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An old emergency oil outpost takes scrutinized strides toward commercial production

ConocoPhillips Co. spent much of winter hauling heavy equipment and building materials across Alaska's frozen North Slope tundra from Deadhorse to an oil development site just inside the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. With frigid temperatures icing the fragile wetlands into a rock-hard surface, workers are blasting to extract gravel, installing pipeline pilings and building roads and small bridges at the remote Colville River Delta site, known as CD-5. The company expects to begin crude production at CD-5 by the end of 2015.

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