Synopsis:The location is the Alaskan North Slopes, well above the Arctic Circle. Exploratory drilling can only take place in the winter when the ground is frozen. Winter in these latitudes means twenty four hours of darkness; a strong contrast to the more usual drilling locations. The action of this film takes place between August 1963 and March 1964. All drilling equipment, stores and supplies having been collected at Edmonton, Alberta, they were transported 1500 miles down the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean, and thence westward across open sea to the mouth of the Colville River, and from there to the drilling site 80 miles away across an entirely featureless waste. The film ends with the drilling team working day and night through the winter, in temperatures sometimes as much as 60 degrees below freezing.
Shotlist:US voice-over, we see barges on river with oil drilling equipment. Shots of barges - ice on river. Icy winds blow across the land. Pingu beach. Trucks move equipment from barges inland to drilling area - first trucks ever to travel to North Slope 3 wells will be drilled. Trucks and bulldozers in snow. Aerials of trucks ploughing through the snow. Men at well site / the camp, chiselling ice from vehicles. De-thawing equipment with blow torches. Shots of workers cooking, drinking tea, reading books, writing home, men fish in holes in ice, arctic fox, GV's shots of life in camp. Looks very cold and dark. Drilling shots begin at 00:16:13:00 - all takes place in one camp.