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TRL (Technology Readiness Level) Assessment of DREAM (Dose-related Risk and Effects Assessment Model) to Qualify its Use for Modeling of Produced Water and Drilling Discharges


Use of DREAM (Dose-related Risk and Effects Assessment Model) for modelling of discharges to the marine environment is embraced by Norwegian authorities, and it is in routine use on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), as required by regulators. The DREAM model has been developed by SINTEF with support from industry, and covers both Produced Water and Drilling Discharges. In order to assess the maturity level and thus the acceptable perimeter of use of the DREAM model, an assessment of its Technology Readiness Level (TRL) was launched as part of the Company (TOTAL) recommended practices.
The aim of applying the TRL is to ensure a robust evaluation of the maturity of technologies and software to be used. The Company TRL procedure is adapted from the method described by NASA, and is in accordance with methods used by other petroleum companies. A TRL assessment considers the maturity of a technology based on its concept, available documentation, pilot, validation and implementation level.
Despite extensive use of the DREAM model, a technology pre-qualification (Pro-Qual) process in 2011 at TOTAL suggested the model being at a lower TRL level than anticipated, the main issue being related to validation of the model. Elements from the Pro-Qual led to launching the DREAM Charter Joint Industry Project (completed beginning of 2015) which assessed the uncertainties of the model, and validated its range of use. The TRL assessment was conducted after completion of the DREAM Charter project to see if the key aspects raised from the Pro-Qual process had been adequately addressed. Key aspect still is the validation of the DREAM model for Produced Water discharges, with the main concern being the lack of sufficient field data for comparison with modelled data. The drilling module of DREAM is to a large degree compared to actual field data, with four validation studies conducted (Rye et al., 2010, 2012 and 2014, Frost et al., 2014).
Additional validation requirements, addressing modelling of Produced Water discharges in particular, have been defined, and a program will be presented. The outcome of the validation campaign will strengthen the confidence in the modelling tool and confirm the reliability of the simulation results and predictions for further on-site applications.






  • Grethe Kjeilen-Eilertsen
  • Thomas Merzi
  • Monica Burgos
  • Ute Brönner


  • Unknown
  • SINTEF Ocean / Climate and Environment

Presented at

SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility (HSSE–SR)




11.04.2016 - 13.04.2016


Society of Petroleum Engineers



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