New oil is flowing on the North Slope, according to one of Alaska's "Big Three" petroleum companies.

ConocoPhillips said Tuesday that it has begun production at its Greater Mooses Tooth 1 field, in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Company officials say production began last Friday, about two months ahead of schedule. The field is projected to eventually produce between 25,000 to 30,000 barrels per day.

“This is another milestone for development in the NPR-A,” Joe Marushack, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, said in a statement. “The GMT1 team successfully and safely executed this project in an environmentally responsible manner.”  

Gov. Bill Walker also hailed the news.

“The onset of oil production at GMT1 is good news for Alaskans who will benefit from new jobs and increased production in the trans-Alaska pipeline,” he said in a statement. “The Department of Natural Resources played a key role in permitting this project and is working with industry, local communities, and federal agencies on other promising oil prospects in the NPR-A.”

Last month, the company told the House and Senate Resources Committees in a joint hearing that it could increase its share of North Slope production by as much 100,000 barrels per day over the next 10 years.

Senate Resources Committee Chair Sen. Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) says the North Slope leaseholders have done well to adjust to a low-price environment against the backdrop of a stable tax policy.

“What Conoco is doing is a representation of the fact that the tax policy we put in place several years ago is working,” she said. "We're talking about a significant addition.“

"ConocoPhillips like the other producers has been working hard in the low oil prices to be much more efficient in their work, much more focused on controlling costs so they were able to do robust exploration and development," she added.

North Slope production among all the leaseholders stands at roughly 530,000 barrels a day, according to the state Department of Revenue.

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