We examine drilling-induced tensile fractures in five vertical and inclined exploration wells in the Visund oil field in the northern North Sea. Each well yields a consistent azimuth of the maximum horizontal stress both laterally and with depth.

The magnitudes of the three principal stresses (Sv, Shmin, and Shmax) are consitent with depth and reflect a strike-slip faulting stress regime. The magnitude of the maximum horizontal stress is significantly higher than the vertical (Shmax = 1.3 Sv) and minimum horizontal stresses in our models.

We determine optimally stable trajectories for borehole stability during drilling, after reservoir pore pressure drawdown.

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