At a time when there’s no clear end in site for plummeting oil prices, good news from the North Slope is rare, but on Thursday ConocoPhillips Alaska announced its set a new drilling record at drill site CD5, the first drill site in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA).


CD5 is now home to the longest well in Alaska’s history.


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“Feels like we’re winning.


“Alaska’s really really important to us, and it just feels really good to be able to set a drilling record like this,” said ConocoPhillips Alaska president Joe Marushack.


Doyon Rig 19 drilled the horizontal injection well, that’s 26,196 feet in length and almost five miles long.


“The way we drilled this well is, we went down about 7,200 feet and then from there we went out 17,200 feet,” explained Marushack.


The project took 24 days to complete.


The Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) says the good news continues industry-wide.


“In the last fiscal year, we actually had big news. We had the first fiscal year increase in oil production in almost 15 years,” said Sarah Erkmann, AOGA’s external affairs manager.


She says production has been going down steadily since 2002, but it’s now up by three percent.


“Production increases don’t happen by accident, it takes a lot of investment from companies. They have to spend billions of dollars, put lots of people to work, and revisit old projects that maybe they hadn’t looked at in some time to do the work to get the oil in the pipe and increase production,” said Erkmann.


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Some companies are still not turning a profit in Alaska. The state says it costs about $45 to produce a barrel of oil, and right now, the price of crude is just over that, at $43.18. That means an almost $2 loss per barrel, every day.


“It’s a very difficult time for all of us, but I think everyone’s trying to do their part,” said Marushack, adding that the oil industry is “a very important part of the state.”


KTVA 11's Daniella Rivera can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.