Explorations for oil and gas in the remote areas of northern Alaska are difficult and expensive, but can be successfully accomplished by careful planning and scheduling with designs that do not disrupt the existing environmental conditions, including the permanently frozen ground. All construction and transport activities must respect and protect the environment, avoiding past practices that left enduring scars on the tundra. A shallow exploration, to less than 10,000 ft, can be drilled in 45 to 90 days. Accordingly, it can be completed in a single winter, with sufficient time for the overland trips, construction of a snow/ice drill pad and a short runway on the adjacent tundra or nearby frozen lake. Winter trails can be effectively employed, with little tundra damage, by limiting such trail making and use to periods when the ground is frozen and snow covered. This same criterion for winter trails is taken one step further when constructing snow roads, drill pads or runways on the tundra. These require the addition of more snow, chipped ice and water to produce a frozen pavement, 12 to 18 in. thick, capable of supporting heavy loads.