The presentation ”TAMING THE THUNDER HORSE WITH AXES AND VECTORS” will be given by Bernd Ruehlicke (SPWLA Distinguished Speaker), from Eriksfiord, Inc.


The Thunder Horse Field targets Middle Miocene deepwater turbiditic reservoirs. Despite being prolific, the mapping of the thick, partly amalgamated reservoir sandstones is challenging. The salt overburden and high formation pressure require the use of heavy mud weights and oil-based drilling fluids, which limit the resolution and interpretation potential of borehole image logs (BHI). Halokinetic movements caused significant post-depositional deformation of the already complex gravity driven sediment stack, and the reservoir beds drape against an E-W oriented salt wall.

Consequently, the assessment and removal of the structural dip component are not trivial, and the evaluation of paleo-transport directions is considerably more complicated compared to undisturbed deepwater reservoirs.

We present a novel technique for addressing complex and chaotic depositional systems such as deep marine turbidites intercalated with mass-transport complexes (MTC). The technique allows to reconstruct the depositional slope by analyzing the architecture of MTCs by applying Eigenvector methods to BHI adding valuable input for the reservoir characterization.


Bernd Ruehlicke is president of Eriksfiord Inc., part of the Eriksfiord group. Bernd worked at Z&S Geologi AS in Stavanger, where he built interpretation modules in RECALL. At PGS and Landmark, he built the interface between the Petrobank (Oracle) database and RECALL, and worked as Dev-Lead on R&D projects such as the Java DecisionSpace® platform. Bernd is the domain expert for image logs and geomechanics in the Eriksfiord group. He holds a BS in Computer Science and MS in Mathematics from Aarhus University in Denmark and an MBA from the University of Houston. He likes strong coffee and Eigenvectors and has been searching for big prime numbers far too long.