’s festival has something for everyone, from family and outdoor events to theatre, comedy, art, workshops and music from all corners of the world.Hosting a vibrant and varied programme throughout Inishowen, Letterkenny and west Donegal, Earagail Arts Festival features the best of local and international performances. Volunteering is one of the best ways to experience all that the festival has to offer, so come along to the volunteers’ information sessions and start planning your summer of festival fun.For more information on the volunteer drop-in sessions or to get involved, contact Donna on 086 870 3980 or email [email protected] or for full details on the Earagail Arts programme visit www.eaf.ie. Earagail Arts Festival is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council.EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL NEEDS YOUR HELP! was last modified: June 22nd, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessEaragail Arts FestivalFeaturesnewslast_img read more

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